Las Flores Middle School
Amy Kotschedoff Assistant Coach
Hi! I am Coach Amy! This is my rookie year as a coach and my first marathon! I am beyond excited to be sharing this life-changing challenge with your kids!!
My History with WeROCK
I discovered WeRock in 2012 at Newhart and tried to convince my stepdaughter to join the program. A year later, we were officially part of the family! Fast forward ten years, inspired by my husband and two daughters, I am back and ready to help lead the Las Flores team! Avery and Pete rocked the marathon last year; and will be along for the ride this season. The jury is still out if they will run the full 26.2 in 2024. Maya, my youngest (who is already faster than me) will be beside me in the marathon journey this season. Let’s do this!!
It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!
I have been an avid fitness freak for the past 25 years! I feel like I have done everything except the marathon! (I mean, not everything in Coach K. beast mode standards, but for a regular person.) From multiple Mud Runs at Camp Pendleton to a Spartan race, with numerous 5ks and 10ks along the way. I also completed both half marathons with WeRock last year and am ready for the full challenge this season.
Favorite WeROCK Event
Santa Clause for a Cause. Christmas and the beach…what more can a SoCal girl ask for?!?
Caitlyn Fowler Head Coach
Hi! I’m coach Caitlyn, 41-year-old mamma to 2 kiddos (Emjae 12/Teck10) and wife to my amazing husband (Aaron) for 16 years. I grew up in Utah and graduated from the University of Utah. We have moved 3 states (Utah, I.E. California, New Jersey, OC California) in the past 10 years for my husbands MD training and we are happy to have finally landed in OC for our final destination.
My running journey started in my early 20’s by signing up for “fun runs” with friends and co-workers as personal challenges and a way to stay in shape. I quickly fell in love with running and ran 6 Utah half marathons, 2 “Wasatch Back” Ragnar relay races, countless 5ks, 10ks and mud runs.
After having kids, my passion for racing stopped. I would run on the weekends with my family to exercise but hardly had the desire to run more than 3-5 miles. It wasn’t until my daughter (Emjae) who was always begging us to take her on long runs on the weekends discovered WeRock at LFMS. She committed to marathon training and I decided to lace my kicks and run a 1/2 marathon last year after 13 years of taking a break. I am really looking forward to building my miles week by week and month by month to complete my first marathon with WeRock.
If I’m not out running, you’ll catch me at the beach surfing, snowboarding, shopping or at hot yoga.
I’m beyond happy to be coaching at Las Flores 2023-24 school year. I’m passionate about coaching, athletics and being outside as much as possible. Hope to see you on the trails and on race days.
Coach Smathers Assistant Coach
I’m Coach Smathers and I’m so excited to continue year two in the WeRock program here on our campus. It’s a new year and more running adventures to come. I know that this season will be challenging as we all run together towards the goal of completing 26.2 miles. I am excited for all the new friendships to be formed and delighted to be a part of this journey.
I started running again in 2010 and I’ve completed numerous races from 5K to 60K distances, as well as many triathlons along the way. I love running by water, it’s so calming, so of course the most scenic of my runs was the Catalina Island Marathon. My favorite race experience has been the St. George Marathon alongside my daughter, nothing like the joys of running with your family!
Zoe Arrieta Assistant Coach
This is my second year as a Coach with WeROCK. I was previously a coach at AVMS and this will be my first year at Las Flores! I’m stoked to get to know the kids and work alongside them to achieve our goals. When I was their age, the idea of running a marathon would have been beyond impossible, so I’m already impressed they’re brave enough to set the goal to begin with!
What’s my history with WeROCK?
I moved to Aliso Viejo during COVID-19 and spent a lot of time running up and down the Aliso Creek Bike Trail. During my own marathon training, I would cross paths with WeROCK during my long runs, and I loved how encouraging the kids were, not only of each other but even of strangers like me! Kids would call out “Good job!” as I passed by and 16 miles in, that kind of camaraderie is really welcome and much needed. I’m grateful that there’s an opportunity for the community to get involved with such a great group and love coaching!
It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!
I was definitely not an athlete growing up. I started running in late 2019 with a friend. We signed up for a few races, including the Irvine Half Marathon. That day was the first time I’d ever run over 10 miles. I remember feeling pretty nervous that I would just totally bonk once I hit those double digits, but it turned out that was my sweet spot! I got a second wind and finished that race strong. Needless to say, I became hooked and signed up for a bunch of races throughout 2020, which, of course, were all canceled or postponed. I kept running, and eventually, in fall 2021, I ran my first full marathon at Big Bear. This fall, I’ll be running my first World Major Marathon. The OC Marathon with WeROCK this spring will be my 8th marathon!
Favorite WeROCK race
Last year’s OC Marathon was a huge milestone for me personally, and an absolute joy to run in WeROCK orange! It’s easy to forget how much fun a hometown race can be, but when you’re surrounded by a community like WeROCK, it’s off the charts! I got to run on pace with a handful of students and had so many other racers ask me in absolute awe all about the kids an