In the world of track there’s a start, a finish, and what happens in between — kind of like life. While some may stay in the same lane, others, like Sumner junior Emma Bakke, have found a happy balance in trying different paths along the journey.
“I love track so much,” Bakke said. “It’s my favorite sport, I think.”
Last year Bakke placed second in state in the 4×400 relay. This year she already has one of the fastest 100m times in the 3A ranks.
“I don’t like it for the running,” she said. “I like it because it mentally challenges me. I like to push my body beyond what it thinks it can do.”
Bakke pushes the boundaries daily. She has a 6 a.m. wakeup for bible study, school by 7 a.m., followed by track practice, homework, youth legislature, dinner, and more homework.
Then it’s off to another sport.
“I’m very, very competitive, so soccer is a way to channel all my emotions out in one sport,” explained Bakke. “There’s just something about it that I feel powerful and strong when I’m on the field.”
Whether she’s playing for the Sumner Spartans or her club team, soccer is year round.
“I’m not the most girly person on the planet,” Bakke said. “I actually dressed up today for once. I usually come to school dressed up in sweatpants, jeans, a sweatshirt.”
So Bakke’s next adventure might surprise you.
She is a Disney princess.
Hired by a Puyallup business called “Simple Wish,” Bakke — actually known as Princess Belle — makes special appearances at classes, parties, big events and hospitals.
“I love seeing them dressed up,” she said. “I love sseing them happy to be who they are, and to be beautiful little girls in their dresses.”
Bakke could just focus on sports in high school, but she says life is short.
“I love everything I do. It’s not like I’m burned out on soccer or don’t want to do track. It’s not like my parents are forcing me to do sports. I like too many things,” said Bakke.
But her main love centers around faith, family and friends.
“It’s great if you are playing two sports and doing well in school. That’s all wonderful,” she said. “But if you aren’t in line with parents or treating others well, it means nothing, because you’re not getting any love if you’re not giving it.”
Great advice from a 16-year-old.