PREFONTAINE ATHLETIC AWARD SPEECH
Presented by Mac McIntosh
Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet
January 27, 2012
It is a distinct pleasure and a true honor to present the 2011 Prefontaine Athlete of the Year award to Blake Kemp.
The legacy established by Steve Prefontaine pervades our community; its enhancement is a cornerstone of the Marshfield track and field program. Pre's achievements as a prep athlete provide continuing inspiration to our coaches, volunteers, and every athlete who wears purple and gold. Blake added to that legacy of athletic achievement by breaking a 40-year-old high hurdle record held by a kid named "McIntosh", trained by a coach named "Solomon". He set a second school record by anchoring the 2010 4x100 relay team.
His points as a sophomore helped the Pirates earn the second boys state championship team trophy in school history. He holds meet records at invitational meets across the state and led the Pirate boys to team championships at the district meet four years in a row. Marshfield High School recognized his distinguished prep career by naming him the 2011 Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Beyond athletic achievement, however, Blake's leadership and character elevated him to elite status among high school contemporaries. A valedictorian of the Class of 2011, he earned an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. He declined this prestigious offer to pursue his athletic dream of competing in Duck green and yellow and finished the first term with a 3.85 GPA in Physics. Training for the decathlon, he will be red-shirting through the indoor season and has impressed the Oregon coaching staff with the same qualities that made him a two-time Pirate team captain: undaunted enthusiasm, unwavering commitment to athletic excellence, and a prodigious work ethic.
More than any member of the Pirate Track and Field program, Blake earned the respect of his teammates, his coaches, the volunteers who stage the best meets in the state at Prefontaine Track, and competitors across the Pacific Northwest. In Marshfield's 103 year history of fielding track and field teams, 19 boys have earned individual state championships. Two of them won two titles. Steve Prefontaine, earned three titles in track and field and two individual titles as a cross country athlete. Blake is the only Pirate boy who's earned four individual state track and field championship medals.
Blake embodies the standards we seek to develop within our track and field program: live with integrity, compete with class, and add to the legacy. He has brought recognition to our program, to Marshfield High School and to the Bay Area community at large. On behalf of that community, I'm proud to recognize him as the 2011 Prefontaine Athlete of the Year.