Steve Prefontaine

International Track Star - Running Legend

2009 Cole Scherer
Bandon High School

An Essay by Cole Scherer

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift"


Every human on this planet has been given gifts. No matter what the gift is, it is given to us to be used. Some are gifted with art. Some are gifted with kindness. Ever since I was little I was gifted with the ability to run and compete. No matter what the sport was, I seemed to show the determination that most other kids couldn't find. If I did anything less than my best, I would work that much harder. I began to find as I was growing up that running was my true talent. God had gifted me with the ability to do great things. Many kids grow up not knowing what they want to do with their life. I grew up with a feeling deep down that God meant for. me to do something great, that I would use my gifts to "make my mark on the world." I began my running career in the first grade, when I won my grade division in the Prefontaine for kids 5K run. I had never really trained in my life and I remember my dad telling me the story of how determined I was when I ran by in my little Nike shoes. He said I had a fire in my eye, a determination that most don't have. This fire enabled me to have great success for the next number of years. As a seventh grader I broke the district record with a time of 4.38 in the 1500 meters.

I had been using my gift to my full potential. I began to dream about going to college to run so my parents wouldn't have to pay. I thought running was my gateway to changing the world. However, throughout my high school career, troubles and hardships seemed to be all that I found. Injuries and sickness seemed to find me at every corner. Towards the end on my sophomore year I was bit by a tick that carried a number of diseases, Lyme Disease being one of them. This has kept me from doing the sport that I so love. Distance running is pretty much out of the question. Although this gift of mine has been temporarily taken away, another gift that God has given me has emerged, the ability to throw. I have thrown the javelin for quite a few years now, and I have begun to see that maybe this is my new calling. I recently broke the school record with a throw of 202 feet and 3 inches. When one door closes, another one opens. No matter what happens, I will always use the gifts available to the best of my ability, as Steve Prefontaine did.