Steve Prefontaine

International Track Star - Running Legend

2011 Allison Cook
Coquille High School
Western Oregon St. Univ.

The Legend Inspires Us all

An Essay by Allison Cook

He ran faster, but my feet are quick. He ran farther, but I have the strength to achieve great distances. I grunt and I yell, not to draw a crowd but to reach my goal. I am an athlete. I am a thrower; a gift to not be taken lightly.

Passionate and dedicated to victory, Steve Prefontaine said, "to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift". My running consists of short sprints up and down the basketball court, conditioning laps, and an occasional leg of the 4 X 100 throwers relay race.Like Prefontaine, I have the guts to achieve my glory, both on and off the field. I practice, I train, and I study with Pre's mantra chanting softly in my mind.

The gift of throwing doesn't end with personal achievement. It has been said that with great power comes great responsibility. My responsibility is to my team, my school, and my community. In every practice, in every meet, I am responsible for not only performing to the best of my ability, but also for the display of positive encouragement to my teammates and fellow competitors. I elevate spirits that are down, and pat them on the back for a job well-done. I am a strong competitor, a record holder, and a medal contender but most of all, I am a representative, and I fulfill my duties in a sportsman-like manner.

It would be hard to grow up in Coos County and not at least recognize the name Steve Prefontaine. In life we are all given gifts, and it is our choice as to how they are used. Prefontaine understood the importance of always giving your best effort, no matter the outcome. Not only did he leave the legacy of his success, but also an inspiring message to do your best to succeed in whatever you do because by doing so, you will live a life free from regret.