Steve Prefontaine

International Track Star - Running Legend

2012 Eduardo (Eddie) Rodriguez
Marshfield High School
Oregon State University

An Essay by Eduardo (Eddie) Rodriguez

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

These words echo through my head like the constant breath I take every time I run. Prefontaine fueled a community and an entire nation with his love of running. His passion for running propelled him into success and he inspired thousands of athletes to do the same. I am one of those runners who have been inspired.

As a Marshfield Pirate I have learned what an impact Prefontaine has had on our school and our community. Over the years Marshfield Cross Country and Track have embodied that very quote. As captain of both the cross country and the track team I really admire what Prefontaine left behind. His legacy helps me to create my own idea of what sacrifice means. With my own experience of sacrifice, I have done everything in my power to help Marshfield and the community keep Prefontaine's memory alive.

As an athlete I have put my heart into both programs. When I toe the line for either a cross country or track race I keep these words in mind. I am representing Marshfield every time I race just like Prefontaine did and I know every time he suited up with the Marshfield uniform he did not sacrifice his gift. I have done the same thanks to what his legacy left behind. I am truly honored to be a Marshfield Pirate. Prefontaine's memory lives on in my heart and the hearts of others.

I want to leave Marshfield having made a difference similar too the way Prefontaine did. With my head held high, I thank an entire community and school for what they have provided me with. I believe we all have a gift in life. Prefontaine's gift was his passion for running which made him a hero for many. I believe my gift during my high school years has been living up to what Prefontaine left behind. It is our duty as "Pre's people" to continue to add to the legacy because we cannot give anything less than our best. Prefontaine lives forever and his legacy will continue to grow because just as others taught me I have taught others of what Prefontaine means when he said "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift".