Chelsea Howard

The Legacy of Steve Prefontaine

I’ve grown up in Coos Bay/North Bend all my life. Steve Prefontaine, or better known as “Pre” will forever be one of the most talented runners to ever live in this area.

I never had the privilege to meet Steve Prefontaine, but my grandpa did. He actually ran alongside Pre at Marshfield High School. My grandpa said that watching him was like being in the presence of a superhuman. Pre ran not only because he was good at it, but because he loved it as well. This is where I find myself to be very similar to Pre. I’ve competed in track and field for nine years. Even when I first started competing, I knew that track and field would be in my life for a long time.

My love and dedication to this sport has grown over the years and it’s taken me to heights I never thought possible. I’ve had the honor to compete in the meet dedicated to Pre multiple times throughout my high school career. The past two years I won the most outstanding jumper award at the Prefontaine Rotary Invitational and I hold the triple jump meet record. Prefontaine’s presence is definitely felt on the Marshfield High School track. Every time I compete there, it’s an amazing experience. One of Steve Prefontaine’s most famous quotes was, “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” I think this not only applies to athletes. It applies to all people. Whatever a person’s gift may be, it deserves their best. Because when giving their best, something truly amazing may come of it. Prefontaine made it as far as the olympics with his determined mindset. He has inspired me to believe that no matter how small you think you are, you can still achieve great things. Steve Prefontaine’s legacy will always live on in this area, and I hope his words inspire others to achieve their goals as they have inspired me.


Memorial Run

Saturday, September 16th
10:00 AM (PST)
4th and Anderson in downtown Coos Bay and finishing at Marshfield High School’s Prefontaine Track Coos Bay, OR.
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