PREFONTAINE ATHLETIC AWARD SPEECH
Presented by Stuart Woods
Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet
January 31, 2009
This is our 25th year presenting at this banquet…where does time go? May I first introduce our special guest, Elfrieda Prefontaine and her escorts this evening, Bob & Janet Huggins. Thank you for being with us tonight.
The recipient of this year’s Prefontaine Athlete Award didn’t know “It” from birth, but everyone else did. Our recipient was quite young when her older sisters enjoyed their success as student athletes. They could see “It” coming. As the youngest of five daughters, and born to Fran and Jerry, Alison Worthen, our honoree, would be blessed with potential. Her family knew it and nurtured it along. Their friends and sport enthusiasts knew it and witnessed her development and I know the coaches looked forward to Ali bringing “It” to their teams.
Yes, Ali was born with the right genes, but more importantly, she was raised to be, and she became an exceptional young woman, self-motivated and diligent in both the classroom and in athletic endeavor while remaining unselfish and devoted to her teammates. She is very deserving.
She is our 28th recipient and she brings a long list of accomplishments. The highlights begin with her combined 3.7 GPA and a perpetual listing on the Marshfield Honor Role. She was respected by her classmates-twice being named Homecoming Court Queen. And athletically, well quite simply she is one of the most decorated student athletes to ever attend MHS.
Ali was a multi-sport athlete. She chose volleyball, basketball and track and field. It could have been any of the other sports. In volleyball, Ali was a 3 time All-District Co-MVP and Second Team All-State her senior year. In Basketball, Ali was two times All-District, but in Track and Field, what a story. Only Ali and her mother, Fran have reached such a high plateau. Personally, I feel fortunate to have watched her performances.
During Ali’s years in age-group competitions through Junior Olympics she stood out. At the age of 12 she won a National Championship in the High Jump. During High School Track, Ali won 11 District Titles, 13 State Certificates placing 6th Place or higher and was an individual State Champion six times. She currently holds three State Meet 5-A records in High Jump, Long Jump and 300 IM Hurdles. During Ali’s Senior Year at the State Track Meet, she placed first in three events, second in another and was named the high point performer of the meet. And, probably her most cherished accomplishment was sharing the Team State Championship with her sister, Leah and teammates during her freshman year of high school. She scored in four events that year.
Her outstanding achievements were recognized by The World Newspaper and the Register-Guard as they selected her their Girl Prep Athlete of the Year. And, she is among the finalists to receive the Oregon Sports Award, Johnny Carpenter Girls Prep Athlete of the Year which will be announced later next month.
Ali is currently attending Seattle Pacific University on a full-ride scholarship. Ali is competing this week-end and therefore was unable to be here tonight. But with us this evening is Ali’s sister, Kelli Hoffine who will accept the Prefontaine Athletic Award on Ali’s behalf. Please join me in welcoming Kelli to the podium.