Steve Prefontaine

International Track Star - Running Legend

Prefontaine Scholarship Program


In 2005, the Prefontaine Memorial Run Committee established a scholarship program to benefit Coos County high school students who have participated in cross country and/or track and field programs at their respective schools.

To qualify for scholarship consideration, the student must be a high school senior, have earned at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, have been a resident of Coos County since at least September 1st of the previous year, have participated in either cross country and /or track and field and have demonstrated exceptional dedication to their sport.

Each candidate is asked to provide an official transcript and an activities chart showing their involvement in school/family/community activities, volunteer service, and work for pay. Finally, the student is asked to write a 250-400 word essay on what one of three Steve Prefontaine quotes means to them:

  1. “Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run.”
  2. “A lot of people run a race to see who is the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts.”
  3. “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

The Prefontaine Memorial Run Committee meets in the spring to review the applications and to decide who will be recipients of a $1,000 scholarship.

Congratulations and best wishes to each for continued success as they pursue college degrees.


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

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2011 Jake Lucero
North Bend High School
Southwestern Oregon CC


An Essay by Jake Lucero

"A lot of people run a race to see who is the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts..."

Competition and the determination to improve has been a major part of my life since I was a young child. As a kindergartener I wanted to be the greatest artist in the world. When Mr. Davenport, a professional artist came to my class and sketched a few drawings, I decided I needed to practice every single day during recess.

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2011 Alissa Miller
Bandon High School
Oregon State University

An Essay by Alissa Miller

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

Growing up, I participated in many different sports, but never running. The first month of my seventh grade year, I had a stroke. It occurred when I was at school, in my second period English class. My slurred speech, facial droop, and no movement of my left side, left me wondering if I would ever walk or speak normally again. I was life flighted up to OHSU

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2011 Allison Reis
Marshfield High School
Southwestern Oregon CC

An Essay by Allison Reis

"A lot of people run a race to see who is the fastest. I run to see who has the most guts..."

Many would say running runs in my family; my sister has always been the most competitive runner, my brother has always been the one who didn't have to practice to be good, and then there was me. I've been running with my brother and sister for years, but I was always the outcast. I would go to cross country practice sporting my "I'd rather eat and throw than run and puke" t-shirt from track. The number of times the words, "I hate running" has been spoken from my lips

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2011 Katelyn Romanko  
North Bend High School    
Univ. of Nevada, Reno

An Essay by Katelyn Romanko

Coming from Coos Bay, Oregon, it's very difficult not to know who Steve Prefontaine was. A legend, inspiring, admirable. These are just a few words to describe the late Prefontaine. He is one of the people to whom I attribute much of my passion for not just running, but racing. "To give anything lass than your best is to sacrifice the gift" is one of his famous, brilliant quotes by which I live not just my running life, but my academic life as well.

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2011 Samantha Sutherland  
Bandon High School    
Eastern Oregon St. Univ.

An Essay by Samantha Sutherland

"A lot of people race to see who is the fastest, I run to see who has the most guts."

At the moment I crossed the finish line after months of grueling two-a-days training, I cried. When I saw my time and place, I cried harder. This was the single most memorable race of my career. It was just another Saturday meet at a seasonal course, which week was the last of our two-a-days and Sunday Mountain Runs.

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