Steve Prefontaine

International Track Star - Running Legend

Prefontaine Athletic Award


In 1984, the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce President asked the Prefontaine Memorial Committee to establish an annual award to a Coos Bay/North Bend student-athlete to be presented at the Chamber's Annual Awards Banquet.

Beginning in 1985, the Prefontaine Memorial Committee has honored outstanding student-athletes whose accomplishments most closely reflected the excellence in athletics demonstrated by the late Steve Prefontaine.

Steve Prefontaine grew up in Coos Bay, OR and graduated from Marshfield High School in 1969. He was a two-time State Cross County Champion, two-time State 2-Mile Champion and also won the State Championship in the mile his senior season. Also during his senior season, Steve established a new National 2-mile record with a time of 8:41.5 at a meet in Corvallis and that record stood for many years. He capped his high school career by placing 4th in the 3-mile at the AAU National Championships, where he was chosen to compete internationally on the USA team.

Steve went on to the University of Oregon to run under the legendary Bill Bowerman. During his years at Oregon he won three National Collegiate Cross County Championships and four 3-mile/5,000-meter Collegiate Outdoor titles. In 1972, Steve won the Olympic Trials 5,000-meters race in front of a standing room only crowd of adoring fans at Hayward Field in Eugene. Later that fall, Steve represented the United States at the Summer Olympic Games of Munich, Germany where he finished 4th in one the most stirring 5,000-meter races in Olympic history. At the time of his tragic death in May of 1975, he held every American distance record from 2,000-meters to 10,000-meters.

Each year, the Prefontaine Memorial Committee asks the athletic directors of Marshfield High School and North Bend High School to submit the names of up to three worthy candidates for our consideration. Although the award is given primarily for excellence in athletics, we also look for excellence in character, involvement in the community outside of school activities and academics.

2014-2015 Prefontaine Athletic Award


Presented by Mac McIntosh
Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet
January 2016

Cam Lucero, hurdles1969 Marshfield graduate Steve Prefontaine was a generational athlete.  In his senior year he set a national high school record, won a national championship, and competed for the US national team in Europe.  As a sophomore teammate, I assumed athletes like Pre came along every year; as the 8-season head coach of the Pirate track and field team, I’ve come to appreciate just how rare athletes like Pre truly are.

Tonight we recognize an athlete who fits that mold.  Cam Lucero compiled a distinctive record of achievement last year that won’t likely be matched for years to come.  His breadth and depth of athletic excellence are the foundation of a recent streak of dominance by the North Bend Bulldogs in state-level competition.  Pre was a multi-year state champion in two sports for the Pirates – cross country and track.  Cam led three varsity teams as captain to elite performances in state championship contests.

Cam Lucero, footballHe led two separate Bulldog teams to the state championship football game and earned First-Team All-State honors as quarterback and defensive back his senior season.  As a basketball point guard, he was named Class 4A Player of the Year and earned unanimous selection to the All-Tournament First Team while leading the Bulldogs to a third-place team trophy, the best finish in school history.  In track, his second-place finish in the high hurdles and leg on the winning 4x100 relay team led the Bulldogs to a second-place team trophy.  That quartet’s time is also a school record.

Cam Lucero, basketballIf you’re a North Bend Bulldog, you’ve grown to expect athletic excellence from athletes named “Lucero”.  If you’re a fan of South Coast sports, you’ve celebrated the achievements of previous winners of this award, like Mark Helfrich, Ali Worthen, and other conference and school record holders and All-Americans.

Tonight’s winner is one of the most decorated athletes in North Bend school history, with a post-scholastic future as bright as any of his predecessors.  Please help me recognize the 2015 Prefontaine Athlete of the Year, Cam Lucero.