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KEZI 9 Sports Senior Series: Junction City Track & Field

Despite losing out on their 2020 season, the Junction City Track & Field senior class will look back fondly on their memories together on and off the track.

Posted: Apr 29, 2020 8:17 PM

Junction City, Ore. -- Editor's Note: This series by KEZI 9 Sports is highlighting the accomplishments and memories of high school spring sport athletes that lost their seasons due to CoVid-19. If you have a local team that you would like to see highlighted in this series, please email KEZI 9 Sports at sports@kezi.com.

"They have such a wide range of humor and intelligence that they constantly are coming up with something that makes the whole team laugh and lightens the mood even when things turn serious," says Junction City assistant track & field coach Shannon McAdams. 

It's easy to see how that's the answer when asked about how to characterize this team. A lot of the Junction City track team has known each other for awhile, but there was one season where things started to change.

"We all really started to bond and figure out that we were bigger friends outside the track team but then we all kind of came together sophomore year," says middle distance runner Conner McAdams. "Middle of sophomore track season."

"It was a big turning point for our program," Zachary Holliday continues. "I think that level of intensity changed. We became serious, we had a couple kids that really participated and placed at the state meet. So it was kind of that unity of we have the chance to go and do something with this program with this class and we could leave a legacy."

But even through the laughs, there were tough times, ones these Tigers realized when they needed each other, they had helping hands.

"After I tore my menisucus, I was feeling very down," Holliday explains. "I wasn't really excited to do anything. These guys really helped me. We still hung out even though I was on crutches. So with this group, they really helped me recover and get back and excited for the season."

And he wasn't the only one.

"Last year I was going through a moment of depression and having a really hard time," says runner Ezra Haddy. "And they showed up at my house and say hey let's go do something, get your mind of it. And it definitely helped out and I realized in that moment that they were family."

The memories that stick are about those moments, and some other light hearted ones between events on the track. It was everything from practicing spin kicks and jiujitsu in the middle of the field during meets to the coaches racing the Tiger girls 4x100 relay team at the Toledo Twilight. All those memories, from brutally cold rainy practices to long bus rides, has built bonds that will outlast what has happened this last month or two.

"It means a lot, I know I'm still gonna hang out with the guys afterward," says thrower Travis Wheeler. "Not every day like we would with track but I can still call them and hang out."

"Everyone's just so supportive of one another," Ciaragh Thompson continues. This was supposed to be her first year competing with the team, after a career leading JC cross country and girls basketball. "Different to other sports you can watch each other's events and so everyone's just always cheering each other on."

And that one word we always hear, family, means a lot to this Junction City group.

"As soon as I got to Junction City, they made sure everyone knew this was a team, this was a family," says Elijah Amezcua, who transferred from Triangle Lake as a sophomore to JC. "You're not running alone even if you are the only person in your race and that's made a huge impact on me."

"We're a family," head coach Jared Brougher says, bringing the whole message home. "And we just like being together and we just happen to use the excuse of track & field as an opportunity to make that happen."

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