KEZI 9 Sports Senior Series: Springfield Track & Field

Some may see their Millers legacy as a 'What If', but what the Springfield Track & Field seniors leave behind is so much more than that.

Posted: May 14, 2020 4:30 PM

Springfield, 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.

"We had been training for a long time and we all had the common goal of us being good at what we're doing regardless of what it is," Springfield senior Hunter Reininger says.

The Millers senior track and field class have had a lot of time to look back on the memories, like what they had to do at the start of each year.

"The whole team goes to the gym to like pick your groups," recalls Reininger. "All the sprinters and jumps, and like throwers and distance, they all have the Harry Potter house names and we bring in this hat and you say Slytherin or whatever group you go to and we have this huge sharks and minnows game. like 90 people in the gym."

But the true Miller tradition is in the 4x400 boys relay, a longstanding show of team solidarity

"[Springfield track coach James March] makes everybody stay there until the very end," says Cameron Branch. "Here are all these people and it's like if you don't have anything going on, cheer someone else on, be there for them and be a team player."

"Everyone like, as soon as I get to the corner, everyone goes crazy and you kinda forget about it," explains Reininger. "And it just kinda stuck and it was one of my best events and it was something fun to do."

And among these seniors, it's Josh Mitchell takes home the spirit crown.

"I'm just a loud person and cheering people on and being loud is just kind of my thing," jokes Mitchell, while his teammates laugh with him. 

But there is a parting message about the work that was put in.

"Never take anything for granted because we were all working before the season started, working every day for the season," Eriq Rodriguez says. 

"I do hope that [offseason training] continues because it's a really valuable part of the sport and it definitely helps you do well during the actual season," says Branch. 

And about making sure those cheers are just as loud next year.

"...Continue that same spirit cause i know these seniors have been through a lot," finishes Mitchell. 

So that 'what if' becomes something more tangible to leave behind.

"7 years ago this program was sort of in shambles," says Camden Vaught. "Not by teams but there was no community. but now the track team is a new community and every year we get new members because the seniors put in the work and they're good people."

And that, more than any what if, may be the true enduring legacy of Springfield track's 2020 class.

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