By Lisa Britton
Grace Davis wants future Pine Eagle High School students to have a real track, and she’s dedicated her senior project to raising the necessary money.
Davis lives in Oxbow, along the Snake River at the Oregon/Idaho border, and is a senior at Pine Eagle in Halfway, about 17 miles west of Oxbow.
“I chose this as my senior project because I’ve been a track and field athlete ever since my freshman year and I know how much it would mean to have an official track to future generations of Pine Eagle athletes,” she said.
She has younger siblings following in her track footsteps.
“I would love to see them run on a completed track in their high school years,” she said.
Davis launched her project in January 2020 by writing a paper on her goal. She started fundraising in May 2020 with a raffle for flights at the annual fly-in held in Richland.
Her goal is to raise $50,000 for a “good quality surface on the track.” All donations will be used for the upgrade.
Davis also set up a GoFundMe account. As of Monday, April 12, the account had raised $2,035.
“If we end up getting more money than needed, the excess will be put toward making our field events qualified for competitions,” she said.
She must present her senior project by the end of April.
“If people cannot donate by that time, Caleb Brown is a senior next year and will be continuing the project so people will have another chance to donate next year,” she said.
Davis’ family moved to Oxbow when she was 6. She was homeschooled until her sophomore year of high school, but started participating in sports as a freshman.
That’s when she discovered the state of the track.
“I didn’t even realize that our track wasn’t finished until we went to our first track meet and I felt the difference in the track surfaces,” she said. “As the year went I could see there were many ways that having a better track surface would help with our track team.”
She said the asphalt base of the Pine Eagle track gave her, and others, shin splits.
“We also couldn’t practice with our spikes because the asphalt would destroy them,” she said.
She said starting blocks don’t work with the existing surface, and there are no painted lines for lanes or distances.
“Telling how far we’ve run is just by approximations based off of where the corners are,” she said.
She decided to help remedy the situation.
“My sophomore year I decided that it would be my senior project to help solve all of these problems for future athletes at our school,” she said.
She has set up a GoFundMe page to gather online donations. Go to www.gofundme.com and search for “Help surface Pine Eagle’s track.”
People can also donate directly to the school. Checks can be made to Pine Eagle Track and dropped off at the front desk of the high school or mailed to 375 N Main St., Halfway, OR 97834.