Vote yes for the school bond | Letter

I am writing in support of a track on Orcas Island. I am one of few island-raised students who has been positively affected by a track, and I feel the need to share my story to hopefully broaden the perspective on this important island issue.

In 2007, I was part of a great team of Vikings on the newly formed women’s soccer team who won the state title in 2009, still the only state champion team ever on Orcas. I took this love of soccer to Green River Community College (GRCC), where I walked on the team and became a starter. My first year was nothing special, but I got to play a sport I loved and feel adequate about it. I discovered a track program at GRCC that spring and thought that was a great way to stay in shape for the following soccer season. I was the only member of the track team without prior experience, but I learned fast and was able to compete in events with success. My track coach, a sprinter from Washington State University, taught me how to run. I became so much faster during that first season that I was able to drop seconds off of my sprint times. I qualified for NWAACC championships in seven events by the end of the season. The next fall when we started practicing soccer again, I felt faster and stronger than ever before. We had a record-breaking season that year and I ended up earning All-Star honors (something I wasn’t even nominated for the year before). At the All-Star soccer game, I was approached by three different four-year universities and took a recruiting trip to New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) two weeks later. During my final year of track at GRCC, I was still improving my times and confidence. I played my final two years of college soccer with a full scholarship at NMHU (NCAA Division 2 school), becoming a starter my senior year.

Track was a difference maker in my life for the better. It is the best cross-training sport in my own opinion and should be available to the youth of Orcas Island.

Please vote yes on the upcoming bond.

Grace Thompson