Photo of Julie Hilsenteger

Julie HilsentegerJulie Hilsenteger

Photo of Julie Hilsenteger
School: Marshall Graduation Year: 1980

Year Inducted: 2018

Sports Played: Cross Country, Soccer, Track and Field

High School Honors: 1 Cross Country letter.
4 Soccer letters, 1st Team All-PIL as a Senior.
4 Track & Field letters, PIL Champion in the 4×100 relay as a Freshman and Sophomore; mile relay as a Sophomore; 400m as a Junior and Senior; and Long Jump as a Junior. State 2nd place in the 4×100 relay as a Freshman and 400m as a Junior.

Post High School Career: 4 letters in Track at the University of Oregon; on 4 Conference Championship Teams as a sprinter and hurdler; on 1985 NCAA Outdoor Championship Team; and on the Conference Championship mile relay team as a Senior. Bachelor’s in Chemistry and Master’s in Teaching. Coached Track & Field and Cross Country at Marshall from 1986-1989. Now
at Centennial High since 1989, teaches Physics, Head Cross Country coach and Assistant Coach in Track. Since 1989 has served as lead Statistician for the Portland Trailblazers.

Commentary:

I participated in athletics from an early age on. My mom and dad told us that we could do any sport we wanted. It never even occurred to me that girls weren’t really “supposed” to do that. I grew up during the advent of Title IX setting in. So I got the opportunity to do sports that women before me didn’t. I started to realize this in high school. Soccer and softball were in their first year as an OSAA sport my freshman year. Basketball had just become OSAA sanctioned the year before.

At Marshall, we had formidable athletic girls and it wasn’t looked down on if you did sports. I gained a lot of perspective on this as I became older. We were in the forefront of women sports and at Marshall we helped forge the way. I really appreciate my mom and dad raising me and my siblings in a way that we thought all avenues in life were open to us. As young kids, we really didn’t understand that women still weren’t allowed to do a lot of things. This allowed me to have the confidence in athletics and academics to try what I wanted to compete with anyone. I learned to persevere and work hard and go for what I wanted.

I grew up going to NCAA track and field championships and Olympic track and field trials. I idolized the top American women sprinters and wanted to be like them. I was blessed with talent and loved to race from a young age. I loved track and field and competing in it. It taught me self-discipline because you are only as good as the work you put in. I was fortunate to have a good career in high school and continue on in college. I was a Jill of all trades and competed in a lot of different events. In high school, we really didn’t train a lot. It was eye-opening in college and an adjustment for me. Now, I coach and kids have much better training then I ever had. But my love of the sport has led me to coaching that is as fulfilling as competing, just in a different way. I am still a runner, running long distance and loving it all.

Soccer was a different story. I wanted to do a sport in the fall of my freshman year and I didn’t really want to run distance (I was definitely a sprinter in thought) and didn’t really want to play volleyball because it was indoors in the fall. Soccer was brand new. There were no clubs or younger kids playing on the outer east side of Portland, so none of us had played before. But we had athletes. The first year, they asked the German teacher to be the coach because they figured he was from Germany, he must know the sport. Not really, but we did make the playoffs on sheer athleticism. The following years, Ken Trapp (the girls basketball coach) agreed to coach and he sought help from people who knew soccer. We blossomed into a pretty decent team. It was really the first team sport I had played and the dynamics are so different from track and field. I learned to work together and trust and rely on teammates. I played soccer again after college for many year because of the love of the game I found in high school.

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