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Franklin High athletes celebrate a new track

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - The stands at Franklin High School start to fill for their annual Homecoming game, and the dedication of their new track. Some came to the “Jon Abraham Track and Field” at Franklin High School on September 29th to participate in the FHS Homecoming ceremonies.

Others were there to cheer on the Quakers during their neighborhood rivalry game with the Cleveland High Warriors.

But, there was another reason to be there! During halftime, school officials paused to dedicate the school’s new track.

For five years, committed supporters have been soliciting donations for it, Franklin High School’s Business Manager Steve Matthews told THE BEE. “The new track was made possible by contributions from Portland Public Schools, the City of Portland, alumni, staff, parents, and others.”

Tipping the scale was a $30,000 donation from Shirley Carpenter, a community member who wanted to remember her late husband, John Carpenter, by contributing to something that gave him great joy, she said.

“The track has been totally resurfaced,” Matthews explained. “The wall along the front has been replaced, and we have a new rail, and everything.”

The plaque at the new track offers a philosophical thought related to sport: “The triumph isn’t that I finished. The triumph is that I had the courage to start.”

Although Cleveland bested Franklin 15-12 in that football game, Franklin High School’s track & field athletes now have a new track surface that will last far longer the memory of the loss any football game.