|EXCELLENCE THROUGH EXPERIENCE
Every year since 1997, the On Track catalog has honored an outstanding figure from the world of track and field with a biography in dedication to that person. Some have been world-renowned athletes. Others have been more local heroes, personal favorites, admired by On Track founder, Ron Morris. This year is most certainly a case of the latter.
As many of our regular customers have already heard, On Track experienced a difficult loss this past autumnthat of 27yearold sales representative Jeff Truman. His sudden passing came as a tremendous shock to our On Track staff, as it did for his family and many friends. On October 13, 2002, we gathered with hundreds of others at Mt. San Antonio College for a tribute to Jeffs life. Although we came to know and love him over the two years Jeff worked at On Track, at that memorial service we discovered how much more there was to this remarkable young man.
Growing up, we learned, Jeff had a number of physical challengessmall stature, orthopedic and optometric problems but he took them in stride and began pole vaulting competitively at Covina High School in Southern California in 1991. By graduation, Jeff held all his high schools pole vaulting records at every class level, capping his high school career with a jump of 15'11" at the Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) Relays in Walnut, Calif. His next two track seasons were spent competing on behalf of Mt. SAC as a student athlete, during which time he competed in the State Finals for both seasons he attended the community college.
After receiving his A.A. degree, Jeff transferred to Long Beach State in California, where he continued vaulting. Upon graduating Long Beach with a degree in psychology, Jeff ranked in the top 10 in the universitys history in both the indoor and outdoor recordbooks (P.R. 16'7" Outdoor/15'11" Indoor). Following graduation, Jeff competed one more season as an unattached vaulter, while also working for Family Solutions, a group home for troubled children.
It was so clear that everyone gathered at that memorial service would miss Jeffs exuberant cando attitude and often zany antics. There was the story of his pole vaulting in a pink tutu that raised giggles. There were also recounted memories of Jeff bobbing off the Pacific coast on dawn patrol astride his longboard, and Jeffs quest for the perfect photowhether it be a shot of a fellow athlete or surfer, a raging brush fire, or a full moon over Southern California. As a matter of fact, it was difficult to find good shots of Jeff for this dedication, as he was usually the one taking pictures.
At a time of transition for the On Track family, Jeff brought with him a welcome combination of joy, respect, humor, love and a commitment to service absent in so many people today. We mourn the loss of so much potentialthe athletes he could have coached, the life he could have hadwe can't know any of this now. One thing is certain though, Jeffs time among us was wellspent. Well done, Jeffrey Wayne Truman.