PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - High school athletes in Oregon are counting down the hours to a return to competition on Monday - "Season Two" includes football, volleyball, soccer and cross country.
In this Senior Spotlight, FOX 12 will highlight a Franklin High School student who will soon run with the Colorado Buffs.
"I am just going to savor this time and especially with my teammates, this is something I really love," said senior Charlie Robertson.
Growing up in the shadows of Mt. Tabor and next door to the Franklin High School track, Robertson is rooted in running.
"It’s something I have been able to keep doing even with COVID, so it has kind of been keeping me sane," Robertson said.
He lives it and breathes it, even if the mask is cumbersome.
"In a sport that requires a heavy amount of oxygen, it will be a little difficult, but everybody has to deal with the same thing," said Robertson.
You play with the cards dealt - even the traditional fall sport of cross country in the dead of Oregon winter.
"That is also part of the fun of the sport, just splashing around in the mud," Robertson.
A mudder and a heck of a runner, Robertson was 6A runner up to his own teammate junior season as the Lightning bolted to the top of the cross country podium as the boys' team champs some 15-months ago.
"I am really looking forward to all of them, especially since they were taken away from me," Robertson said. "I have a new appreciation of it now that I am looking at having them back."
Runners need a push in competition, something Robertson and his counterparts haven't seen in a long while.
"Definitely one of the parts of sport I love the most is racing individual people, and so that is something I am really looking forward to," he said.
He is also the reigning State A champion in the 3,000 meters, now nearly two years ago after missing out on his junior track season.
"No matter what, I am just trying to just leave a little bit of a lasting mark as a senior. I really want to lead my team too," Robertson said.
After this final spring with the Lightning, Robertson - who is a 4.0 student - will run with the Buffs after committing to the University of Colorado.
"It’s always a top-end, top five program in the NCAA, and it’s a beautiful place to train," he said. "Boulder and the surrounding area, you can get up high and run on all sorts of great trails, so that is exciting for me."
Robertson and Franklin High School have their first meet next week - against who, where, when and how is still in the works while spectators will be asked to stay away with a district and state meet hopefully in the works down the path.
"The biggest thing I am hoping for is track and field state championships, especially at the new Hayward Field, that would be a great way to cap off a senior year, so I am hoping that will end up happening. That is a huge deal" Robertson said. "I remember from my sophomore year, packed stands just screaming at you as you are coming down the last corner is just really thrilling, and it takes it to a whole different level."