CARLSBAD — There is no loss like the one a parent suffers when their child is taken away.
Six years after Greg and Missy Post’s lives were upended, the two, along with friend John Cotter, are keeping the Post’s daughter’s memory alive.
On June 4, they will host the second annual Amanda Post Track Meet at La Costa Canyon High School in Carlsbad. Registration ends May 28 for students in third through sixth grade.
The cost is $5 and contributes to the cost of the event including first, second and third-place ribbons and other necessities for the meet.
“John and I came up with the idea to have an elementary track meet run like a high school track meet,” said Greg Post, a 32-year resident of Encinitas. “We are hoping to have an even bigger turnout.”
Since their daughter’s death, Greg and Missy Post have kept her memory and passion for track alive with numerous fundraisers benefiting track scholarships for high school girls.
Most universities have limited scholarships for track, which means the schools cut up the scholarships to assist more athletes.
So, the Post’s, Cotter and others created the Amanda Post Foundation to help with covering tuition. To date, 40 young women have received the scholarships, which doles out $1,500 for four years.
The scholarships are funded through a golf tournament and other fundraisers organized by the foundation.
Post and Cotter, meanwhile, said a committee reviews the applications and those students must meet academic and athletic requirements to receive a scholarship.
But the track meet is no fundraiser. Instead, Post and Cotter want to bring youngsters into the world of track. There are very few, if any, opportunities for kids to run track before middle or high school.
Last year, they wrangled 135 students from schools in Encinitas to participate in the first meet. This year, however, they opened registration throughout North County.
Cotter, who taught Amanda Post in third grade at Mission Estancia Elementary School, was able to get the Encinitas Union School District to help market the event, and has done the same with the Carlsbad Unified School District this year.
Students in third through sixth grade are eligible to register through the foundation’s website (amandapostfoundation.com).
The kids will compete in the 100, 400, 800, 1,600 (one mile) and 4×100 relay events.
“We are not trying to raise big money or anything,” Cotter said. “Going forward, we may have to do something to generate funding so that we can do this sort of thing. If we could access all the north coast, we could draw 1,000 kids to this.”
Amanda Post excelled not only on the track, but the in the classroom graduating from Cathedral Catholic High School as an honor student. She was recruited by numerous Division I universities to run track, specifically the 800 meters, and chose Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Post, only 18 and set to run track at the next level, and three others were killed on Aug. 9, 2010, in a multi-car accident on Interstate 395 near Bishop. Two others, Derek Thomas, Post’s boyfriend, and Drew Delis, were in the SUV with Post and survived the crash, but were badly injured and burned.
She, Thomas, Natalie Nield, 17, and Delis traveled to Mammoth with trainer Nathan Adams, 39, for high altitude cross-country training camp to prepare for the upcoming college season. On their return home, their SUV rolled and was struck by another van of athletes and a cheerleading coach headed to Mammoth. Wendy Rice, 39, died along with Post, Nield and Adams.
“It was horrible,” Post said. “That’s the worst club you could ever belong to. No parent should ever lose a child. So, we decided to honor her that we would create a scholarship for female student athletes.”
Post remembers his daughter as an electric kid who seamlessly fit in with any group. A strong, smart young woman, Amanda Post was also an accomplished track athlete becoming one of San Diego County’s top runners.
“She won the CIF gold medals (first place) in the 800 and as the anchor of the 4×400 relay in 2010,” Post said.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.