Good Sports: Fowler's Budwig Track Family

FOWLER, Calif. (KFSN) -- Last weekend, Jocelynn Budwig won a gold medal for shot put becoming the first female in the history of Fowler High School to become a state track and field champion.

But on the field, Jocelynn is showing just what it took to get there. "They (reporters) ask what was I going to do after winning this; I say 'I'm going to take a break. I'm going to take about a week off and see what happens from there'," she told ABC30 on Monday. "I took a day off, and here I am."

Track success is in the blood of the Budwigs. Her parents Jayleen and Jeff met on the track and field team at Fresno State where her older sister Jaymee is now.

The actual track at Fowler looks the way it does because of this track family. "That side was six lanes, so you'd run your 100, and that was six lanes, and then you'd come around the turn, and it was five lanes on this side," Jayleen said.

The old dirt track was affectionately called "Fowler Beach." "We come out there with our buckets with holes in them, and we bailed the track, and I had the whole team out here," Jayleen remembers. "They used to have a little bit too much fun because they'd have mud fights with it but as long as it got done that's all that mattered."

A parent recommended Jayleen look into upgrading to an all-weather track. It was a costly investment. She was quoted $400,000 for construction, but after a grant covered a quarter of the costs, she was suddenly given less than a year to fundraise for the rest.

"You got $300 from Fowler?" "Yeah." "Wow!" "Fowler and friends. So if they had friends outside of Fowler who wanted to donate, we took it. We didn't ask any questions," she said.

The track that was paid for by the community, is open to the community 24/7, with lanes named after its biggest donors. But the way things used to be, still held on to by Jayleen in a photo album.

"This book is history," she said. "Especially the kids that I have right now, they don't know what they have. They have no idea what they have and what we went through."

All these years later that community investment has paid off helping Jocelynn become the first girl in school history to become a state champ. "It's the town of Fowler that supports all that goes on. If the community doesn't do it who's going to do it?" Jayleen said.
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