Clackamas track star Kailee Yoshishige heading to CSU Bakersfield
Track champion Kailee Yoshishige, a senior hurdler/sprinter from Clackamas High School, has received a full athletic scholarship to attend California State University at Bakersfield.
Yoshishige is a three-time 6A state qualifier who, as a sophomore, placed seventh in the state in 100-meter hurdles, 11th in 300-meter hurdles, and was on the 4X100-meter relay that placed third, and 4X400-meter relay that nabbed fourth in the state championships. Yoshishige's track team placed fourth in the state in 2018, and last year, the team clinched its fourth consecutive team title at the Mt. Hood Conference track and field championships.
Yoshishige had an opportunity to visit the Bakersfield campus in early March, just before the campus closing due to COVID-19. She met the current track team members and felt immediately welcomed into their "really close-knit, great team atmosphere."
Yoshishige ran on all three relay teams that broke school records but specializes in hurdles where she has garnered recognition each year. She was named Newcomer of the Year after her freshman season then inducted into the CHS track team Athletic Hall of Fame as a sophomore. Most recently, she was named Most Valuable Athlete after third and fifth-place finishes at state.
"Kailee is a great addition to our women's squad and will join a strong hurdle group on the women's roster," said Bakersfield track coach Maria Mansur-Wentworth.
Yoshishige said that she would be studying education at Bakersfield intending to become a teacher and coach herself.
"A lot of the coaches I've had have been my teachers, so I thought it'd be the perfect fit," she said. "Being a student-athlete in general, it was always school comes first."
For the past two years, Yoshishige has been a student-teacher at Oregon Trail Elementary for fourth-grade teacher Corinna Cho, who taught Yoshishige herself during fourth grade.
"Something I've always admired about her was the relationships she builds with her students, and I had a great relationship with her when I was in fourth grade, and that was one of the reasons that I decide to be an educator," Yoshishige said.
Yoshishige started working with Coach Fernando Fantroy of Furnace Athletics after her freshman year and now is training full time, even with schools closed, getting ready for 2021 college indoor season. She said that the Clackamas High School track has remained open, and she's also been going on neighborhood runs.
"It makes sense the precautions that we have to take, but it's really devastating for us seniors not being able to compete," she said.
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