Austin Gambill was a dedicated and inspiring young man on Ventura High School’s Cross Country and Track and Field teams. He demonstrated excellent sportsmanship and work ethic.
Austin tragically passed away on March 13, 2020, but his classmates and teammates continue carrying on his legacy of hard work and positivity.
Austin's teammates and members of Ventura High School's Student Runners for Public Lands club are raising $10,000 to sponsor an oak tree at Harmon Canyon Preserve in memory of Austin.
A Tree to Spread Positivity
Zacharias Lopez, SRPL's historian, believes that Austin's character and positive attitude are attributes that we should all aspire to emulate. Zach has expressed, "Austin's infectious positivity wasn't isolated only with friends, it spread from classroom to classroom, from school to cross, from community to community. All you had to do was talk to him. I can see the tree as being a reminder that when you simply talk to another person you can spread positivity. Even if you don't know it. Not only that, a tree does a lot for its environment. Austin had a big impact on his environment."
Xavier Terminello, a VHS graduate and the former Co-Vice President of Student Runners for Public Lands, has shared, "I think of Austin as my little brother. I got to help show him the ropes of cross country and run with him almost every day. There's seldom a day that goes by I'm not reminded of him."
Friends Remember Austin
Austin’s good friend and SRPL’s Vice President, Vincent Cook, also shared words of admiration and remembrance for Austin:
“Austin Gambill, a friend, teammate and student. From Cross Country to Track, he gave it his all in the passions of his life and to his teammates. We created a club called Student Runners for Public Lands and we are honored to give him a memorial at Harmon Canyon, a dedication of his passion for running. The club consists of his teammates who have known him and will always remember him as we grow and prosper."
"From the day I met Austin in club track to high school running, I knew he was meant for greatness, and now we as a team dedicate our time to remember one of our runners for his bright future and wherever he is, I know he is living his dreams. Our club is founded on the roots of Ventura non-profit Runners for Public Lands, which strives for diversity, equality, and inclusion. We also strive for the same core principles and hope to honor one of our own runners while also giving back to the community and planting a tree of dedication.”
Support the Campaign to Sponsor an Oak Tree in Honor of Austin
By raising funds to sponsor a tree in Austin's name, the members of Student Runners for Public Lands hope to solidify his memory in a longeval form of life that reflects his humble spirit, caring demeanor, and strength of character. Members strive to embody his drive to do good and uplift the community, and by donating to an endeavor as worthy as Ventura Land Trust's, hope to contribute to VLT's cause to protect nature and provide public land for people, including runners such as Austin, to enjoy.
Top photo: Austin Gambill races in a cross country meet (photo by Vincent Cook)
Middle photo: Austin, left, with Xavier Terminello and Vincent Cook (photo by Vincent Cook)
Bottom photo: Austin, left, with Vincent Cook and Zacharias Lopez (photo by Vincent Cook)