Freshman Shellmire Sizes Up Against CCC’s Best


He’s always been the shortest kid in all of his races. He’s always been the “lil guy.” Well now the lil guy is the fastest sprinter in the Cascade Collegiate Conference (CCC), at the ripe age of 19. That lil guy is Southern Oregon true freshman Julius Shellmire, and he owns the fastest 100 meter time (10.69) in the CCC. What keeps his motor running, despite being at a significant disadvantage (Shellmire is listed at 5’6, while his competitors usually stand at 5’10 or above), is his will to prove people wrong.

“My whole life I’ve always been smaller than everybody else. I just love to go out there, when they see me on the starting line and it’s like ‘Oh this guy is short, he’s not going to do anything,’” Shellmire says. “It motivates me, to shock everybody in the stands, because they’re not expecting some short guy to be up there in the front with everybody else.”

Born and raised in Portland, Julius Shellmire is the youngest of four children. Growing up, track and field wasn’t always Shellmire’s main sport. He played football and was the team’s starting running back. He didn’t even try out track and field until 5th grade. But when he did, he loved it immediately. Shellmire continued playing football until his freshman year at Grant High School, when he realized he didn’t enjoy the physical nature of the game. 

It was time to make track and field a year-around sport, something to dedicate himself to fully. That’s when he really fell in love with track, and it all started to click for Shellmire.

“I was the only freshman to be on varsity, and the 2nd or 3rd fastest kid on the team. Ever since then, I was always in the top 2 in every race … That’s when I really realized track is my thing.”

Each and every year, you could see that Shellmire’s dedication to the sport was yielding increasingly better results. After running 11.47 for the 100m and 24.64 for the 200m in his freshman season (2012), Shellmire did nothing but get faster:




100m: 11.31 / 200m: 22.64


100m: 10.89 / 200m: 21.84


100m: 10.73 / 200m: 21.72


All that hard work culminated at the 2015 Oregon State Track and Field championships, where he took home the 200m 6A state title. It’s a moment that Shellmire will never forget.

“It was just a huge relief,” he said with a grin on his face. “All four years, this has been what I’m working for, and it finally happened last year. Felt very good; very satisfying.”

Winning that title has yet to erode his motivation or the chip on his shoulder. If anything, it’s intensified that hunger to keep improving. And in sports, that’s what separates “good” from “greatness.” Some would just be satisfied with winning a State title. Some would just be satisfied with running at the collegiate level, yet alone be competitive. Some would just be satisfied with qualifying for the conference meet.

But complacency is not in the DNA of Shellmire. He wants more. And he’ll get his chance at this week’s conference meet.

“My main goal is to win the 100,” says Shellmire. “The 100 has always been my favorite race, but I was never able to win the 100 at the big meets.”

Six different Raiders have won the CCC 100m at conference in the past seven seasons. The CCC championships begin Friday, May 13th, starting at 2:00 p.m. The meet is scheduled to conclude at 4:25 pm. on Saturday, May 14th.