BridgetoBridge – a 12K in San Francisco. IMAGE PROVIDED
Greg Menegat, 51, of Eugene, is someone who defies time. While sports are thought of as a young man’s game, Menegat has proven otherwise. Physical fitness has been a constant in his life, and through participation in organized sports and marathons, he’s learned about hard work, dedication and himself.
At eight months old, in 1968, Menegat’s parents moved him to Creswell where he lived until graduating from Creswell High School in 1985. Menegat is the fourth generation of his family to live in Oregon and his mother’s side of the family still owns a 100-year-old farm in Coos County.
Menegat played three years of basketball in high school, where he lettered 11 times (in multiple sports) and was League MVP in 1984 and ’85. He was First Team All-State and First Team All State Tournament the same years.
After graduation, Menegat attended Menlo College in Silicon Valley on an academic scholarship, where he played basketball for four additional years and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1989. On a Rotary Foundation scholarship, he then attended the University of Manchester in England with a focus on economics studies.
After returning from England, Greg became a bank examiner for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), before returning to school and receiving his master’s in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in 1998.
Also in ’98, Mengat and his wife Anne had their first son. In the mid-’90s, Menegat took part in the Bridge-to-Bridge 12K in San Francisco – but he wanted more.
”It’s now or never,” Menegat told himself, before participating in the Portland Marathon in 1998. His first marathon was recreational, and yet he still placed 31st among thousands of runners at age 31.
”I’m competitive by nature and I knew I could do better,” he said.
For his next race, the Silicon Valley Marathon in 2001, Menegat ran 100 miles per week, all while working over 50 hours a week and caring for his newborn twins. For his efforts, He finished in first place.
In 2004, Menegat ran in the Napa Valley Marathon, where he placed first in his age category and third overall.
Come 2007, Menegat turned his sights on the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) in Washington DC at age 40. Once again, his hard work paid off and he finished first in his age bracket.
Menegat and his family moved back to Oregon in May 2011.While working as a financial consultant and federal bank regulator in southern California, an opportunity arose and he moved to Eugene.
Menegat once again competed in the MCM in 2017 at age 50 and prepared by running 75 miles per week, something he said was more challenging than 100 miles at 35. Menegat realized he had to rest more, eat better and train harder to keep up. He ended up placing first in his age bracket in the MCM 2017, and second in his age category in the Aquafina Butte-to-Butte Race in Eugene in the same year.
Currently, Menegat lives in Eugene with Anne and their three children, Sam, Jared and Zach. He works for the City of Eugene as a budget financial manager for the Recreation Division and Anne works at the University of Oregon.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree for Menegat’s boys as all three have the same work ethic as their father. Sam, their oldest, will attend the University of Illinois at Chicago this summer on a scholarship. Jared and Zach are twins and while they were born the same day, their interests couldn’t be more different. Zach will attend Mt. Hood Community College this year and is an all-division selection for pitcher in the Northwest Athletic Conference. But while Zach follows in his father’s athletic footsteps, Jared found another interest his freshman year of high school: performing arts.
”It’s really cool to see him take a different path in life,” Menegat said.
While in California, Menegat volunteered as a coach and division director for the Agoura Youth Basketball Association. His love for supporting organized youth sports continued after moving to Oregon and he coached Emerald Kidsports from 2011 to 2014. Menegat currently volunteers with fundraisers and sports programs at South Eugene High School.
On Thursday, May 31, 2018 Menegat presented scholarships to two Creswell High School Hall of Fame athletes. These scholarships will assist those graduates in furthering their educations and attaining their dreams.
”Kids represent all the good qualities and I’m excited to be a part of that,” he said.
Menegat attributes his success to the support he received at a younger age. Both of his parents supported and encouraged participation in academics and extracurricular activities, and Menegat would also like to thank his former coaches for teaching him a strong work ethic and life lessons.
”It’s important for kids to participate in sports and develop friendships and teamwork; I feel blessed to have received so much support and to play in front of so many people,” Menegat said, reminiscing on his basketball days at CHS.
Through the support of his family, coaches, teachers and friends, Menegat’s life has been full of hard work, dedication and achievements. And while he isn’t actively training for an upcoming marathon, something tells me Greg Menegat is not yet ready to hang up his running shoes.
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If you know any Creswell alumni that would be great for The Chronicle’s ”Where are they now?” feature, email Erin at [email protected].