SENIOR PROFILE: Agee runs with a higher purpose

Submitted photoGreenbrier West senior Julie Agee is a three-time regional champion in the 100-meter dash and holds the school record in the 200-meter dash.

Want to know the type of person and type of athlete Greenbrier West senior Julie Agee is? Just take a glance at the shirt she wears which reads, "I run for Jesus at GWHS."

Faith, hard work and a relentless effort to succeed have turned Agee into a volleyball, basketball and track standout during her time at Greenbrier West High School.

"Julie is one of those athletes that you love to coach," Greenbrier West head volleyball coach Cindy Nutter said. "She always tries to encourage her teammates and always gives 110 percent. She puts her faith in God first in everything she does."

After playing basketball from a young age, success on the hardwood might have been expected for Agee. The same might not be said for volleyball and track, which came along later in life.

"Track was something I started to make me better at basketball. I originally started track to help me get in shape to play basketball and then I started to get competitive at it, which happens with me a lot," Agee said, laughing. "I realized the Lord had blessed me with a little bit of speed. I decided to use it to my advantage to witness for Him and have fun doing it."

"Julie did not have a lot of self-confidence early on in the ninth and 10th grades," Greenbrier West track coach Steven Tincher said. "She was a little bit raw as far as her form and starts, but she had speed."

After working with Tincher on her technique and form, speed turned into success.

Agee won the 100-meter dash at the Class A Region 3 track meet each of her first three seasons and captured the 200-meter title each of the last two years.

"She knew she could run well, but did not believe she should be in the fast heat at track meets," Tincher said. "I would just tell her, 'Julie, if your times were not what they are, then you would not be in the fast heat. Now go run your race.'”

After coming agonizingly close to making the 100-meter finals at the state track meet her sophomore season, Agee made good on her opportunity during her record-breaking junior year. 

"Last year was the first time I made the finals in the 100-meter and the first time I placed in a state track meet," Agee said. "Last year I broke the 200-meter dash record for the school and I was hoping to break the 100-meter dash (record). I was only .1 second from breaking the school record at states last year. That was one of my goals this year."

Heading into track season, Agee already had a memorable senior campaign. Her ability as a setter on the volleyball team helped send the Lady Cavs back to the state tournament for the third straight season. As point guard on the basketball team, she led West into the regional round for the first time since 2002.

Her exploits earned her second-team all-state honors in volleyball and honorable mention selection in basketball.

Unfortunately for Agee, her run for a fourth straight trip to the state track meet was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic which forced the cancellation of all spring sports in West Virginia for the remainder of the school year.

"I hate that she was unable to run this season, because she is stronger than she has ever been," Tincher said. "Her confidence was at an all-time high. I could tell by talking to her and watching her the first couple weeks of practice, she was ready to prove what she was capable of doing. I guess we will never know what might have been, but I do know she would have been in that final heat and would bring all she had."

While obviously being disappointed with the decision, Agee used her faith to put it all in perspective.

"I was kinda speechless at first, really," Agee said. "I was expecting maybe to have more of a shortened season, I guess, or hoped we would have something. Then there was nothing. My way of thinking about it is, God has a great plan. I have hope in future plans that maybe doesn't involve a track season. It is still sad and hard to cope with, but it is better when you have the Lord by your side."

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