Santa Margarita Eagle Invitational to donate proceeds to Wounded Warrior Project

Santa Margarita boys track coach Sean Zeitler (pictured), who's brother, a Marine, was wounded in Iraq. Sean's contributed to WWP in the past but has decided to involve the entire track program this time.

One of the biggest early-season track meets in the CIF-SS is taking on a much bigger significance.

For the first time in the history of the meet, all of the proceeds from the Santa Margarita High School 18th Annual Eagle Invitational will go to the Wounded Warrior Project, the school announced recently.

The 18th Annual Eagle Invitational is an eight-team meet with over 800 athletes scheduled to compete. Santa Margarita will be joined by Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Murrieta Valley, Mater Dei, St. John Bosco, JSerra, Esperanza, and Newport Harbor. 

The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is a non-profit organization that offers 20 programs and services for wounded veterans and their families.

In its press release, Santa Margarita announced over 52,000 soldiers have been injured in combat recently and over 400,000 servicemen and women live with "invisible wounds of war" such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

It’s a cause that is near and dear to the heart of Santa Margarita boys track head coach Sean Zeitler who’s brother, Peter, a Marine, was injured during his second deployment to Iraq. Zeitler has contributed to WWP in the past but has decided to involve the entire track program this time. 

"I think it is important that we honor our veterans who sacrifice so much for our Country," Zeitler said in an email.  "I think anything we can do to recognize our veterans is the least we can do."

Santa Margarita will wear special military uniforms for the meet, which starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

"(I) thought it was about time our meet did something positive to give back to our injured servicemen and women," Zeitler said.