The 2014-2015 school year has provided some great highlights in both cross country and track across the Sunshine State. In the coming weeks many of our seniors will head out to start their college careers both athletically and academically. We wanted to salute them one more time in this special feature and say thank you for your support over the years.
What was your most memorable race/moment?
My most memorable race would have to be the District 1600m race my junior year. I was struggling all year with some major health setbacks, and I was really only running the race to score points for my team. For some reason I felt amazing during the race and ran my first (and only) good race of the season and qualified for regionals. It was the most amazing race feeling ever. I felt like God was running with me that day, and it was a truly amazing experience.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
Honestly I would say myself. I didn’t really develop any rivals until this season, in Brad Dixon from Bartram Trail, who is ironically enough going to be my teammate for the next four years. So I would say that battling my head was the biggest competition for me over the past four years. Learning how to be confident and believe in myself took time, and made for an awesome journey.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment would be the success I had this track season. Coming back off of my serious setback my junior year was extremely difficult. However After a long summer and fall of hard work, I finally got my swagger back, and had a “Zack Bias” season. It may not have ended quite the way I wanted it to, but being back to my old self brought me a lot of joy.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?
As cliché as it sounds I wouldn’t change a thing. I had plenty of great moments that I can cherish forever, and I also had a lot of bad moments that taught me valuable lessons. So overall there isn’t anything I would do differently. Running for Creekside made me who I am today, and that is something I am immensely grateful for.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
As I previously stated my medical setback my junior year was the most difficult obstacle I had to overcome. I think any competitive runner can agree that not being able to run at your best is a depressing thing to go through. I know I didn’t handle it the best at first, but looking back that experience made me stronger physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I learned how to be patient, humble, and most importantly trust God’s plan for me.
What will you miss the most?
The thing I will miss most about Creekside is the guys on the team. I’m going to miss the running camps, the long runs, team parties, and downright crazy adventures with my brothers. I have made so many incredible memories throughout the past four years, and it’s going to be strange starting a season without those guys.
What advice would you give to younger athletes?
Have fun! There’s no point in doing this sport if you don’t enjoy it. Running can show, and teach you amazing things if you’re willing to buy in. Also remember that rough patches are never the end of the world. In running and in life things aren’t going to be perfect. Never get down on yourself, and realize that life is good! Lastly, always put your teammates needs first and I promise you, good things will happen to you!
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
I have been blessed to have several fantastic coaches throughout my high school career. Each one of them has taught me a little bit about running, but a lot about life. Coach Brian, my AAU Distance coach really brought out the fun in training. He is a brilliant motivator, and always finds a way to make workouts fun. Coach Ricky, my AAU Head coach, taught me the importance speed, and of treating your teammates like your family. I really appreciate that man and all of the many things he has done for me in my five years of competitive running. And last but certainly not least Coach Frank, my high school coach. Coach Frank and I have been through more together than any other coach I’ve had in any other sport. We have had hysterical conversations (which usually end with me doing pushups), and we have had some disagreements over the years. Looking back at all of our experiences together, I am so thankful for Coach Frank for making me both the runner I am, and the person I am. He challenged me both as a runner and as a person. Even when I disagree with him on things, I know that he does care. He is a great coach, but he’s also a great person.
What are your college plans?
I am going to be running Cross Country and Track for Troy University, where I will major in Multimedia Journalism, and minor in Leadership. Go Trojans!
Who would you like to say thank you to?
I would like to firstly thank God for giving me the ability to run, and blessing me with the life changing experiences that running has brought me. Next I would like to thank my parents for supporting me every step of the way. I know running isn’t cheap, and watching races can be boring, but they were my biggest fans since I started running, and I can’t thank them enough for that. I would like to say thank you to all of my coaches and teammates. I would have never stuck with running if I hadn’t been around such a great group of people that made me actually want to wake up for practice in the morning (and that’s a hard thing to do!). I really look at those guys as my second family, and it’s going to be bittersweet not running with them next year. Finally I would like to thank Todd and flrunners for allowing me to share my thoughts and my work with all of you this past year. If you haven’t had the chance to meet Todd you’re missing out because he is an awesome guy! I have had a lot of fun being able to get a taste of what it takes to be a journalist, and I’m super grateful to Todd for giving me that opportunity!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Shout out to my JCP Hoodrats! Shout out to the Saint Augustine team for all of the memories over the past few years. And lastly always remember…Not West.