Sarasota High sophomore Zack Summerall crossed the finish line in 4:22.09 to win the 1,600-meter run at the Class 3A-Region 3 meet April 25, at Charlotte High.
With the win, Summerall earned a berth in the Class 3A State Finals May 3, at the University of North Florida.
Summerall also qualified in the 800 (1:57.12) with a third-place finish.
"It means a lot to have qualified for the state meet. Coming in last year as a relative nobody and then making it to states in two events is a big deal to me.
At the beginning of the year, I liked the 800 more, but now I like the mile. The times when I’m running the mile, I like the mile more, and the times I’m running the 800, I like the 800 more.
Cross-country is more of a team sport. You get to celebrate together as a team. In track, you can’t really celebrate out loud after you win because it looks like you’re bragging. Cross-country is more of a family event.
I’m ranked No. 1 in the mile right now, and I want to try to win it at states. In the 800, I’m seeded seventh. For the 800, I’m mainly focused on breaking the school record, which is 1:54:00. I’m at 1:56:00 right now. I also think with a lot more competition there to push me, I could break the school record in the mile. It’s 4:21.20 and I’m at 4:22.09.
In middle school I didn’t think I was a distance runner. A mile was my max. But, now, I actually like distance more. I’ve done two half-marathons and those are fun.
Coming off cross-country season where I won country and district championships and ran a sub-16 (5K), which is every runner’s dream, I was like, “OK, track season should be good.” My mile was a 4:42:00, and I ran a 4:27:00 at the FSU relays. That was when I realized I kind of like this race."