Lakewood Ranch High senior Kristin Zarrella crossed the finish line in 19:16.64 to finish 19th and pace the Lady Mustangs to a fifth-place finish at the Class 3A Cross-Country Finals Nov. 17, in Tallahassee. Zarrella is preparing for the upcoming track season before moving on to the University of Southern Mississippi, where she will continue her running career.
What was your reaction when you crossed the finish line in your final cross-country state final?
It was crazy. It was a huge mix of emotions. It was exciting but really sad at the same time. I’m going to miss these girls so much. It’s time to move on to the next chapter, so I’m excited about that, too.
How do you think the team did this year?
I think we really pulled together when we needed to. Given the conditions, I think we did really well. Everyone worked hard. We finished top five in the state, which is not too shabby. That was the goal.
What made you decide Southern Mississippi was where you wanted to run next year?
After my first visit, I couldn’t think of one con. It was just perfect for me. I love the coach, the team and the ambience there.
Do you know what career you’d like to pursue?
Definitely to become a teacher. The level is still to be decided, but I’ve wanted to be a teacher since kindergarten.
Do you prefer cross country or track?
I like track more. I think track is a little more competitive. It’s just a great feeling to be on the track. You can see your competitors the whole time and everyone in the stands. I started track when I was 8 years old, so it’s just been a huge part of my life.
Do you have a favorite movie?
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” with Jim Carrey. It’s perfect. It’s hilarious. The older I get, the more I appreciate it.
What is your favorite subject?
English. I’m a grammar freak.
Do you have a favorite book?
“The Alchemist.” There’s a whole lot of depth to it. I like books with meaning.
What is your favorite app?
Whale Trail. I’m literally so bad at it, but I love it.
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
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A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.