SARASOTA, Fla. - It is very fitting on Halloween that our ABC 7 Athlete of the Week runs for a school whose colors are black and orange: Sarasota High School's Zack Summerall.
Earlier this week, Zack Summerall moved up to 4th in the state rankings for the 5th ranked Sailors cross-country team.
"Zack's sense of humor, along with his work ethic, really set him apart," says Sarasota boy’s cross-country head coach Kyle Mendenhall.
Summerall has improved his time by over 2 minutes from a year ago, down to 15:13 -- shattering the school record of 15:28.
His older brother Andrew Mendoza was the Sailors’ #1 runner 5 years ago. "His brother has the same demeanor. His brother is currently serving in the Navy. These guys have the same military mentality; they like the regiment," says Mendenhall.
"By him being good I kind of had to carry on the legacy of him. So I wanted to come up and try to...I didn't think I was going to be good at it," says Summerall.
As a sophomore last season, Summerall won the region before finishing 14th in the state. This year's regional tournament is next, and hopefully another state appearance after that.
"Other teammates really look up to him; not only just as a personality but as a guiding factor," says Mendenhall.
Next month Zack will run in the south region qualifier in North Carolina, hoping to get a bid to the national championships in San Diego in December. "This is going to be the first time I try to make it to nationals, so the furthest I have gone in cross country is states."
Congratulations to Zack Summerall of Sarasota High School. He is our ABC 7 Athlete of the Week.