Name: Zach Last
Sports: Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track
Achievements: Last has been a three-season runner since his freshman year and currently has nine varsity letters. He has PRs of 10:33 in the two-mile, 17:07 in the 5K and 3:20:57 in the marathon. Last ran the Route 66 Marathon in Oklahoma this past November, and he came in second in his age group and 63rd out of 2,600 runners. At Wayland High School, Last recently qualified for states in the indoor track two-mile and won the Jim Griffin Boosters award and the Most Valuable Performer award for cross country. His freshman year, he won the ‘Rookie-of-the-Year’ award for outdoor track.
Sports Idol: Last doesn’t have a specific running role model. He believes that running is much more of an individual sport where the focus is constantly on the individual and what he or she can do. “What’s gotten me to where I am is simply focusing on trying to beat my own records and be as good as I think I can be. I am my own greatest opponent, and I think that motivates me far more than an ‘idol’ ever would,” Last said.
Favorite memory: One of Last’s favorite memories of running at WHS was his race at the Frank Kelley Invitational meet during cross country season this year. He had recently recovered from an injury over the summer that prevented him from running as much as he would’ve like, and he was unsure how well he would do in the race. He ended up finishing 22nd out of almost 200 runners and beat his previous PR by 48 seconds, at a time of 17:27. “It really got me excited for my final season, and it was an awesome way to start my senior year,” Last said.
Quote: “I really like the solitude of it all. It’s sometimes an awesome escape from literally everything; your whole world becomes just you and the road. I also like the sense of accomplishment I get from it all, because at the end of the day, it’s just me. There’s no relying on teammates, and because of that, I know that every race I run, whether good or bad, is all mine. Sometimes I have to accept 100% of the failure, but those times when I get to accept 100% of the success are what makes it all worth it.”