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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats host final meet of the season


Courtesy of Alejandro Alvarez

Arizona cross country athlete Addi Zerrenner runs in a race. The Wildcats host the last meet of the season this weekend.

Arizona cross-country runner Addi Zerrenner was very familiar with running on the beaches back home in Santa Barbara, Calif., at any time of the day.

She knew this was something she would have to give up when choosing to attend the UA. She also quickly found out she would need to give up sleep if she were to excel as a collegiate runner in Arizona.

Zerrenner’s day usually begins around 4:45 a.m. She gets up, grabs a bite to eat and bikes two miles to McKale Center to see where she and her teammates will be running that morning.

While Zerrenner’s morning jogs no longer include views of the Southern California coastline, she appreciates the sights of the Sonoran Desert. 

 “I love running in the desert and seeing the animals that we don’t have in California,” Zerrenner said. 

She also loves that Tucson is a college town and said she constantly receives praise from people when she wears her UA attire in grocery shops in town.

Some may have thought that Addi Zerrenner was destined to be a runner, as Zerrenner translates to “the runner” in German. Surprisingly enough, she thought her calling was soccer.

“I never felt that running was in my blood,” Zerrenner said.

Zerrenner was always one of the fastest players on the field throughout the years she played soccer; her coaches would notice her uncommon speed. 

By her freshmen year of high school, Zerrenner quit soccer to focus more of her time on cross-country. 

She was voted MVP her sophomore, junior and senior years at Dos Puebelos High School in Goleta, Calif. Zerrenner was also a two-time Santa Barbara Cross-Country Athlete of the Year. 

Zerrenner initially planned on going to the University of Oregon for the school’s rich culture and success in track and field. During her recruiting visits to different schools, she never had that feeling of the perfect fit until she visited the UA.

Zerrenner said she knew she wanted to attend Arizona when she realized the faculty and staff cared about her more as a person than a runner. 

Another big factor was that Arizona’s women’s cross-country team had just placed second nationally the year before in 2013. 

Zerrenner is now making a name for herself at the UA, as she has been the top women’s finisher for the Wildcats in every race thus far. Zerrenner said she tries not to set major goals for herself, but rather sets “silly goals.” One of these silly goals is to simply finish the race. 

So far, she’s accomplished more than that. 

Zerrenner has the team’s top times in the 2.6-mile, 3-mile and 6-kilometer events. She finished second in the 3-mile race at the George Kyte Classic with a time of 15:11.9.  

Now she would like to see both herself and her team improve as the season enters the more competitive stretch. 

One of those not-so-silly goals is for the Wildcats’ cross-country squad to qualify for nationals this year—something very possible with UA’s well-rounded team.

“[We] never know who is going to be the first girl on any given day that [we] race,” Zerrenner said.

As the season progresses, she expects both the men’s and women’s teams to surprise people with high finishes. 

The next chance for the teams to mark their improvement is at this Friday’s home meet, the U of A Open, which will be held at Quincie Douglas Park.

The men’s race begins at 3:50 p.m., and the women’s race is set to start at 4:20 p.m.

“We have been training at a super high level,” Zerrenner said, “and our finishes haven’t been reflecting that.”

Follow Hunter McAdams on Twitter.

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