While most teenagers were relaxing this summer, Chelsea Zoller was busy running at tracks around the world.
Chelsea, a Holy Innocents’ junior, currently holds the state championship crown in the 400 meter run.
Competing in late June in the USA Track and Field qualifier in Carrollton, Zoller ran a 55.1 time, good enough to earn her a trip to Eugene, OR, for the Junior World Championships.
“I was just hoping to break 56 seconds and come in somewhere around 55-high,” Zoller said. “In the preliminaries I ran a 56, so I was more than shocked when I saw that I cut a second off my time. Still, I knew most of my competition had already committed to Division I schools. I knew it would be a fast race, so I just wanted to get out fast.”
As a dual citizen of the United States and Switzerland, she then competed for the Swiss at the major event where she was one of the youngest athletes competing.
Chelsea doesn’t come from a family of runners, although her father was a professional soccer player in Switzerland and her grandfather played professional football. She says she first discovered she liked running after she won a race called the “turkey trot” in elementary school. She did not start competing nationally and on a club team until eighth grade.
“What makes Chelsea a great athlete is the same thing that makes her a great student — she is very open minded to coaching techniques, philosophies and is an extremely hard worker,” said her track coach, Chris Person. “I am very confident that she will participate on the Swiss National team in the next Olympics.”
In addition to track, Chelsea has been a starter for two years on Holy Innocents’ varsity basketball team. The squad took second place in the state this past year. She was among the team leaders in steals both her freshman and sophomore years.
When Chelsea is not running, she says she enjoys hanging out with friends and family as well as traveling.
Chelsea wants to run for a Division 1 college. Her dream is to go to the Olympics either for Switzerland or the United States.
This article was prepared by Ally Cimperman, a student at Blessed Trinity.