Ziegler running as track leader


Natalie Zgurich

Ziegler was able to compete in the winter indoor track season, even though he was still battling through concussion-like symptoms. He still qualified for WPIALs in the 800 meter event.

Austin Bechtold and Mitch Davis

As a freshman, John Ziegler chose to run track to stay fit for his primary sport, soccer. Now as a senior, he is one of the standout runners on the track team, as well as a respected leader and teammate.
Ziegler had been familiar with the running scene, as he had participated in cross country along with soccer throughout his years at St. Gabe’s.
“I started running outdoor track my freshman year,” Ziegler said. “I didn’t run it in middle school, so it was a new experience for me.”
At first he didn’t expect track to become very important to him.
“I did it to keep in shape for soccer,” Ziegler said. “I thought I could potentially play soccer in college.”
Fellow senior Jared Koenig has been with Ziegler from the start.
“Ziggy and I have been running together in cross country since third grade and we have been friends all throughout middle and high school,” Koenig said. “He’s shown talent for the sport and running.”
Ziegler has enjoyed his time with Koenig and the O’Malley twins, Brendan and Bailey, who also have contributed to the track team’s consistent success.
“Jared and the O’Malleys might not do the same events as me, but we’re good friends,” Ziegler said. “We have a friendly rivalry to see who has the best performance.”
Entering his fourth year on the track team, Ziegler has recorded many accomplishments over the last three years, including earning plenty of medals.
“Every opportunity I had to get a medal, I took it,” Ziegler said.
Koenig has noticed the leadership role Ziegler has taken on.
“He’s really encouraging,” Koenig said. “ He’s always pushing others around him. He helps the younger kids and gives them useful advice.”
Junior Teddy Boehm has run with Ziegler since third grade, and has seen Ziegler’s leadership his entire running career.
“Back in third grade, we had one of the best teams in the diocese,” Boehm said. “We formed a dynamic duo last season during outdoor track, being the best mid- and distance runners on the team.”
Ziegler is a serious leader, but he also keeps things positive with his cheerful attitude.
“Ziggy always has something funny to say, but just he’s serious enough to motivate the team,” Boehm said. “He’s a great leader and friend.”
Ziegler has received a partial scholarship from Point Park to continue his track career.
“It shows my hard work is paying off and my dreams can come true,” Ziegler said.