Ziebell stands out in two sports
Senior on soccer, cross country teams
By Greg Seubert
Cross country, soccer or both?
The answer to that question turned out to be a no-brainer for Forrest Ziebell.
The Waupaca High School senior wrapped up his first season of cross country Oct. 27 by placing 71st in the boys’ Division 2 race at the WIAA State Cross Country Championships.
Besides competing in cross country for the first time, Ziebell was also a member of the Comets’ boys’ soccer team that played for a regional championship Oct. 25.
He ended up with first-team all-North Eastern Conference honors in both sports. He was a unanimous selection as a midfielder in soccer and also placed third at NEC cross country meet.
“It’s tough to do two sports, but they couldn’t be more complimentary to each other,” WHS cross country coach Jess Bank said. “He missed a couple of races, but only when there were conflicts with soccer games. He put in so many miles and a lot of extra running on his own in addition to what he did on the soccer field.”
Ziebell turned in a time of 17:33.5 at The Ridges Golf Course.
“It was rough,” he said. “My coach was telling me to shoot for a PR (personal record). I was feeling really nervous today, probably the most I’ve ever been. I was trying to not go out too fast because I saw a lot of people do that in the Division 1 race today.
“I think I actually came out a little slow,” he added. “I had a lot left at the end. It was my last race. I don’t want to have any regrets, but I think I could have ran a little smarter.”
Ziebell qualified for state by placing fifth Oct. 20 at the Freedom Sectional.
“Before the sectional race, he asked me, ‘What place do I need to get in order to qualify?’” Bank said. “I said, ‘You have to get fifth because there are so many individual qualifiers in those top finishers.’ He placed fifth overall and got that fourth qualifier spot.”
Ziebell and his coaches spent the week between the sectional meet and the state meet preparing for his final cross country race.
“We told him to just run his own race,” Bank said. “So many kids get caught up in the fast pace and the excitement. What we usually see in this race is a fast first mile and a lot of kids tend to die out later in the race. It is a big race and it is an important race, but what it really is today is Forrest’s race. We’re really focusing in on how he can race his best race.”
Ziebell said the experience was better than he could have imagined.
“I was expecting a lot of people, but nowhere near this many,” he said. “During the race, the atmosphere was just incredible with thousands of people just cheering everyone on at every corner. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced anything like that.”
“We’re really proud of where he’s come this season and how hard he’s worked,” Bank said. “It’s been really outstanding.”