ANN ARBOR – Zofia Dudek sees the larger image.
The senior Ann Arbor Pioneer star cross nation and observe runner was getting ready to cap her stellar highschool profession with the spring season when it abruptly got here to halt as a result of COVID-19 outbreak.
As an alternative of battling for nationwide championships, state titles and competing for her native nation of Poland, Dudek as an alternative needed to handled the belief of seeing her remaining moments of glory at the highschool stage come to an surprising shut.
“My first response was that I used to be utterly devastated at first,” Dudek stated. “All of issues I used to be working in the direction of have been being canceled and utterly gone and it form of felt like I used to be working towards all of those objectives and nothing was going to occur.”
Although the preliminary lack of competitors hit dwelling for Dudek, thankfully for her, there’ll nonetheless be races sooner or later as she’s set to run each cross nation and observe for Stanford subsequent yr.
“What helped me to get by this was specializing in the issues which can be nonetheless to come back,” Dudek stated. “I am tremendous excited for faculty and racing with my new crew. Though it’s tremendous unhappy I received’t get an opportunity to race with my highschool crew once more, I am simply trying ahead to subsequent yr, hopefully, and taking a look at what’s forward in addition to studying to like to run itself.”
Dudek stated her appreciation for working has been even larger due to the scenario she and others discover themselves in now.
She continues to coach almost daily and has discovered to not take her skills as a right.
“This helped me understand why I like this sport and it’s not nearly all of the wins and all the nice issues, but additionally simply my love for working,” she stated. “I don’t simply run simply to race regardless that that’s what we prepare for, however I understand I run as a result of I like the game a lot.”
Leaving a legacy
Over the previous three years, Dudek developed into top-of-the-line highschool runners within the state of Michigan and within the nation.
In 2019, she received the distinguished 1-mile Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle, she additionally took dwelling a gold medal within the 3,000-meter run for Poland on the 2019 European Athletics U20 Championships in Borås, she cruised to the Division 1 cross nation state title and the Michigan Gatorade Cross Nation Runner of the 12 months and she or he received the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships.
To not point out, Dudek was part of Pioneer’s relay groups that have been ranked within the prime three within the U.S. in three occasions.
Dudek was poised to compete for state titles within the 1600 and 3200 races, and hoped to compete for Poland on the U20 submit nationals and attempt to qualify for the U20 world championships in Kenya, however these races have additionally been referred to as off.
Dudek may get one remaining likelihood to compete this summer season on the senior nationwide championships in August however nothing is about in stone as of now.
Gratitude and recommendation
All Dudek is aware of is that she is going to always remember being part of the Pioneer legacy and growing relationships that’ll final a lifetime.
“It was an unimaginable expertise and I’m simply so glad that my dad and mom determined to maneuver (to Ann Arbor), and I acquired the possibility to be on this wonderful crew,” Dudek stated. “I feel I’ve improved loads, not solely as an athlete however I additionally discovered plenty of good private expertise and this crew has actually been like my second household.”
With the following chapter of her profession on the horizon, Dudek supplied recommendation to the following era of runners.
“I’d like folks to know that even in case you’re not nice at first, you need to carry on attempting. My highway was just a little completely different as a result of plenty of one of the best athletes have been up there for years and I occurred to get higher shortly, however it’s all about being persistent in your coaching and setting objectives which can be cheap and assembly them and all the time figuring out that there is extra on the market for you.
“For runners in all places, simply know why you’re doing all of this and it’s not only for racing but additionally for your self.”
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