Cavalier Corner

October 2015

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Page 47 of 49

Zach Herriott has spent countless days training in all corners of the country, with the ultimate goal of running at the college level. When he arrived in Charlottesville during the fall of 2013, he quickly discovered he had found the place for him. In particular, he likes the comprehensive nature of Virginia's running program. "Coach [director of track and field/cross country Brian Fetzer] cares a lot about all aspects of running," said Her- riott, a redshirt third-year who spent one year at Okla- homa before transferring to Virginia. "I feel like there is more emphasis on the sprints, more emphasis on the distance, it's all fully emphasized, and that's what you need if you want to have a well-rounded team. I think that that also builds a better team chemistry." The native of Kansas City, Mo., garnered encouraging results for the Virginia program his first year on Grounds, finishing 10th in the 10,000 meters while also register- ing a 27th-place showing in the 5,000 meters at the 2014 ACC Outdoor Championships. The following spring, Herriott turned in arguably the best performance of his Virginia career at the 2015 outdoor league meet. He placed fourth in the 10,000 meters, despite not feeling good about his performance. "I didn't feel like I had a particularly good race that day; it did not really go according to plan," Herriott said. "That was a big turning point. I was like, 'If I could get fourth at ACCs in what I considered to be a bad race, who knows what could happen if things go my way a little more.' "To me, that was a confidence booster to see what I could do on my worst day." Over the past three summers, Herriott has travelled to Flagstaff, Ariz., which is 7,000 feet above sea level, to endure hardcore distance training at a high altitude in an effort to prepare for the upcoming season. This year, he coaxed third-year teammate Thomas Madden to join him along with a half-dozen other distance runners. Herriott has slowly, but surely, evolved from a quiet transfer into one of the program's vocal leaders. "I always try to lead by example," said Herriott, who was UVa's top finisher (81st) at the 2015 NCAA Cross Coun- try Championships. "In my first year, I kind of sat back, learned the ropes and saw how they did things here. "By the time my second year came around, I felt like I had the program figured out, and I was in position to be more vocal." — Drew Goodman ◆ Photo by Jim Daves/courtesy UVa cavalier profile ZACH HERRIOTT Third-Year • Cross Country/Track & Field

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