Jackie Zeigle
By Alison Little

(Editor's Note: Shortly after this interview was posted, Jackie ran a great race to finish fourth at the Foot Locker West Regional and advancing to the 2001 Foot Locker National Finals.)

Jackie Zeigle stands atop the victory stand after winning the 2001 National Scholastic Indoor Mile.
(Photo by Sam Grotewold, NYRR)

Bingham High School Cross Country & Track
Outdistancing the field
Fremont stuns Bingham for 5-A championship
Zeigle twins win a pair of national titles
Nothing sloppy about Zeigle's win

Photo from the Salt Lake Tribune:
Laura and Jackie

Though she's one of the fastest high school runners in the country, she's frequently only the second-fastest high school runner in her family. This fall, Jackie took second in the Utah 5-A state cross country championships behind twin sister Laura. Though Laura gets more national attention, Jackie is a strong runner in her own right - which she proved last March by winning the National Scholastic Indoor Mile. She followed that up in the spring with a 5th-place finish in the Arcadia Invitational 1,600m, running an impressive 4:51. A senior at Bingham High School in South Jordan, UT, Jackie will next compete at the Foot Locker West Regional December 1 where she will aim to qualify for Foot Locker Nationals with a top-eight finish.

What is the biggest difference between you and Laura?
I'm a neat freak and she's more laid back about neatness; I am organized and she loses everything. When we go on trips I hold her ticket and important items. I am more outgoing and she can be more serious. We do like most of the same things, though, so it's hard to think of the differences.

You are part of one of the most successful programs in the country and were a member of the cross country team called the "best ever" after your win at Great American in 1999. What do you think makes you team special?
We had three seniors on the team, Jessica Winters, Lisa Paxton, and Charity Catmull, who were so set on winning. They were so determined and nothing was holding them back. We just followed their lead and if it weren't for their determination and drive, we wouldn't have done it.

Not many sisters get to each win a National title at the same meet. You and Laura both seemed pretty relaxed before your races, just lying on the floor hanging out. Were you nervous before the mile?
No, because I felt good - ready to run fast and I knew God would be with me. I didn't get an outstanding time, but my goal was to go there to win the race.

You ran an awesome 4:51 1600 at Arcadia finishing fifth in a great field. What were your expectations going into that race?
I knew I was ready to run fast and I was expecting at least top five. By the third lap I was thinking that I was going to win because I felt so strong, but then the last 100 meters girls just zoomed by and I ended up 5th. After the race I thought I had run a really slow time and I was a bit upset, but it turned out I got a PR. Then I wasn't so upset about the 5th place because I realized how fast the field I had raced against was.

Are all of your close friends runners?
Most of my friends are runners, I'm pretty much with my team 24/7 so we are practically sisters and we do lots together. They're so fun to be with.

What schools are you looking at right now?
As of today: BYU and Colorado, but there are so many. I will leave the final answer up to God.

You have shown steady improvement over the last few years, indicating that you could have a really strong college career. What are some of you dreams for the future?
I want to go to the Olympics and become one of the greatest runners in the world. I want to run forever. I believe it's a gift from God. I don't really know what I want to do when I am done running, but if I let God be my guide, He will show me his will. I know that is the best way to go - by God's will.

Do you prefer shorter, faster, workouts or long-distance runs?
I prefer them all because I need the long runs for strength and the shorter, faster runs for speed, but I would much rather do the faster, shorter ones because they don't hurt as long. Sometimes I just want to keep on running and not stop. I really like going for long runs at a steady pace where it is enjoyable.

Do you have a role model or someone who has inspired you?
Well my role model is Jesus Christ - it says in the Bible to fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2) Follow His ways and let Him be your guide. He is supposed to be everyone's role model. God wants us to be like Jesus - servants for Him.

If you could pick one place in the world you could travel to, where would it be?

Alison Little is a senior at South Kingstown High School in Wakefield, RI, where she runs cross country and track.

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