Laura Zeigle
By Alison Little

Laura Zeigle on her way to victory at the 2001 USATF Junior Cross Country Nationals in Vancouver, WA.
(Photo by PhotoRun)

Bingham High School Cross Country & Track
Outdistancing the field
Fremont stuns Bingham for 5-A championship
Utah runner 47th in world
Zeigle twins win a pair of national titles
Zeigle runs to national title
Bingham runner Zeigle wins national meet
Zeigle's third place earns Utah first: All-American
National title? Maybe Utahns have a chance
Nothing sloppy about Zeigle's win

Photos from the Salt Lake Tribune:
2001 State Meet
2000 State Meet
2000 Murray Cross Country Meet
Laura and Jackie

After placing third at the 2000 Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, Laura Zeigle, now a senior at Bingham High School in South Jordan, UT, is the top returning high school runner in 2001. In February, she won the 2001 USATF Junior National Championships in Vancouver, WA, earning her a spot on the World Junior Cross Country team. The race, which couldn't have been muddier, was held in Ostend, Belgium; Zeigle ran second for the U.S. team finishing 47th overall. Between Nationals and Worlds, Zeigle made a brief stop in New York, where she won the 2-mile (10:26.68) at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships. Her twin sister Jackie won the mile. Zeigle won the Utah 5-A state meet earlier this fall and will next compete at the Foot Locker West Regional December 1.

What's the coolest thing about being a twin?
The way we have the same thoughts and attitudes about things. We get to train (together) and push each other. We always have someone to do those long easy runs [with] when the team isn't meeting or over the summer and vacation. We have a lot of the same likes in school and out of school. We tend to get the same scores on tests and the same grades. It's cool!

After your Junior Nationals win in cross country and your 10:20 3,200m last spring, you're definitely considered a favorite for the Foot Locker title this fall. With so many girls running really fast so far this fall, it looks like there is going to be a lot of competition, as well as the possibility of quite a few girls breaking 17 minutes. How do you deal with the pressure of being a favorite?
I just trust in God, knowing that He will strengthen me and help me fulfill my goals for His glory. There is a lot of girls that are running really fast and I am just excited that we get to challenge and compete with each other. When girls are running fast, then it helps everyone else to start running faster. Nationals will be a very exciting race!

What are some of your goals for the upcoming year?
I would love this year to be my fastest year ever and break some national records. God is a God of increase and I know He is my strength!

Do you remember when you first started running and why?
My dad ran in high school and college and my mom put us in a little local track club at the high school running the 100 and 200. We didn't really do well in those events so we started moving up to the longer races. We competed in cross country and track nationals. I started winning national competitions in track (1,500 and 3,000) and cross country. I was a 5-time national champion, winning the AAU Junior Olympics in the midget division and the 1,500 and 3,000 in the midget division 2 consecutive years. The success I had gave me a high and I loved it. God gave me such a talent that I knew He was going to use it for His glory!

Considering the level you are competing at, you don't run very high mileage. What is the peak you will hit this year, and how has your level of training increased since your freshman year?
When I was a freshman I ran about 20-35 miles a week, I have moved up every year. My highest will probably be in between 45-50, 50 being the limit. I am still in a very young body and it would hurt me more to run massive mileage so early. Strength comes as you get older and I am gradually getting stronger.

What is the hardest workout you do?
My hardest workout would have to be hills; they hurt. Ouch!

What is your favorite book, movie, and CD?
The Bible, "Gidget Goes Hawaiian," and Wow Gospel.

You have had many ups and downs in your running career, and after each disappointment have managed to come back stronger and faster. You rebounded after your loss to Amber Harper in the state meet last year to qualify for Foot Locker and finish third at the national meet. What helps you deal with times when you are not running where you want to be?
When I have a discouraging time in my racing, I know that God is using that trial for His glory. I can rest assure that everything will work out for the best knowing that God is in control and He is using this trial to build perseverance and dependability on Him.

At NSI you won the 2-mile by over 30 seconds. Was that time (10:26) a shock for you?
No, because I know that God is the strength of my life and nothing is impossible for me with Him!!

What was the experience of winning Junior Nationals and then going to Belgium like?
I was so thankful, I knew that God was with me all through out that race in Vancouver. There was a lot of good competition in that race and I knew that I was up for a challenge. But God was definitely helping me; I had no pain or tiredness, even at the end. That was truly a blessing from the Lord especially going to Belgium. Belgium was a great learning experience and gave me a great perspective of true competition.

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

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