August 6th – Interview with Concordia's Zach Panning
By: Drake Sterling
IR: First, can you tell us a little about your injury that kept you out for track?
ZP: I tore my left lateral meniscus while playing basketball in the middle of February. The doctor could have just replaced it and the recovery time could have been much shorter, however we decided it would be beneficial to repair the damage instead.
IR: In total, how long did the injury sideline you from running? What were you doing to stay in shape?
ZP: I couldn’t run for three months and one of those months I was on crutches. To stay in shape I did a lot of exercises that my doctor and physical therapist recommended. Once I was off the crutches I did a lot of biking. The leg had to be straight for a month, so we really worked on the mobility. The worst was having to latch a belt to my ankle and pulling it toward me… As the mobility returned we did more strength stuff. I did all of the exercises everyday, three times a day, or as much as I could.
IR: How has your training been going this summer in return from the injury?
ZP: My training has been going well. The injury has really been a big motivation for me. Not being able to run for so long has really made me realize how much it means to me. Its made me fall even more in love with the sport and made me very excited about this season.
IR: What are your goals and have they changed at all since this Spring?
ZP: Its been one of our teams goals since I was a freshman to make it to state as a team and that hasn’t changed at all. The Cadets want to run in Terre Haute.
IR: You talk about your goals for the team, but what about your individual goals?
ZP: I just want to make sure that I run each race to the best of my ability. And mainly that I keep my focus and give all the glory to the one who made it possible for me to run, God.
IR: At what point last season did you buy into the possibility that you might be able to win a state title?
ZP: It didn’t really hit me until about a mile and a half into the state meet.
IR: So you’re saying you didn’t think about winning until halfway into the State Meet?
ZP: Sure, I thought about winning the race, everyone has those day dreams about crossing the finish line first, but I guess I never really put too much thought into it. I just wanted to go out there and compete. At the end of the regular season I wasn’t really sure what to think I hadn’t raced the guys down south. I had only heard of them. I knew I wanted to make it to state and possibly metal.
IR: How is the team looking early this season?
ZP: We are pretty young, but I think we have a lot of potential. We have all been running great this summer and are all looking forward to a big season. Being a smaller school, as long as we stay away from injury we should be in good shape. Our coaches are amazing and I know they will get us where we need to be come October.
IR: Thank you, Zach and good luck this season!