Feature: Zach Plante on Track to Beat School Records
Senior Zach Plante has proved himself as the strongest sprinter on the M-A varsity track team, coming close to beating the school’s fastest record.
Since freshman year, Plante has been running track and cross country, but now, three years later, he is sure he has found his passion as a sprinter. His strongest and favorite race is the 400 meter sprint. Last year, his fastest time was 49.56 seconds, and this year, his fastest time has been 49.20 seconds, almost reaching the school record of 49.01 seconds. By the end of this season, his ultimate goal is to beat 49.00 seconds, which seems very likely if he continues to blow past his previous times at the pace he is running.
Besides the 400 meter race, during track season, Plante runs the 4 by 100 meter relay, the 4 by 400 meter relay, the 200 meter sprint, and occasionally the 100 meter sprint. Once this year, he also ran the 1600 meter run, which is just short of a mile. Although he is talented enough to compete in all of these events, he would prefer to focus the most on the 400 meter race because “even though it hurts like hell while you’re doing it, it has a special place in my heart and even if you get a bad start, the race isn’t completely over, it can still be won.”
Over the duration of his track career, Plante grasped the attention of not only the M-A track program and the community, but Dartmouth College as well, and he committed to the Ivy League university in October. Next year, he will be a sprinter on the Dartmouth track team, specializing in the 400 meter race. As of right now, he is not planning on participating in cross country during his freshman year, but due to his love for the sport, he may later on in his college career.
Plante is still undecided going into his freshman year at Dartmouth but has high aspirations for the future. “I have so many ideas of what I want to study,” he said, “I could see myself studying physics, astronomy, music, cultural anthropology, sociology–really a ton of different stuff, but no matter what, running will always be a constant.”
Looking back at his four years at M-A, Plante says that this last track season was his favorite because of all the individuals on the team that created an inspirational and supportive environment, which is essential to succeed. He hopes that he and his teammates will qualify for CCS this year, and he believes that “everything is looking pretty solid, but anything can and will happen in high school sports, so you have to have faith in yourself, your coach, and your teammates to achieve your goals.”
As a senior who has attended M-A and participated in track for four years, Plante advises underclassmen and any aspiring athletes “to keep pushing on. If you’re genuinely motivated and passionate about the sport and you go out there and keep giving it your best, it doesn’t matter what your baseline is. As long as you stick with it, it will be a very rewarding experience.”