BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL)- In our new digital series ‘High School Standouts,’ Digital Sports Reporter Michael Epps features local athletes with incredible talent, hoping to take that talent to the next level.
These are athletes that stand out both on and off the field.
This week’s High School Standout is Zoe Arrington, a freshman on the Girls Cross Country team at Tennessee High School.
The leader on a high school sports team doesn’t always have to be a senior or a returning player. For the Tennessee High girls cross country team, it’s a freshman.
“She came in and she just started right off the bat working hard,” junior cross country runner Emma Davis said.
Zoe Arrington is only 14 years old. But she knows that when you work hard, age doesn’t matter. People notice.
“It pushes everyone to do better and I feel like our team is a lot better this year because we have someone to push us,” Davis said.
Arrington started her high school career the best way she could have. She won the Founders Farm Cross Country Carnival meet earlier this month in Jonesborough.
Last Saturday, she won in her division at the Hare and the Hound meet in Charlotte.
“I wanted to get my name out there so people knew who I was and get my name out there in the running world,” Arrington said.
It’s going to be hard for the running world to not know her now.
“When most people come in they don’t want the spotlight,” Cross Country head coach Frankie Nunn said. “Zoe doesn’t seem to mind the spotlight.”
Nunn, who is in his 17th year coaching the Vikings, coached Arrington when she started running in 7th grade at Vance Middle School in Bristol.
“I couldn’t really find anything that I liked, I tried cheer and stuff and my parents told me I should try it and I kinda just stuck with it,” Arrington said.
“She’s a joy to have a round and we’re looking forward to having her the next four years,” Nunn said.
Arrington has already made her mark on this team.
“I’d say that her hard work shows how she’s a leader more right now rather than her words,” Davis said.
“For someone like her to come out and be a part of this team and put forth the effort she has, as far as her determination and her work ethic,” Nunn said. “They look at that and it’s rubbing off on the others because you see them working harder in practice.”
“I think in cross country you have to be just as mentally tough as you are physically tough because your mind plays a big role in how you’re going to run and you have to be mentally in it or else you’re just not going to run well,” Arrington said.
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout every week on WJHL.com.