My name is Zach Plank, and cross country has become a major part of my life. I'm 5'10, 120 pounds, and I can't really put a thumb on my speed since it's always improving. So far, my most important accomplishments are 1st Team All-Conference (3rd Place) at this years's confrence race, making it to State in the '10-'11 Cross country season (95th Place), making it to State in the '10-'11 Track season for the 3200m run (26th Place), and helping my team make it to state this year in the 11'-12' cross country season where we placed 14th out of 26 teams. I placed 39th out of 217 individually and I couldn't have asked for a better season. I'd love to offer any team, cross country or track, my ability to improve. Ever since middle school I've been running faster and faster times. I work with the surroundings I'm given, with the team I'm placed on, and I adapt and work at the best level possible. It has been my dream for a few years now to run in college. I found the sport to be my passion and I've always been taught to follow my dreams and pursue my passions. I'd like to go somewhere in the Midwest. However, anywhere out of state will always be alright with me. I've found that getting out of state means that you've been recognized somewhere other than home. This meaning that your talent has reached many ears. So, out of state is my drive for school. The size of the school makes no difference to me. A big school gives me the drive to be the smarter, faster, more inclined athlete and student I can be. A smaller school also offers this, however, it offers a different level of closeness with the team and school. Division level also makes no difference to me since competition in any of the three divisions will always be high. A high academic level would be more preferable seeing as my sport isn't the only field starting my life. If there's a high academic level, this pushes me to do my best with grades which is always important to me. Now, saying this, I'm still unsure of the major I wish to pursue. I've narrowed it down to the science and perhaps chemistry field. The major I have figured to be the most logical for me is Chemical Engineering. Science and math have always been strong subjects of mine, so why not study what I'm best at? This then relates to my athletic goals. Why not compete at what I'm best at? Running on a collegiate team is my goal. To start as a freshman, whether that be in cross country or track, would be extraordinary. To have that drive of older, faster, more intelligent runners in front of me to push me to my best is exactly what I'm looking for. If I could compete in the highest level possible before I graduate, I've completed what I've set my life out to do. I started this sport thinking, why would anyone do this? I've answered my question with the simple answer, because it's a passion. It's a sport you can't just go out and be a part of just because your friends are. It's a sport you have to dedicate your time and desire to. When you do this, it's easy to fall in love with it. Over four years of running in both cross country and track has given me the ability to love and be loved by this sport. Cross country will always be a part of my life, and running in college will take my life in the exact direction I want it to.