By MATTHEW ROLISON
Zoe Jarvis, freshman women’s cross country runner, endured unusual circumstances during high school due to her father being in the military. She spent a portion of her high school years at Kubasaki High in Okinawa, Japan. After moving to California, Jarvis ended her high school career at Chaparral High School. Through it all, Jarvis stuck with cross country no matter the terrain she was dealt.
Jarvis saw much success during her time as a high school athlete. The transition from high school to college athletics can be quite difficult, but not for Jarvis.
“The transition from high school to college sports has been easier than I expected because where we lived in California had some of the strongest competition in the country,” Jarvis said.
Just in the first few weeks of the season at UT, Jarvis took home Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Runner of the Week during the week of Sept. 18-24, 2017.
Zoe Jarvis elaborated on winning SSC Runner of the Week. “Winning SSC player of the week for Tampa made me very proud and I never thought I would accomplish this as a freshman,” Jarvis remarked.
Zoe Jarvis made herself known at the University of Florida Mountain Dew Invitational, coming in tenth place. According to the Tampa Spartans website, Jarvis was the top SSC runner at the race and second among all Division II runners.
She finished with an 18:21.0 time in the 5,000-meter race, which helped secure Tampa as the top team in the SSC conference.
In regards to her first races in college, Jarvis said, “My thoughts on my first few races are the courses were challenging and the competition was strong.”
Though the competition has started off on a high note, Zoey believes that she’ll reach new heights in college and be able to overcome the obstacles she faces and the rivals she meets.
“My goals are for the team to make it to nationals and [for me] to be the fastest freshman Coach Slaven has ever had,” Jarvis said.
To get to nationals, UT will have to get past regionals first, which they failed to do last year for the first time in nine years. Making it to nationals is no small feat, forcing the best out of all runners.
With 13 freshman on the team, UTs women’s cross country is filled with inexperienced athletes. Senior communications major, Kayla Sullivan, touched on her new teammates.
“We have a lot of new, young girls, but it’s great because we lost seven [runners] from last year so they have all been able to slide into those empty spots,” Sullivan said.
In regard to freshman Zoe Jarvis, Sullivan said, “It is great that Zoe has won the award; it’s been a few years since we’ve had a runner win it and the Sunshine State Conference is really competitive so it’s definitely a great honor and she earned it.”
Winning SSC Runner of the Week, Jarvis sets a standard for the rest of the young runners on the team for the remainder of the season. Being able to meet that standard will play a crucial role in reaching nationals.
UT women’s cross country will head to Tallahassee, Florida on Friday, October 6 to compete in the Florida State Invitational.
Matthew Rolison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org