ASHVILLE — Throughout the course of the Shawnee State cross country and track and field programs, the Bears have been fortunate to land difference-makers from Teays Valley — such as Steven Adams, Cody Redman, and the Conn brothers, Taylor and Tyler.
Zach Sharrock is just the latest Teays Valley talent in a growing pipeline of runners to choose Shawnee State from the Central Ohio school.
The defending Pickaway County 4-by-800 meter relay champion will join the quartet as Vikings who chose SSU as their future home, joining current sophomore Brice Leveck and incoming women’s cross country and track recruit Mikella Meddock as the latest set of Vikings to continue on at the traditional powerhouse.
For Sharrock, the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level is not only an honor, but a challenge that he is ready to face head-on.
“It means a lot for me,” Sharrock said. “It’s going to take a lot of work to get to where I want to be, but I’m definitely ready for it. I’ve always loved running and now I get to compete at the next level. I’m super pumped.”
A cross country and track and field participant throughout his high school career, Sharrock — who ran a best time of 20:33 in the 5,000 meters as a freshman — improved his best cross country time by nearly three full minutes, ultimately finishing his XC career with a personal-best 17:57 at the Mid-State League Buckeye Division championship en route to a top-20 finish as a junior.
He ultimately finished 46th in that same year at the OHSAA Division I Central District championship, running an 18:02 at Hilliard Darby.
On the track, Sharrock — according to statistics kept on Athletic.net — recorded 15 top-10 finishes over the course of his three-year career, with nine of those top-10s coming during his junior season.
In addition to winning the Pickaway County 4-by-800 meter relay title with Leveck, Tucker Branson and Sam Kaut in his junior season, Sharrock also collected a runner-up finish in the 3,200 meters at the Canal Winchester quad match — running a personal-best 10:50.41 — and added in another second-place finish in the 1,600 meters by running a 4:59.86 as part of a Teays Valley-Canal Winchester-Pickerington North tri-meet.
He’d ultimately set his personal-best in the 1,600 meters in the same year, posting a 4:52.87 to place in eighth.
Going forward, however, the high expectations of Teays Valley’s cross country and track programs, Sharrock says, is something that will be of great benefit to the newcomer.
“Competing at Teays Valley was definitely tough,” Sharrock said. “I had a lot of guys to sharpen my skills with and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I was always ready to go 100-percent for my team because I knew that they would do the same. Following in the footsteps of the past definitely got some big shoes to follow, but I’m going to give it my all,” Sharrock said. “Mikella (Meddock) is a great runner and I am excited to see what she will do alongside me.”
With his decision in the books, the future psychology major wants to continue to meet those high standards as a student-athlete — and continue building on the fine pipeline that has preceded him.
“I’d like to maintain as close to a 4.0 GPA as possible and to grow as a runner,” Sharrock said. “I’m excited to see what I can accomplish.”
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