MileSplit Ohio is pleased to welcome the newest member of our reporting team, Kailey Zagst. Kailey is a soon-to-be senior at Massillon Jackson High School and has state meet experience, both in XC and distance track. She'll be starting her coverage assignments with us at the beginning of the 2022 cross country season.
Get to know Kailey more in our featured interview located below.
* Update: While Kailey will be a tremendous addition to our student-athlete reporting group, we are still seeking to fill the role of MileSplit Ohio state site editor. Follow the link above to learn more about the position and how to apply.
"Hello, my name is Kailey Zagst and I am a rising senior at Jackson High School located in Massillon, Ohio. During this season, I look forward to being a student contributor with MileSplit. I am very excited to be a part of this team and cover many different meets throughout the state."
-- Kailey Zagst
MileSplit: Elaborate on your history as an XC / track athlete at the high school level. What do you compete in, what are some of your career highlights and what do you like best about the sports and participating on behalf of your team?
Kailey: I started running on the Jackson cross country and track teams during middle school and have loved it ever since. Throughout my sophomore and junior years, I was grateful to be named All-Ohio during cross country.
This past season, I was also the Division 1 Stark County XC runner of the year. Our team has also qualified to the cross country state meet twice throughout my time in high school.
During track, I was able to qualify for the state track meet in the 3200m my sophomore and junior years. On the team side, we were able to become district and regional champions which was super exciting for us.
There are so many different aspects that I love about running, and I would say that one of those is the amount of joy and growth that this sport has brought me over the years. Running is one of the most challenging things that I have ever done, but the ability to push myself each and every day has made it a lot of fun for me at the same time. Being able to reach goals that I once thought would never be possible has been really cool.
Through the support of everyone around me, I have been able to enjoy this journey that has gotten me to where I am today. There have been so many ups and downs within this sport, but I have been able to learn so much from each and every experience.
One of my favorite parts about running (especially cross country) is how team oriented it is. I truly believe that cross country is a team sport as everyone is able to work towards specific goals together.
Being surrounded by my teammates each and every day has allowed me to become empowered and run for something more than myself. I have been able to share a lot of great memories with my teammates that I will cherish forever.
MileSplit: What will you be doing on behalf of MileSplit Ohio and why is media / journalism something you're interested in and wanting to pursue?
Kailey: On behalf of Milesplit Ohio, I plan on adding content to social media platforms, writing articles, capturing photos during meets, and interviewing high school runners throughout the state. I have developed a passion to pursue journalism as I have always liked the idea of being able to capture stories and events.
Combining my passion for sports along with the media/journalism aspect makes this an exciting opportunity that I am looking forward to.
MileSplit: What do you hope to get from the experience of being a student reporter and what are your goals moving forward in sports and otherwise?
Kailey: Throughout my time being a student reporter, I am looking forward to gaining experience doing something that I am passionate about. Running has been such a huge part of my life and being able to give back to that in some way is something that I am excited for.
The running community has been special to me from a young age and I hope to connect with many different people within it. Right now, I am looking into sports reporting as something I would love to do in the future.
As far as running, I plan to run at the collegiate level next year. I hope to continue growing within the sport and to enjoy what comes with it.