Jaqueline Zacharias Chooses Track & Field for Her College Sport, Will Attend Elon University


Emma Zankoul, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

“Always push yourself, especially when no one else is,” said Jaqueline Zacharias, a senior at NDA who recently committed to Elon University for track and field.

Zacharias started playing track in middle school, as well as volleyball and softball. 

“I come from a very athletic family, so naturally I’ve tried many different sports,” she said.

She has always loved playing all these sports, so it has been hard for her to choose only one for college. She is very grateful, however, for the experiences she has had in all of them.

“Playing different sports definitely shaped me into a more well-rounded athlete with all the different perspectives,” she said, “and it has always been hard to picture myself completely focused on only one.”

Ironically, Zacharias only started playing track for fun while she was in club volleyball and softball. She realized she had potential to compete in track at the next level during her junior year and started taking it seriously.

Since then, she kept loving it more and more. “My favorite part about track is definitely the bonds I have formed,” she said. 

She has also learned the value of keeping her composure. “My best throws have always come when I am relaxed and enjoying myself. This sport has taught me the virtue of staying calm and trusting my abilities.”

Another thing that has helped her become successful is the support she has gotten. “My parents have always been so helpful, as well as my coach Ryan Pierce.” She also said the NDA track team pushed her because of its environment.

Track gave her positivity in life, and that was her inspiration to keep going. She said that carrying that positivity into other aspects of her life has pushed her to accomplish many other things.

Now she is ready to take all those experiences and lessons into account at Elon. She decided to play track there because her brothers played sports in college, so she felt inspired by them to do so too. 

“I talked to one of my brothers and asked if he would play a sport again in college if given the chance to do it all over, and he responded ‘in a heartbeat’,” she said.

She is also very thrilled to continue her academic career there as an environmental science major. “It is an excellent academic school and top ranked in the country. Also, I fell in love with the campus.”

Zacharias is “very excited to see what North Carolina has to offer and get to know a new state.”