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Zirkel takes the gold


Austin Zirkel—“Z-man” as Will Grundy called him in an online interview — won the 1A boys title at the UIL State Cross Country Championship with a time of 15:34. This post-race, 2-minute interview is a winner, too. In it, Zirkel describes his racing strategy as and compared this race with previous competitions. Zirkel won at the state championship by fractions of a second his sophomore year and finished in 9th place his junior year. This year, he finished a full 18 seconds ahead of the second place competitor and 26th overall — out of 900 racers from all districts, 1A -6A. He also shaved off 30 seconds from his previous personal best time.
“This was by far my smartest race,” Zirkel said, and he went on to describe his strategy as “conservative” rather than aggressive. Truly, Zirkel is a quotable and rational athlete. At one point in the interview he said, “We have to work for what we want.” And Zirkel wants to win.
Visit to hear Grundy’s interview with Zirkel.