Senior Spotlight: Grace Sukowaty – De Pere cross country, track and field
BY RICH PALZEWIC
Grace Sukowaty (SUKE-OH-WATT-TEE) is a senior at De Pere High School who runs cross country and high jumps on the track and field team.
In her spare time, she likes to play ultimate frisbee, train for half marathons, sing, play the piano, shop, spend time with friends and family and be outdoors.
Sukowaty’s future plans include becoming a pediatric hematology oncologist (child blood and cancer doctor) and studying Spanish at possibly Concordia University or Carthage College.
Name: Grace Sukowaty
School: De Pere
Sports: Cross country, track and field
Parents: Laurie and Stan
What nationality is your last name?
“It’s a mixture between Bohemian, German and Polish.”
Tell me about your family.
“My mom and dad both grew up in the Manitowoc area and moved on to college. After marriage, they came to Green Bay.”
Do you come from a sports family?
“My mom was very active in her younger years in high school and my dad did a little track.”
Is there a sport you wish you had done?
“It’s not a high school sport, but it was always my dream growing up to be a competitive figure skater. Whenever I get out on the ice, though, it doesn’t turn out well. I wish I had started when I was little and stuck with it.”
What is your earliest running memory?
“We had a running club in the third grade. I fell in love with running and told myself I was going to do a half marathon when I turned 13, which I did.”
Hopes for a marathon someday?
“My absolute dream for running would be to qualify for the Boston Marathon.”
You’re a runner, but you high jump for the track and field team?
“I love high jumping and the coach is great. It helps you work on other exercises. I still run on my own, though.”
What is your most memorable running moment?
“When I was a sophomore running at Meadowbrook Park, I had a friend who was running the JV race after my varsity race. After I finished, I tagged along with her and ran the rest of her race with her – I could tell she was struggling. I really try to encourage that to my teammates.”
What’s it like running up “Big Bertha,” the huge hill at Meadowbrook?
“It’s great. So many of my teammates hate it, but I love going up it and hearing the crowd.”
I know there aren’t too many movies made about cross country, but have you ever seen McFarland USA?
“It was just an encouraging movie for me because the team was the underdog. Their motivation and perseverance through races got them through – it encourages me to watch for people that need help.”
If you could have lunch with any historical person, who would it be?
“Martin Luther King Jr. He was just an amazing person and promoted peace. He was dedicated to his opinions and viewpoints – that’s strong and admirable.”
What’s on your music playlist?
“I love Spanish music. I also listen to Christmas music year round.”
Do you speak Spanish?
“I wouldn’t say I’m fluent, but I can speak it okay. I take Spanish 5 here at the high school. I’d like to study abroad in Spain my sophomore or junior year in college.”
What three words best describe you?
“Bubbly, encouraging, strong-willed.”
Besides Wisconsin, what would be your favorite state and why?
“I love Colorado with the mountains, California and New Jersey – we have family that lives there.”
How will Grace Sukowaty be remembered at De Pere?
“That I was a big encouragement to others and lent a helping hand. I’m very task-oriented – I like to laugh a lot, but I’m very serious about my studies and love to serve others.
Spring or fall?
Chocolate or vanilla?
Sunrise or sunset?
Booth or table?
Writing or drawing?
Athlete: Sprinter Usain Bolt
Board game: Yahtzee
Phone app: Instagram
Cereal: Lucky Charms
Favorite sport to watch at De Pere: Football
Notes: Check out the last De Pere senior spotlight on dance team member Taylor Thyes. All spotlights can be found online at gopresstimes.com.