Nicolet National Bank Senior Spotlight: Zoe Zuleger – De Pere track and field
By Rich Palzewic
DE PERE – If recent De Pere High School graduate Zoe Zuleger has one regret, she said she should have joined track and field all four years during her high school career.
As it turns out, Zoe, the daughter of Jason and Karin Zuleger, made her mark in two years with the team.
“It was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life,” she said. “I hadn’t given it much thought to joining sports, but one of my friends suggested it before the season started my sophomore year, so I decided to join and ended up loving it. I wish I had gone out in junior high and my freshman year, too, especially since this season got canceled.”
When school was first canceled in March, Zuleger said she was confident she’d go back in a few weeks, but quickly realized she wouldn’t be throwing the shot and discus ever again shortly after spring break.
“It’s disappointing, but I am living through history,” she said. “I’ll forever be known as a 2020 virtual graduate.”
Zuleger was under the tutelage of head coach James Boyd, who was elected mayor of the City of De Pere in April.
“Coach was awesome,” said Zuleger, who plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison this fall to most likely study business. “Even though I was relatively new to track, he always supported me. I had him as a teacher, too. It’s cool to say I had the mayor as my teacher and track coach.”
Zuleger threw the shot put and discus but would have liked to try the long jump or pole vault.
“I’m not sure I would have been good in the running events, but those two field events would have been fun to try,” she said.
She said her most memorable moments weren’t individual performances, but rather watching the 1,600-meter relay team end each meet.
“It was always a great way to end meets,” said Zuleger. “My most embarrassing moment happened after practice. We had some sort of event happening, but I came late and didn’t know what was going on. I grabbed a plate full of food, but as it turns out, I should have waited, so there I was hiding behind one of my track coaches with a plate of food.”
Zuleger’s younger sister, Claire, will be an incoming junior at De Pere, while both of her parents graduated from Denmark High School.
Her mother participated in running events on the track team.
In her spare time, she likes to play the piano, read, hang out with friends, pop and baroque music, Snapchat, math, Blue Moon ice cream, Monopoly and the card game 31.
She said she will miss seeing her friends and teachers every day.
“My teachers were great people,” said Zuleger, who describes herself as intelligent, kind and hard-working. “We were all kind of forced to go to school in a way, but it allowed me to see some of my favorite people every day.”