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Men’s Track & Field: Suriano carries prep success into college

Joe Wirth | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Irish junior Zac Suriano is no stranger to the level of success he is currently having on the track.

Suriano, who attended Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park, N.Y., was a 10-time letter-winner between cross-country, track and field and soccer during his high school years. As a junior in high school he was on the national champion 4×400-meter relay team. He was responsible for three records during his time at Shenendehowa. He set high school records in the 800-meter, the indoor sprint medley relay and the outdoor sprint medley relay. He was also a seven-time conference and regional winner.

The junior said he started participating in track and field as a kid as a way to stay in shape for other sports, but he soon found out he had quite a knack for competitive running.

“I initially started running track in elementary school with my town’s club team because of some encouragement from my parents to give it a try,” Suriano said. “For a few years track was a way to stay in shape for soccer and basketball until freshmen year of high school when I started to realize it was the other way around and what I looked forward to was track season in the spring, By junior year, I had started running all three seasons with cross country and track and am still doing so now five years later.”

As a senior in high school he had his heart set on running for Duke, but family advice and a trip to South Bend swayed his decision.

“Entering my senior year I was set on going to Duke to continue my education, it wasn’t until my grandmother said something about how great of a school Notre Dame was that I looked into it,” Suriano said. “I arranged a visit with the team and after spending just two days on campus I knew it was where I wanted to be. Despite being here for a shutout loss to USC before fall break the campus had a great feel to it where I could see myself enjoying my four years while getting a top-notch education.”

Suriano was a member of the honors society in high school and maintains his commitment to academics here at Notre Dame.

“I struggled my freshmen year finding the balance between academics and athletics and paid the price on both ends. The key is being efficient with what time you have,” Suriano said. “You can’t stay up late half-working, half-watching TV and still expect to perform well at practice and in the classroom. And despite my will to procrastinate, planning a week or so ahead has become the norm to keep things from becoming too hectic when traveling to meets on weekends.”

Suriano and the rest of the Irish track and field team will be in action at home this weekend in the Alex Wilson Invitational.