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Hard Work and Dedication: The Rise of Zak Montoya

Zak (in orange) in action during an endurance track race.
Zak (in orange) in action during an endurance track race.

An interview with ISU Cross Country and Track athlete Zak Montoya

By his own admissions, Zak has not always been Idaho State's best cross country athlete. However, through hard work, grit, and determination, Zak has risen to prominence as a top class endurance runner and is now consistently ISU's top individual performer.

Zak's training schedule is intense. Racking up over 100 miles of running each week, he has developed a powerful aerobic engine and can sustain a devastating sub 5 minute-per-mile pace during competitions. With ambitions to break the 24 minute 5 mile XC barrier and to qualify for the national championships, Zak has lofty but realistic goals. However, with the responsibilities of a full-time academic course load and a graduate teaching assistantship, Zak must balance his athletics and academics carefully.

Catch this inspirational interview to learn about how Zak juggles his responsibilities whilst dreaming big and putting in the trial of miles.

Rachel was born and raised in Pocatello and is now studying for a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Rachel is a student-athlete on both ISU’s Track and Cross-Country teams. When Rachel isn’t running, she enjoys travelling, sleepy Sundays spent working in coffee shops and adventuring in Idaho’s wilderness. Her research interests include sustainable development, environmental policy and public policy theory.