August 19, 2018

Aldrich signs with Northwood

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WHITTEMORE — Whittemore-Prescott senior Zane Aldrich signed his letter of intent to run track at Northwood University after the Cardinal Snowfest make-up meet at the high school May 8.

Aldrich said he started running cross country and track his freshman year when his mom pushed him to get involved in a sport. At first, Aldrich was hesitant, but he’s glad he started running now.

“I didn’t forgive her for it at the time,” Aldrich said with a laugh. “But I forgive her for it now.”

Aldrich said he felt a sense of family with the team. His freshman year, the best distance runner at the time was a senior who would be graduating by the end of the year, so Aldrich knew this was his opportunity to step in.

The next school year, Aldrich said he pushed himself harder and got more into the sport.

Coach Jeffrey Erickson said Aldrich surprised him at first.

“Zane is the most dedicated athlete I have worked with in all of my years of coaching,” Erickson said. “To be honest, the first time I met him I would never have imagined how good he would become. He doesn't have all of the physical tools that you might look for, but he maximizes his talent by outworking everyone else.”

Aldrich said as far as his favorite events, he changes his mind. Currently, his favorite event to run is the mile run because he is trying to break the school record of 4:31.6.

“I’m like five or six seconds away,” he said.

Aldrich earned all-state for the 2-mile in 2017. He said this is one of his proudest moments, along with his team winning the state meet.

“We were undefeated last year, which I consider an accomplishment,” he said.

Erickson said a few weeks ago the team celebrated Aldrich’s 1,000th consecutive day of distance running.

“Depending on the week where we are in his program, Zane may run 50-60 miles,” Erickson said. “Not many high school kids can make those claims.”

Aldrich said he looks forward to running in college and chose Northwood because of the economics program.

Erickson said he is glad Zane chose Northwood and thinks it is a great choice for him.

“He knows kids there and the coaching staff really wanted him,” Erickson said. “I see him having a great career at Northwood and look forward to watching him.”

Aldrich said he couldn’t have made it this far without support from his teammates, coaches and family.

He advises anyone who might want to follow his path to work hard and put the time in.

Erickson couldn’t be more proud of Aldrich.

“I am extremely proud to have coached Zane for the last four years,” he said. “He is the kind of kid that you may only get to coach once in a lifetime.”

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