Young runner qualifies for AAU Junior Olympics.
Zoe Dellaserra was nearly four decades away from being born at the time Bruce Springsteen released his classic album “Born to Run,” but the 10-year-old Green resident fits perfectly with the album's title.
Dellaserra has qualified for the AAU Junior Olympics for Track & Field in Houston, Texas, in her first year as a member Zoe of The Flight 101 Jets running club in Canton. She ran in a qualifying meet and recorded a personal best time of 14.48 seconds in the 100 meters to place fourth and secure a spot at the Junior Olympics, the track portion of which begins on July 28.
According to her mother Angela, Zoe has been running most of her life. As a toddler, she started walking and quickly moved to running and “has run non-stop ever since,” Angela Dellaserra said. “Her interest in competitive running was most likely due to the fact that I am a runner and was in high school as well. Last year she begged to be entered into a competitive race, and we found a Hershey-sponsored track meet in the area.”
After competing in the Hershey's meet, Zoe qualified for the Hershey's state meet, where she finished second in the 50-meter dash, and third place in both the 100-meter dash and standing long jump for the 9-10 year old age group. Her success convinced her mother and step-father, Nick Cardarelli, that she had the potential to be successful in track and field.
After researching local running clubs for children, the family settled on the Flight 101 Jets out and from there, Zoe progressed quickly. She began learning more about hurdling and despite standing just 4-foot-9, not much taller than the 30-inch-high hurdles she jumps over, she found fast success.
The day she qualified for the Junior Olympics was a hectic one, as she almost missed her 80-meter hurdle race after receiving incorrect information about the start time for the event. She and her parents did not arrive at the meet until the last call for the event and Zoe had to use her speed to jump from the car, get her bib number pinned on to her uniform and dash to the finish line, arriving two minutes before the start of the race. Despite the late arrival, she placed second. A different sort of adversity hit for the 100-meter final, as 108-degree heat on the track made life difficult for all of the competitors.
When she found out that she had qualified for the Junior Olympics, her reaction was enthusiastic.
“Zoe was very excited when she found out that she had qualified for the Junior Olympics,” Angela Dellaserra said.
In between now and the Olympics at the end of July, Zoe will be spending her summer much like any other 10-year-old girl. She likes playing soccer and loves shopping and doing her hair and nails. She also has good taste in music, listening to Akron natives The Black Keys, along with Led Zeppelin, Drake and Nicki Minaj.
Page 2 of 2 - Besides training and competing, she and her family will spend time in North Carolina for vacation and enjoying the sun and sand on the beach. She also hopes to visit Cedar Point and finally conquer Top Thrill Dragster, a ride that she has been avoiding for the last few years, according to her mother.
She, has one half-brother Anthony, 4, and an 8-year-old half-sister, Isabella Peterson, and her father, Jon Peterson.
Once her summer of running, shopping and traveling ends, she will be starting fifth grade at Green Intermediate School, where her favorite subject is math, along with language arts.
Until then, she will continue to ignore the well-intentioned advice she has been hearing from her parents since she was very young: “Slow down.” Zoe hasn’t slowed down yet and isn't showing any signs of doing so any time soon.