Athlete Spotlight: Zoe Barnes of Gray New Gloucester

With the indoor track and field season basically on hold without many competitions, we wanted to highlight some of the top athletes in the state. For the next month or so we will have interviews with athletes across the state. Today's feature is with Gray-New Gloucester senior standout Zoe Barnes.​​​​​​​

When did you first start running, and do you recall any of your childhood races?

I first started competing in 1st grade through the Gray Rec department. I remember being able to do as many events as you wanted but my favorite was turbo javelin.

Was there a certain moment when you realized you'd be able to compete at such a high level?

Junior year indoor states. During warm-ups, I threw right on the 40-foot line. I knew I could throw 40 feet before that but seeing it there just made it way more real for me.

What are some bumps in the road that you've encountered when it comes to training for different events during the season?

Sophomore outdoor season I tore my meniscus. At the ending of the indoor season, I injured my knee which I believe had a big part of when I fully tore my meniscus. I didn't really take good care of it from there because I didn't think it was a big deal. When the beginning of outdoor rolled around is when I actually fully tore my meniscus. It was when we were doing our annual fundraising for our track and field team by selling mulch. I stepped up with one leg into the bed of a pickup truck and put all my pressure on my right knee, I then felt a pop. I didn't think anything was wrong until the next day when it was very swollen. Continuing on with outdoor season my knee would make a weird clicking sensation and I felt like it couldn't support my body. Outdoor states came and I still was performing on a torn meniscus, this is when I knew I needed to do something because I couldn't perform to the best of my abilities. I got my knee checked out and a couple of months later went into surgery and physical therapy. I am now fully recovered.

How has COVID impacted your training this winter as you prepared for the season?

COVID has dramatically impacted my season. As of right now, I am very fortunate to be able to practice with my teammates but I always have to be prepared for any sort of change. I am using this season as my pre-season for outdoor. All I can say is this season is like no other.

Where are you going to college? If you have already committed, what made you choose them?

I have not committed anywhere yet.

Is there another track event you wish you were good at? What is appealing about it?

The 400m. I have so much respect for the people that run this event. To be able to run this event you need speed, endurance, and good form all at the same time which is crazy to me.

What are some hobbies and interests you have outside of running?

I love hanging out with family and friends, skiing, and I enjoy cooking!

Who is your role model, and why?

I don't have a specific role model but the small group of throwers I train with are the people I look up to the most. As a group, we're all pushing ourselves to be the best we can be. We are all very competitive but no matter what we all just want to see each other succeed.

Everyone has a bucket list, so give us some of the things on your list!

I would love to go out west to ski at some point in my life.

What is the best advice you have received?

Look forward with hope, not backwards with regret.

What is your favorite pre-race snack, tradition, etc.?

Before a meet, I do the exact same thing, from stepping onto the bus to right before I compete. The biggest thing I do is listen to the same song right before we get off the bus. I won't feel the same without listening to it.

If you could do a sport other than XC/Track, what sport would it be, and why?

Basketball. A question I hear almost every day is "Do you play basketball?" With my height, I think I would have a great advantage.

Barnes Personal Bests

Shot Put35-2
High Jump4-6
Shot Put37-11.75
55 Meter Dash8.27
200 Meter Dash31.15