Sports, IN SEE Culture, Special Segment

Zoe Dorsey’s Gift Tracking System

The holiday season is all about bustling in the stores, shopping for gifts, ordering and tracking gifts through Amazon in time for the holidays, and catching the after-Christmas deals. Shoppers go the extra mile during the holiday season, just to give gifts to that meaningful special person, as an expression of their recognition and value. In essence, Zoe Dorsey has a unique tracking gift. Not the gift tracking, in which you’re tracking your gift package at the post office or through UPS. This gift tracking is delivered on the track and field, as Dorsey goes the extra mile, highlighting her phenomenal talent for the nation to witness.

Her gift of tracking has taken her place, resulting in her many accolades. She finished her freshman season as the NCHSSA 3A state champion in the 400 and 800-meter in Greensboro, receiving nationwide top rankings in the 400 and 800-meter, won 2nd place in the 400-meter dash during the All-State girls track and field team, won the Rising Stars 400-meter at the New Balance Indoor High School Nationals, won the state track and field championship, and won the 15/16 800-meter national title at the USATF National Junior Olympics track and field in Eugene, Oregon, to name a few. The teenage sensation is a student at Fayetteville Academy and is also a runner for the Fayetteville Flyers Track Club under Coach Michael Gibson.

Zoe Dorsey wins the NCHSSA 3A State Championship in the 400m and 800m in Greensboro, NC; Courtesy of Dan Louglin/NC Runners

Her love for track and field is traced in her family DNA. Dorsey’s mother, Meisha Abbasinejad, was also an athlete , who set the with the most miles as a distance runner in high school. Dorsey’s tracking gift highlight began with her tagging along with her older sister to practice. She credits her mother as a big inspiration and a significant presence throughout the process.

“My mom is the only person who’s always been here for me since I was little. She’s always here to take me to all my practices,” she said. Dorsey shared that her mother has never missed a race, since she started racing in competition since she was 6 years-old. “She’s my biggest supporter out of anyone,” Dorsey added.

Dorsey is a very determined young woman when it comes to her gift. She takes the initiative to train her body to improve herself daily. Her mother is by her side, working out with her. Their workout includes weightlifting, 50 push-ups a day for six days a week, conditioning, and strength training in the weight room to prepare her body for each race.

“One day, she would get on the treadmill and run 2 miles. That’s what she focuses on in the winter, just in time for the season in April, when she gets on the track and field,” Abbasinejad stated. “We did it together (exercising). Sometimes we break it up, but we do it every single day, six days a week,” she continued.

Dorsey understands that her level of sacrifice, from the 6 a.m. practices to giving up attending football games to meet her tracking goals, will pay off in the long run. Dorsey is doing all this while maintaining all A’s in school.

Abbasinejad noticed when Dorsey was around 10 or 11 that her daughter’s gift would make room for her. “It was something that clicked in her. I could see a change in her focus and how she approached things. She would run and go off and play with her friends like everybody else, but it was a different level of focus when she was practicing, racing, and certainly when she hit middle school,” she reflects.

Coach Gibson, whom the mother described as a phenomenal coach, has also played a part in helping Dorsey get to where she’s at. Coach Gibson, whom she practices with three times a week, sees the bigger picture when gradually training her, knowing what’s important now that will help her down the road.

“He’s in it for the longevity of it all versus the quick fix and constant satisfaction. And I love that as a parent,” Abbasinejad shared.

Zoe Dorsey wins the 15-16 800m national title at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championship in Eugene, Oregon; Photo Credit: Runner Space

There’s a means to an end for each race and training, as she envisions her tracking gift delivering her to the most prominent athletic global stage, the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. Dorsey is determined to get there, like American hurdler and sprinter Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, whom she met this year. Dorsey shared her excitement at meeting her, taking a quick selfie with the 2020 Tokyo Olympic champ.

Her mother’s investment in her daughter’s dream inspires Dorsey to keep running the race. As the new year approaches, Dorsey aims to try out for the U-20 track and field, an international athletic competition for athletes. “The U-20 will be another learning curve for us both,” Abbasinejad stated.

Abbaseinejad shared her time and commitment to investing in her daughter’s dreams. She’s on the right track, as her goal-driven mindset and determination will take her big stages, delivering her all around the world like an Amazon delivery package. Wherever Dorsey is headed, she will have one of those destined profound moments in which, years from now, McLaughlin-Levrone will see the picture she took of a young Dorsey as a fan.

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