Quakertown Trio to Compete in Collegiate Track & Field

On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, Quakertown seniors Zoie Kartsounas, Sammi Radzai & Jade Williams were recognized for committing to continue their track and field careers at the collegiate level. (Photos provided courtesy of Jen Banas/QCHS)

Zoie Kartsounas – Immaculata University (Track & Field)
Criminology with a minor in pre-law
Final list of colleges:  Immaculata, Arcadia, Widener
Reasons for choosing Immaculata:  “Immaculata has a fantastic track team. I am going to get my JD with a variety of classes offered, and it has a beautiful campus. The positive environment Immaculata offers is something I cannot pass up.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in track and field at the collegiate level? “This year before indoor track. I started to get interested in continuing my track career into college. After realizing my potential in jumping and improving so often, I put my statistics out there to my colleges and was invited to be part of the team.”
Coach Jason Anderson says: “Zoie has a unique skill – she’s a triple jumper. That means you jump three times in rapid succession. It’s very, very difficult, but Zoie can do it very well. She has perfected that during her very busy four years with us. She’s very goal-oriented and driven. Coach Hood likes to say she’s a positive self-talker, meaning she’s always very supportive to herself and to her teammates. She’s found a school in Immaculata that will allow her to continue her education and also allow her to be part of the track team. She has a very clear path to law school, and she’s been really blessed with her choice. I’m excited for her as we all are to still continue to be that balanced student-athlete that she’s been here at Quakertown. Last year, we voted her the most improved field athlete for her triple jump, and if there’s a way for her to get better as she goes on to college, Zoie’s going to find it because that’s the kind of person she is – goal-oriented and driven.”
About Zoie:
Favorite food:
Favorite movie: Titanic
Favorite TV show: Criminal Minds
Favorite music: The Beatles & 70-80s music

Sammi Radzai – West Chester University (Track & Field)
Final list of colleges:  West Chester, Moravian, Saint Joseph's, Bloomsburg, Pitt, Ohio University, Lehigh
Reasons for choosing West Chester: “A good distance from home, I really enjoyed the campus, and I have the opportunity to do my sport at this college at a good level.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in track and field at the collegiate level? “I wanted to start track for a while, but since I did gymnastics, it was hard for me to join track. I stopped gymnastics in January of last year, and that’s when I was able to join the track team. Even when I did gymnastics, I would go down to the track and run in my free time, but I just was not able to join the sport until last year. I have only been doing track for a year, so if you asked me about doing it in college a year ago, I honestly would have been shocked if I could even go D3.
“I had a surgery last year in June where I was not able to do running until November, which was one month before the 2021-22 indoor season started. I honestly didn’t think about doing the sport in college until the indoor season started, and I just wanted to see if I could do it at some collegiate level. I just kept training hard throughout the indoor season and the start of outdoor season, and it led me to where I am now. It was a lot of emailing the coaches and updating after meets, but that’s what got me to be able to be in this sport in college. A lot of the work was emailing and making sure that the coaches knew you existed, and once I did that, I had my options, and West Chester was just the best fit for me.”  

Coach Jason Anderson says: “Sammi and I first met in 2020 – in 10th grade, Sammi came out early in the springtime when it was still quite cold. We were working on starts and getting all excited for the 2020 season, and, of course, that didn’t happen. We continued to get excited throughout the pandemic, and outdoor came around junior year, and that was everything we’d hoped. Sammi can basically do any event. There are 18 in track and field, and she tried them all and succeeded at all of them from pole vault to sprinting to long jump. At the end of her successful junior year, she was long jumping at leagues, and she aggravated a foot injury that is something she’s had to deal with for her whole storied gymnastics career. She needed surgery that summer, so she worked really hard to get herself back – rehab, strengthening. When she finally came back for indoor, we just wanted to have her on the track and try to reduce the amount of pounding that jumping has. She ran the 400 – that’s her distance. Her 400 got her as far as Meet of Champs, qualifying for the DMR. The 400 is like the signature event of track. It takes strength, it takes determination, and that’s what Sammi has – strength and determination.
“As indoor segued into outdoor this year, we got to go to Penn Relays, and Sammi ran the 4x400 at Franklin Field. Probably the best athletes in the country are there. Naturally, military recruiters are there too. We’re in the stands, we’re watching the meet, and a few of our teammates come back from the athlete courtyard, and they’re talking about a Marine recruiter. They held up a t-shirt, and one of our team members said, ‘I did eight pull-ups for this t-shirt.’ We all looked at Sammi because Sammi can do pull-ups all day long. We take strength training pretty seriously for track and field. We like to use the weight room quite a bit, and Sammi is good at that. She’s sitting there with a twinkle in her eye, and she said, ‘I need to go try that.’ We go out and find the booth. There’s a lance corporal there that confirms – one pull-up is a key chain, four is a water bottle and eight is a t-shirt. His job is to count the pull-ups, so Sammi jumps up – there was a crowd, and everyone was cheering. She does like 10 or 12, people are clapping. She just briefly looks around, and then she does 10 more pullups really fast, and she drops down. Sammi is looking at the lance corporal, and he makes this gesture – you can have anything you want from this table. It’s just part of Sammi’s persona – her strength, her power, her determination. We’re really pleased that she’s moving on to go to West Chester. She has a lot of potential that hasn’t been realized yet.”
About Sammi:
Favorite food:
Favorite movie: Star Wars II - Attack of the Clones
Favorite artist: Morgan Wallen

Jade Williams – West Chester University (Track & Field)
Sports Marketing
Final list of colleges:  West Chester, James Madison University
Reasons for choosing West Chester: “Location and major”
What was the progression that led you to competing in track and field at the collegiate level? “I started to think about running track in college during ninth grade. Seeing my role models from my relay continue their athletic careers in college, it made me want to work even harder to get to the next level. The recruiting process actually started during the winter track season. I emailed the coach, got a tour, met the team and experienced a college track meet. After that, I put down my deposit for my education, emailed the coach about it, and he gave me a commitment paper to sign. Then, I was part of the team.”
Coach Jason Anderson says: “Jade has varsity letters from as many seasons as possible for indoor and outdoor track and field. Her accomplishment list is pretty long. The postseason for outdoor track is only three seasons because of the COVID shutdown. Two of the three seasons, she’s led the 4x100 to district championships. This year, for indoor, she led the 2x400 to state championships at Penn State. She also qualified indoor for the Meet of Champs for the 60 sprint. She won gold with her team in the Meet of Champs at Lehigh in the 4x2. It was fantastic. In the spring season, she got silver in the 300 hurdles at leagues and is top six all-time in Quakertown record books. That’s the thing about Jade – she could have rested on her laurels, but she wasn’t coasting. She took on a new event. The 300 hurdles is very difficult. She shows her resiliency and determination. That’s what all of us educators and coaches hope to see, and that’s what we’ve seen out of Jade – dedication and resiliency and a really high level of competition and output. We’re really proud of what she’s done. She’s basically born and raised track and field. She’s a leader, a role model. Her running form is impeccable. There have only been two Penn Relays the past four years, and Jade has been in both. In her senior year, she helped us increase our time from a 55 to a 50, which is like mediocre to really good. That summarizes Jade’s contributions to our team – she’s really helped us to be legit as a track team.”
About Jade:
Favorite food:
Favorite movie: Remember the Titans
Favorite music: 2000 R&B and Rap

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