Los Angeles high school sophomore Zsateau Bouyer has a passion for sprinting, she is ready to improve the school’s track program with her dedication. When the Romans track and field team needed more participants, she urged schoolmates to compete with her.
She started with her cross country and basketball teammates, telling them about the possibility of earning a track and field scholarship. Another selling point was how track and field improve performance in other sports.
“A lot of college scouts go to these track meets,” Bouyer said. “I expressed that you ran in every sport and the faster you are, the better athlete you are and running track makes you a lot stronger in every sport.”
While she waited for track and field season to start, she learned about and competed in cross country. Doing the three-mile run surprised Bouyer, but she thrived as a long-distance runner.
“My freshman year, I came in first place in cross country,” she said. “I had the fastest time in our league.”
To train for cross country, she once had to run from L.A. High School to The Grove and back. Exercises like that made track and field practices easier.
A proud moment For Bouyer was when she aided an opposing runner who was having an allergic reaction during one of her finals races.
“She ended up having to go to the emergency room,” Bouyer said. “Just knowing I was able to help her even though I gave up my race for her, it meant a lot to know I saved somebody’s life that day.”
For track, Bouyer competes in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x400m, and the 100m hurdles. She worked ardently to recruit other students so the Romans could have a relay team. Along with low participation, Bouyer had to battle against the negative perspective certain students had on the Romans athletics program.
Her personal best in the 100m is 13.42s and she can run the 400m in 1:03.17. For the 200m, Bouyer has a record of 27.07 and finished the 100m hurdles with an 18.28 time. Running track and cross country gave her the agility needed for basketball.
“It helps me move up and down the field faster than everybody,” Bouyer said. “I’ve never been on a team sport … so being on a team and all of us working together that was really cool.”
Being a student athlete means putting a lot more work than an average student, according to Bouyer. She has a 3.5 GPA and her favorite class is English. In her English classes at L.A. High, she had to read and analyze Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech and Letter from Birmingham Jail.
Bouyer is involved in the Black Student Union on her campus and is a member of the Inclusion program. Inclusion is a group that desires to integrate special education students and general education students in the classroom.
The Los Angeles Unified School District gave the Inclusion program an award when Bouyer was in the ninth grade. She gave a speech about the program and its benefits.
“I love being a part of this program where it’s helping other kids feel like they’re a part of something that’s so real,” Bouyer said. “They’re not being isolated anymore because that’s what a lot of people do.”