High School Runner of the Month: Maia Ziaee

Maia Zaiee

Maia Zaiee

Maia Ziaee?s legs and hands are moving all the time.

When she?s not putting in the mileage and competing for the Santa Barbara High girls cross country team, she?s running her fingers across piano keys, playing pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach for classical music competitions.

Santa Barbara Running and Presidio Sports is pleased to honor Maia as the High School Runner of the Month.

?She?s just one of those well-rounded kids that does as much as she can, as well as she can,? said cross country coach Olivia Perdices of Maia, the daughter of Hamid Ziaee and Anita Blanchette.

A junior at SBHS, Maia has been running cross country since her freshman year, and she truly enjoys the sport, said her coach.

?It?s really calming and it gives me something to do,? says Maia.

She also enjoys being a part of the team. ?I love it. I?ve made so many friends. It?s really relaxing and enjoyable.?

Maia puts in 25-30 miles a week and has 3-mile cross country PR of 21:58, which she ran at the second Channel League meet at Dos Pueblos.

?I PR?d by 30 seconds, which was pretty exciting,? she said.

Maia keeps a busy schedule. At school, she?s enrolled in four Advanced Placement courses and is part of the Visual Arts and Design Academy (VADA). At home, she studies for her classes and practices challenging piano pieces for competitions.

She recently played in the L.A. Junior Bach Competition.

?It was pretty intense,? she said. ?I didn?t place but I was proud of my performance.?

Maia, who has a goal to attend medical school, says she receives inspiration from her mother, who is battling breast cancer.

?Don?t give up,? she says of how her mom inspires her. ?I know that sounds clich? but she?s been fighting it for 12 years now. She?s outlived so many things, so it?s kind of inspiring.?

Perdices is impressed how Maia handles everything in her life.

?She?s just a fantastic kid,? says Perdices. ?She?s one of those kids who truly loves to run. It?s not really about anything more than she just wants to be out here every day and do everything the best she can.?

SB Running CompanyThe High School Runner of the Month award recognizes local prep runners that exemplify the term ?Student-Athlete? by demonstrating leadership and excellence in high school athletics. ?Thanks to?Santa Barbara Running Company??for making this award possible and for supporting local athletes.

Find other Runners of the Month?HERE