The Cooper Phenomenon

A profile of Zoe Cooper ’20, recently ranked the #1 5k runner in the City!


Ula Pranevicius

Zoe Cooper before the Girls’ Varsity 3.1 Mile Race at Van Cortlandt Park, in the Bronx.

Bronx Science’s extensive curriculum and hefty workload can be  challenging, especially when a student is trying to balance teams, clubs, and a social life at the same time. For some students, trying to keep up with extracurriculars can seem nearly impossible, but this is not the case for Zoe Cooper ’20, one of Bronx Science’s most outstanding student athletes. Not only has she been able to find a perfect balance between academics and athletics, but she also manages to excel at all the activities that she is a part of.

Among all of Cooper’s accomplishments, she is most known for her devotion to Girls’ Cross Country and Track. She recently was ranked the #1 5k runner in the City. Her passion for the sport began during her freshman year, when she followed her parent’s wishes and joined Cross Country despite feeling skeptical of the idea of running long distances. However, Cooper soon learned that she loved and excelled at the sport. To this day, she still remembers that sense of accomplishment after finishing her first race, with the adrenaline still pumping through her veins. She is now one of the captains of the Girls’ Cross Country team.

“She’s the type of girl who will go on to do great things,” said Coach Marlene Payton.

Cooper has also participated in the 2017 Junior Olympic Championships and State Championships for both Cross Country and Outdoor Track. “She is one of the most devoted members of the team. No one was surprised when she was appointed captain,” said Sona Marukyan ’20, a member of the Girls’ Cross Country team.  “She’s extremely hardworking and talented,” Marlene Payton, coach of Girls’ Cross Country and Track and Field, added “She’s the type of girl who will go on to do great things.”

The origin of Zoe’s natural talent for sports, however, does not pose a mystery; it seems to run in the family. Both of Cooper’s parents were a part of a sports team during college. Her dad played football and her mom played soccer. Zoe’s  sister is also an exceptional gymnast and ballerina.

Ula Pranevicius
Zoe Cooper finishing first in the Girl’s Varsity 3.1 Mile Race at Van Cortlandt Park, in the Bronx.

The Coopers’ love for exercise is not the only aptitude that runs in their blood; intelligence seems to be a common gift that the family shares as well. Following her parents’ academic successes, Cooper is also able to academically shine on her own accord, with an overall GPA of over 98.5, with many Advanced Placement classes in her schedule. In fact, during her sophomore year, she was able to finish A.P. Chemistry with a perfect average. She is also a part of Congressional debate in our nationally renowned Speech and Debate team, and has won multiple trophies since the start of high school.

The secret behind her success is balance and willpower. “My parents don’t really have any rules regarding school. When I get a 95 on a test, I am upset because I want to do better, not because my parents expect me to, but because I expect myself to,” said Cooper. She is also very proud of her study skills. “I make amazing study guides. I don’t procrastinate; I get home and type all of my notes in a Google Doc, so that when it’s time for the test, I’ll already have a something to study off of.” On top of this, Cooper believes in being able to balance schoolwork and friendships. “Doing schoolwork all the time just really isn’t fun, and you are going to have a hard time,” Zoe said.

Zoe Cooper has proved to be one of a kind.  This is just a sneak peak of the ‘The Cooper Phenomenon.’ Need studying tips? A running buddy? Moral support and words of motivation? Zoe is your girl!