By Mark Ambrogi
When Zach Greller was in sixth grade, the Center Grove Middle School track and field coach Brandon Painter encouraged him to run track.
“I had just stopped playing baseball, so I had nothing else to do,” Greller said. “He also was the freshman football coach, so I was definitely trying to impress him a little. I went out and ran track. I was good at it in middle school, so I kept doing it.”
Greller said Painter remains a mentor.
“He still texts me after every meet and asks how I’m doing,” Greller said. “That’s pretty important to me.”
Greller, who will be a Center Grove senior in August, finished ninth in the 400 meters in 49.42 seconds in the IHSAA state finals June 4 in Bloomington, Ind. He also was a member of the 1,600-meter relay team that placed fourth in state along with Drew Wheat, Eli Hohlt and Brandon Wheat.
“I feel like it was a pretty successful season, I feel like I could have set myself up better for the state meet, Greller said. “I didn’t perform the best in the regional meet and that led me to be in the slowest heat in the 400. It kind of set me up for failure, but I feel like I made the most of it. I was pretty sick at regionals, so I feel that had a lot to do with it.”
In the 2021 state track meet, Greller was sixth in the 400 meters in 49.47 and on the sixth-place 1,600 relay team.
Greller said track and field coach Eric Moore always has the team peaking at the right time.
“He always says we are not preparing for the beginning of the season, we are preparing for June,” Greller said.
Greller started as a junior at wide receiver for the Trojans, who finished 14-0 and won their second consecutive Class 6A state title.
“I had a lot of fun and lot of success and I’m hoping to carry it on this year,” Greller said. “Last year I was more of a blocking receiver. I had some big blocks that led to touchdowns.”
Greller had eight catches for 80 yards and one touchdown last season.
“I’m looking to increase my usage (as a receiver) and keep that same blocking intensity,” he said.
Growing up, the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Greller said he played more tight end.
“But with track, I could get that much bigger (weight-wise) or it would destroy my track season,” he said. “I decided to move out to receiver.”
Greller said he definitely wants to be an athlete in college.
“I want to do any opportunity I’m given,” Greller said. “I’ve gotten a little interest from colleges for track. I’m getting some Division I schools interest for track and some D-II and D-III schools for football. I definitely have more of a passion and love for track.”
Greller’s brother, Ben Greller, played basketball for Center Grove High School.
THE GRELLER FILE
SPORTS: Football and track and field
POSITION: Sprinter in track and wide receiver in football
COLLEGE PLANS: Wants to compete in athletics and major in pre-law and business
HOBBIES: Golfing, fishing and hanging out with friends
FAVORITE ATHLETE: U.S. Olympic sprinter Michael Norman
FAVORITE SUBJECTS: English and journalism
FAVORITE TV SHOW: “Stranger Things”
FAVORITE VACATION SPOT: Anna Maria Island, Fla.
PARENTS’ NAMES: Matthew and Nicole Greller