Athletics Communications intern Maddy Humphrey is venturing around campus this summer, checking in on some of her Bucks Go Pro peers and sharing their internship story.
Zulal Zeren is interning this summer for Sarah Wick with Athletics Nutrition at the Fuel Zone. She is a senior majoring in Human Nutrition Science and is from Istanbul, Turkey.
Ohio State’s Fuel Zone was created in 2015. There are three fuel zones on campus located in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, St. John Arena and Jesse Owens Stadium. Student-athletes are able to quickly grab nutritious snacks and meals prior to or post practice at the Fuel Zone. Being a student-athlete is quite time consuming balancing lifts, practice, class, homework, extra workouts and studying for exams, so Fuel Zone was created to make sure the busy student-athletes are getting their full nutrition for each day of the week.
Zeren spends most of her time at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center working with the football players with the help of her supervisor, Wick. Some of Zeren’s tasks and activities have included organizing the @ohiostate_sportsnut Instagram account, giving presentations to campers about sports nutrition, observing athletes’ DEXA scans, and preparing nutrition related posters to educate student-athletes. When Zeren is working with football over at Woody Hayes, she is helping manage the Fuel Zone by taking part in cooking demonstrations which allows easy cooking skills and ideas for the football players to learn so they can have healthy meals and snacks pre and post workout.
“I enjoy seeing the difference between football nutrition and Olympic sports nutrition," Zeren said. "Working at the most respected training facilities, with the best staff and athletes I get excited about my internship every day. I am really passionate about sports nutrition and Ohio State so helping other Buckeyes to become a greater and more empowered version of themselves, and being a part of their athletic journey is the coolest experience for me.”
One of Zeren’s favorite parts about working for Nutrition is her supervisor. Wick is very encouraging with Zeren’s ideas and has taught her an unbelievable amount of knowledge, and is an incredible resource for Zeren.
“Sarah is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. I feel really lucky that I get to be around her. I learned the mission, vision and core values of sports nutrition from her. I learned the way they develop the ultimate relationships with athletes. Sarah has supported me and helped me to push myself more and more every day.” Zeren said.
Zeren has played an outstanding role in the last two Ohio State women’s swimming seasons. In her junior year (2016), Zeren finished third in the 200 backstroke (1:54.52) and seventh in the 100 backstroke (53.45) while also competing in the 500 freestyle at the Big Ten Championships. Zeren also was timed as Ohio State’s fastest backstroker at the Big Ten Championship. Throughout her next season (2017), she won the 100 and 200 backstroke in the same meet on two separate occasions. The first victory was against Miami of Ohio and at the Cincinnati/Oakland/Kenyon quad meet. Zeren swam in four events at the Big Ten Championships in 2017: 100 and 200 backstroke, 500 freestyle, and the 400 medley relay. She finished in the Top 20 in both the 100 and 200 backstroke, and once again was timed as the fastest 200 backstroke time on the Ohio State women’s swimming team (1:55.09).
Zeren is also an international competitor in the pool as a backstroker and a freestyler. Prior to Ohio State, Zeren swam at the 2013 Mediterranean Games in Mersin, Turkey and she won two bronze medals and set three national records.
The collegiate swimming career of Zeren may be over, but she has learned many valuable lessons and expresses how she will take what she has learned from the Bucks Go Pro experience in to her future careers, “Unfortunately I’ll be done with my collegiate swimming career end of August 2017. My Bucks Go Pro experience taught me a lot about myself and prepared me for the challenges I expect to see after my athletic career and after I graduate. Knowing my personal values and understanding who I am outside the pool will help me a lot in the future to reach out to my goals. Bucks Go Pro helped me to step out of my comfort zone, helped me to see my leadership skill, and taught me the importance of networking.”