Running to new horizons

Masch takes first strides as freshman by joining cross-country

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

Courtesy of Suffolk Athletics

Freshman cross-country runner, Hanna Masch, began her journey at Suffolk University as a freshman student-athlete this fall semester. Originally from Guatemala, Masch adapted to the American way of life through something she knew the best: participating in sports.

Masch was a boxer, swimmer and equestrian before she chose to run competitively. In addition, she went to the gym on a daily basis. This is her first year ever running for competition, and Masch said that she is running on the team for enjoyment.

In addition to running for enjoyment, Masch said that cross country is a great way to meet new people and that her teammates and coach support her every day.

The Lady Rams welcomed Masch with open arms. The team has competed in two races this season, the Roger Williams University Invitational along with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Invitational. The Rams finished sixth out of nine teams in the Roger Williams Invitational, with the second race being an individual one and was not scored.

From all the sports Masch has competed in, she says that cross-country is the most strenuous.

“I think [cross-country] challenges me more. It doesn’t depend on anyone else but yourself,” said Masch in an interview with The Suffolk Journal. “You have to train like no other sport.”

Masch discussed how competing in Guatemala is more relaxed compared to in America.

“It’s actually really different,” she explained. “[America] takes sports way more seriously than back home.”

Despite having little experience in cross-country, Masch  has goals set for the fall campaign.

“Get stronger and become better,” said Masch. “Along with balancing my academic life, because I’m still adapting to this new life in college in a different country.”

Back in Guatemala, Masch felt as though she was unable to walk around her city due to the lack of safety. She really enjoys being able to walk around Boston without feeling threatened by those around her.

Masch is undergoing a semester of change: a new country, a new sport, and a new school. She is not doing this unnoticed, however, Head Coach William Feldman had nothing but kind words for the freshman.

The thing that impacts Coach Feldman the most about Masch is her infectious attitude.

“It’s a pleasure having Hanna on the team. Every team needs a Hanna,” said Coach Feldman in a interview with The Journal. “She is always in great spirits and lifts everyone else up. She doesn’t take things too seriously, and her sense of humor is amazing. She never fails to get a laugh out of the team even when they are hungry and exhausted from a work out.”

Masch’s role on the team, as explained by Coach Feldman, is one that provides depth to the roster, but Feldman claims that her energy provides even greater value than that.

“Her energy is infectious and makes 7 a.m. practices much more bearable for everyone else,” said Feldman.

Masch, from the capital of Guatemala, Guatemala City, said in an interview that the culture is different from the United States, with the largest culture gap being the food. Masch claims she is used to having sit down meals, whereas in the United States, she feels the food is mostly “grab and go.”

By running for the Lady Rams’ cross-country team, Masch has been able to incorporate herself into the Suffolk culture. Not only has she successfully integrated herself, but it is evident through the words of her head coach that she is making her way.

Masch and her teammates look to continue meshing together when they race at the Keene State College Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 30.