Tess Masselink ’21 very first participated in cross-country races at the age of 8. She may perhaps be a tiny fuzzy on the details encompassing her finishing instances in these races, but there is a person point she remembers well.
“I don’t forget there were being times when it was hailing during the race and we were being showered with ice,” she claims with a chuckle. “It surely froze you.”
10 many years later on, and Masselink has traded individuals icy operates in her hometown of Cornwall, England, for humid runs at the College of Charleston, where by she continually set data in cross-country and keep track of and area.
It looks like Masselink has normally been on the go. She was born in Australia, but her loved ones moved to England when she was young. When she was not managing, Masselink cherished participating in competitive horse using. When she had to offer her horse in her early teenagers, she turned her comprehensive interest to cross-region working.
She speedily excelled in the sport, successful or putting in a variety of races across England.
As graduation drew closer, Masselink commenced looking at schools in the United States. Immediately after making contact with many coaches throughout the U.S., she narrowed her conclusion down to a few schools. The last college she toured was the College of Charleston. She was impressed.
“I liked the warmth and friendliness of the individuals right here,” she states. “There is a historical past to this city that reminded me of home, and I felt embraced by the tradition and the workforce.”
Masselink’s effect was felt instantly.
Through cross-region season her freshman calendar year, she gained the Buccaneer Open up and the Charleston Classic. She also completed next in the Colonial Athletic Affiliation (CAA) Cross-Place Championship – getting only the 2nd Cougar to position that higher at a conference championship.
Later that 12 months, she designed her mark once more, this time at the 2018 CAA Monitor and Discipline Championships, earning a bronze medal in her very first collegiate steeplechase with the fourth quickest time in school background.
Her sophomore calendar year was even much better. She reentered the College or university record textbooks when she crossed the end line in the mile event with a time of 4:56.02, the next-quickest time in school record. In yet another fulfill, Masselink crossed the finish line in a 3K indoor race in 10:04.56 and gained yet another 2nd in the history guides. In cross-place, she took all-conference honors when she completed the 6K time with a time of 21:32.9, the fifth-speediest in college historical past at that length.
Masselink had substantial hopes for her junior calendar year, but those hopes had been before long dashed when the pandemic shut down both the monitor and cross-state seasons. She created up for the misplaced season, however, when levels of competition resumed this year. In March, she broke a 10-calendar year-previous school report in the 6K and manufactured the all-convention group for the 3rd time in her vocation at the CAA Cross-State Championships. She also received the ExCEL (Excellence in Collegiate Schooling and Leadership) Outstanding Feminine College student-Athlete of the 12 months Award.
Now, Masselink has her sights set on an additional finish line: the stop of her university profession. She graduated in Might with a double main (and near perfect GPA) in biology and studio arts and is preparing on attending graduate faculty.
As for managing, she does not prepare to give that up at any time soon.
“I will always be a runner,” she claims. “I assume it is the most natural and organic sport you can do.”
Photo by Mike Ledford