For senior cross country runner Martina Tresch, going from Switzerland to K-State was a big change in scenery. With all her success at K-State, one would think she had been sought after from several colleges throughout the country, but K-State was the only one.
Tresch said it was just some good luck that she ended up at K-State.
“I didn’t get recruited by any other schools, but I had a friend who went to school in the U.S. so I knew I wanted to try that,” Tresch said. “Coach [Michael] Smith was the only coach that said ‘If you want, you can come.’ He saw some potential and it really paid off.”
The potential that Smith saw in Tresch couldn’t have been more spot on. During her career thus far, she has been named an All-American twice already, which she was honored for at the UMass football game. She has won numerous races every year, and won the Big 12 in the 3000M steeplechase last spring. Tresch said that this being her last year at K-State gave her the motivation to become an All-American again.
“I always want to be a better runner,” Tresch said. “K-State has given me so much so I like to represent K-State. I like to do well for my team, for my coach and for the whole university.”
In 2011, Tresch received the honor and opportunity to represent Switzerland in the European Athletics U23 Championships. She ran the 3000M steeplechase, finishing 5th with a time of 9:51. Tresch said she thinks that this experience helped prepare her for some of the big meets she’s ran at K-State.
“Track back home, in my country, most meets aren’t very big so going to an international competition where there are people cheering for you, it’s just a different experience,” she said. “It prepares you for here where Big 12’s or NCAA’s are some of the best competition in the world.”
Like many athletes, Tresch has fought against various injuries, recently an ailing Achilles that left her hobbling. However, she said she doesn’t look at her injury negatively. In fact, she said she thinks it actually helped her become a better runner.
“There’s just not one way to get to your goals,” Tresch said. “You have to take a lot of detours. In the beginning I was very frustrated, not being able to do what I love to do. But now we’re just to the point where if it’s an off day, I can’t change it. I used to worry that I would get out of shape and not be able to perform my best, but now I’ve matured a lot and learned there’s different ways to get to your goals.”
Tresch said she gives credit to her coach for her sustained success through her whole career.
“If I’m having trouble we can sit down, make a plan and everything he does is in my best interest,” she said.
She said she notes that Smith does a good job of setting long term goals for her and giving her something to push herself for. However, she said she also has some goals of her own.
“I hope to make a career out of running,” Tresch said. “But for my last year at K-State, I would love to repeat my Big 12 title in the steeplechase; I hope to be an all Big 12 runner during indoor, and I just want to stay healthy and be able to perform when we go to Big 12 cross-country meet as well. I had really high set goals for that meet, which I’m adjusting right now because my Achilles injury has come back.”