Emma Kertesz leaves University of Toledo to turn professional
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 14:02
It was only a matter of time before Kevin Hadsell’s resignation reared its ugly head and now the University of Toledo women’s track and field team has lost its best athlete.
All-American Emma Kertesz decided to forego her final season of track eligibility and begin her professional career last week when she joined Hansons-Brooks Running in Rochester, Mich.
Hadsell’s departure played a big role in her decision.
“[He] was a major part of why I became so good,” Kertesz said. “For him to not be there anymore was definitely a factor.”
Kertesz arrived at Toledo barely breaking the 19-minute mark on the 5K. Her personal best now stands at 16:35 in that event and 33:28 in the 10K.
She graduated in May of 2012 with a history degree and used up her cross country eligibility, but was still able to compete one more year on the track circuit.
The Toledo native dominated the Mid-American Conference during her career and competed in some Team USA events.
At her Team USA debut, Kertesz placed 12th at the USA 5K Championships in Providence, R.I. She then finished fourth at the USA 10K Championships in Boston, which earned her a spot on the U.S National Team at the Chiba Ekiden in Japan.
Kertesz said the decision to leave was difficult, but had been planning on running for Hansons-Brooks after her college days were over.
“This is definitely something that I’ve wanted to do before he even resigned,” she said. “It was hard, but it was kind of like, ‘OK, I’m just doing it a little bit sooner than I planned originally.’”
Kertesz said she is still recovering from a bout with plantar fasciitis, but has officially joined the squad. She lives with two teammates and will focus on the 5K all the way up to half-marathons.
The team is funded by Kevin and Keith Hanson who own four running shops in the area. They also sponsor the U.S. Olympic Development Team.