Player Profile: Maria Hurtado

The junior cross country runner, originally from a small town in Mexico, has ran since she was 7 years old and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. She started running a few miles everyday with her mother and when her brother started cross country in high school, she wanted to be just like him. After joining a running club in sixth grade, Hurtado started to race competitively.

“Running is more of a lifestyle than just a sport,” said  Hurtado. “It’s something we plan to do for the rest of our life.”

Hurtado and her family migrated to the U.S. in the early years of her life. Despite moving when she was little, Hurtado didn’t learn to speak English until around the same age she started running. She also loves listening to old school Spanish music.

Through running cross country, Hurtado has learned to never give up.  That is something that she uses in her everyday life, not just in her sport.  In addition, cross country has taught her how to constantly stay positive and to keep trying no matter what. 

“I have learned to keep pushing through the pain because you can always do better,” said Hurtado.

In doing so, Hurtado has accomplished many things in her 10 years running cross-country.  In high school, she was the second person to make the varsity cross country team at her school, Vista Murrieta High School.  In her senior year there, Hurtado finished in the top 50 at the Division I state meet in addition to her team finishing second in the state.

So far in her college career, Hurtado has a few big accomplishments under her belt.  In Sonoma State University’s Invitational held this year at Spring Lake Regional Park, Hurtado finished top 10, running a 23:37 6K race.  Also, Hurtado became team captain this year.

“I was never [team] captain in high school, so being captain in college never crossed my mind,” said Hurtado.

Hurtado is very independent.  She does her own thing and tends to not follow the crowd or do what everybody else is doing.

“I like to find a way to do things in my own way,” said Hurtado. “When people try to tell me that I cannot do something, I use that as my motivation to prove them wrong.”

Hurtado chose SSU because of the size and beauty of the campus. She loves that the class sizes are small.

Hurtado is majoring in global studies because she has always wanted to work for the government or work helping immigrants.  But her biggest dreams would include making a change in the world.

After college her plans include working for a nonprofit organization helping and protecting human rights or working for the U.S. government.  Hurtado’s dream job is working for the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

Hurtado and the rest of the SSU cross country team have their last regular season race on Saturday, Oct. 18 in Santa Clara for the Santa Clara Invitational.