About two hours ago, Emma Kertesz announced that she will be foregoing her senior year of eligibility at the University of Toledo and will be joining the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project in Rochester, Michigan, as a professional runner.
She asked me to release the following statement:
I’m thankful and excited for an amazing opportunity to be apart of a great program, and to paraphrase a famous Ohioan, “I’m taking my talent to Rochester.” I’m looking forward to great things to come with Hansons Brooks ODP.
Kertesz is a Toledo native who was not highly recruited out of high school but made massive improvements in college. Barely a sub-19:00 high school cross country runner, her track PRs dipped to 16:35.87 and 33:28.58 last year, topping out with a 16th-place finish in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Championships.
Moving to the roads last fall (as she had exhausted her cross country eligibility), she took it up another notch. Her USA Running Circuit debut took her to the USA 5k Championships in Providence, RI, where she finished 12th in 16:27.4. Her next outing, the USA Women’s 10k Championships in Boston, saw her take 4th place in 32:51.4 and earn a spot on the US team to the Chiba Ekiden.
While running the fourth stage (leg) of the six-person mixed-gender race, she covered 5k in 16:25 and moved the US team from fourth to third, a position which was held by the rest of the team to hold on to bronze.
Kertesz indicated that current circumstances in the UT program, in which long time coach Kevin Hadsell recently resigned, helped her decide to turn pro. She will be moving to Rochester to join the Hanson’s team within the next week. She was scheduled to compete at this week’s USATF Cross Country Championships in St. Louis, but has withdrawn as she is “healing up from some plantar fasciitis issues but progressing to being back in full swing.”
The Hansons-Brooks Distance Project is a team-based training group in Rochester, Michigan, managed by brothers Keith and Kevin Hanson. It was begun in 1999 to give struggling semi-pro runners the time they needed to progress from the collegiate level to elite status. Hansons-Brooks Olympians include Brian Sell (marathon, 2008) and Desi Davila (marathon, 2012), the latter of which might be best known for her narrow 2nd-place finish at the 2011 Boston Marathon.