Running cross country, across the world


Hattori has been running since middle school, and it on the JV team at the school.

Kasey Harvey, Sports Editor

Starting cross country at age 11, freshman Nanako Hattori has been running all over the world. From her home in Japan, then to Los Angeles, she landed here only a year ago and has jumped at the chance to join the cross country team on JV this year.

“I like running better here,” Hattori said. “They’re like really friendly team members are really friendly and really nice. I used to live in Los Angeles one year ago. It was hard. Because in Los Angeles there was only like five girls in cross country but here, there are like 20 people in cross country. So I think that makes a big difference. I think harder to catch up.”

While running stays the same, the environment has differed from place to place.

“It was kind of strict,” Hattori said. “The team members are really strict. Seniors are so different than freshman. In Japan, we practiced differently, like different grades so here, they are practicing all together.”

Japan’s culture is said to be based more on groups and community rather than the individualistic mindset that takes place in the U.S., contributing to her ability to fit in.

“Nanako is another quiet kid,” head cross country coach Amanda Zambiasi said. “She comes out, she’s there every day, she’s always working hard with a smile on her face. You wouldn’t know that she’s new to texas and cross country and running because she just gels with the girls and does a great job. She seems to get along with the girls really well. I haven’t seen any cultural barriers there.”

Despite the constant changes in scenery, Hattori emerges herself in the team which has come with benefits beyond athleticism.

“It helps me to make friends and communicate with friends,” Hattori said. “And also it improved my english skills because we had to communicate with each other.”