Pearl City’s Cross Country Standout Heading To Creighton

Maile Shigemasa. Photo courtesy Shigemasa family.

Maile Shigemasa. Photo courtesy Shigemasa family.

Athletics was secondary to academics when Pearl City runner Maile Shigemasa was deciding on her short list of colleges. “If they had a cross country team, I’d contact an assistant coach there to let them know,” she said.

High atop her list was Creighton University in Omaha. Soon after making contact with the Blue Jays’ cross country staff, Shigemasa was offered and accepted an athletic scholarship. If recruiting in college football were only this easy.

“The other schools I was interested in were all in Oregon, but I really liked what Creighton had to offer,” she said. “I’m interested in going there for physical therapy, and it is Division I (in athletics). It is a perfect fit for me.”

Shigemasa closed out her prep career at Pearl City in style recently, finishing first in both the 800 meters (2:23.23) and the 1,500 meters (4:56.35) at the OIA track and field finals. (She also finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 1,500 and 800 at the state championships in May.)

Shigemasa recently made time to visit with MidWeek‘s West Oahu Islander.

What is your earliest sports-related memory? I grew up playing soccer, starting in AYSO when I was 4. It wasn’t until high school that I started running.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your life? My mom (Fran) definitely. She really helped me along in school and athletics. She was the one who took me to practice and the one who helped me with my schoolwork. She’s a big part of my life.

What will be your area of focus during the summer months? Getting back into shape. My coach (Creighton’s Matt Rogers) wants me to build slowly. Our season is really long, from mid-August into November.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned through athletics? Time management. I’ve had to balance my running and my school-work. That definitely helps.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Hopefully, I’d like to have my own physical therapy practice or be practicing under someone else.

What Internet site do you frequent the most? Because it’s the summer, I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix.

What is your least favorite household chore? Cleaning the bathroom.

What movie could you watch over and over? The classic Disney movies. They’re fun to watch.

Who are three of your favorite musical artists? I listen to a lot. I definitely like Justin Timberlake, One Direction and Katy Perry.

When you have free time, how do you like to spend it? I spend time with my friends and family, and I go shopping. I love to go shopping. I like to go to Macy’s, and I’m really into H&M (Hennes & Mauritz).

You’re stuck on Kahoolawe and can have an endless supply of just one food. What would it be? I really like pasta. I’m really into Italian food.

If you could have your pick, what celebrity would you most like to meet? Jennifer Lawrence.