When Maryssa Depies ’21 found out she had been named 2021 CoSIDA Academic All-American, she didn’t realize she had been in the running.
Depies, a former Hillsdale cross country and track and field runner, found out when her family told her they had seen the announcement on social media. She said she was honored to have her name beside the previous Hillsdale recipients of the award.
Her secret, she said, is time management and sacrifice.
“When you want to have fun sometimes, it’s like, ‘Well, this is my only time to study, so I’m going to have to do that right now,’” Depies said.
When she set foot on campus as a freshmen, she looked to then-senior Hannah McIntyre ’18, as a role model. McIntyre frequently had 4.0 semesters and ran several All-American races.
“I just wanted to be her so bad and tried to mimic her in what I did,” Depies said. “She was very influential to me and in my whole time I tried to be like her.”
Cross Country coach Andrew Towne said he was not only impressed by Depies’ athletic ability, but also her ability to
balance her school work with her training.
“Like so many other Hillsdale kids, there’s just a lot going on in their lives. I really felt like her senior year, she probably just did the best job of balancing all that stuff,” Towne said. The results spoke for themselves.”
On the course, Depies gave it her all. Towne remembers Depies would push herself to excel at points in races where many other runners would settle for less than their best.
“You could just clearly see that she made that choice and that’s something we talk about with all of our athletes, of ‘How good do you really want to be?’ I felt like she answered it right then and there. That always will stick out to me.”
Senior Sophia Medea, a teammate and close friend of Depies, said Depies looks to go above and beyond in all areas of her life.
“Maryssa is possibly one of the most loyal people I know,” Medea said. “She’s just a very devoted friend. Incredibly devoted to academics, always working to do a little bit more.”
Her favorite memory with Depies was her dedication to a team tradition where the girls would go to a specific tree at the end of their season and throw their shoes up into the branches.
In training, Depies became a role model to younger runners.
“As a runner, she is just ridiculously hard working,” Medea said. “She was really the inspiration on our team because Maryssa was always ready to go.”
Now studying to be a Physician’s assistant at Butler University, Depies plans to use the same tools that helped her to succeed at Hillsdale.
“Definitely set time for friends, and faith, and whatever is most important to you.”