By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
ECHS’ Brooke Maseda signs with Augusta University
Brooke Maseda

By Donald Heath

Special for the Effingham Herald

After an injury-riddled fall, Effingham County’s long-distance runner Brooke Maseda will be looking forward to getting back on track in the spring and staying on the run next fall at Augusta University.

The senior announced her decision to sign with the Jaguars’ cross country/track program Dec. 13.

“I really wanted to run in college and I heard a lot of good things about the team,” said Maseda, whose friend Cheyenne Ryan, a former South Effingham standout, runs at Augusta.

Maseda continued the Rebels’ recent string of college-bound runners. Catherine Hall signed with Georgia Southwestern State in 2019 (before transferring to Georgia Southern) and Candace Kieffer signed with the University of Miami last December.

Former ECHS middle distance runner Megan Hilton inked with Emmanuel College in 2021 before transferring to Georgia Southern.

“I feel like our distance program has improved a lot of the runners with the help of Mr. Kieffer (Candace’s father Scott Kieffer),” Maseda said.     “Levi (Thomas) broke the boys cross country record several times and I don’t know where I’d be without Candace and Mr. Kieffer.”

Maseda started the fall cross country season with hopes of breaking the 21-minute mark in the 5-kilometer run. She had a PR of 21:33.32 at the Honey Ridge 5K at the Farm in Guyton.

Not long afterward, however, she was slowed by a ligament injury called Iliotibial Band Syndrome, when the leg ligament rubs against the thighbone.

Maseda fought through pain and placed 12th at region, but couldn’t advance.

But there’s always the track season. Now healthy, Maseda is the region’s top returnee in the 1600 and 3200. She was fourth in the spring in both events in the region tournament, behind Kieffer, Richmond Hill’s Julia Wilson and Ryan (in the 1600) and Kieffer and two Richmond Hill runners in the 3200. Kieffer and Ryan graduated and Richmond Hill moved up to Class 7A.

In the region championships, Maseda ran a personal best 5:47.61 in the 1600.

She hopes to lower her 1600 time to 5:30, and in the 3200, “we’ll see what happens,” she said.

Maseda also wants to run the 800. 

A healthy spring and a season of improvement could make her times competitive at Augusta University, an NCAA Division II school that competes in the Peach Belt Conference.

In the fall, Augusta finished third in cross country and advanced to the Southeast Regional Championships.

Maseda takes advanced classes in the STEM program at the Effingham College and Career Academy. She plans on pursuing a degree in cyber security.

“I started taking computer classes and found I really like that,” she said.