Having the distinction of earning the most All-America awards in Keene State College’s history, with eight, Scott Hatch joins an impressive list of Owl cross country/track athletes who have run their way into the hall of fame.
Competing for KSC during the 1985-89 seasons, Hatch combined his running talent with an unyielding desire to improve to become one of the top runners in the program’s history.
“Scott was a tremendous talent and big-meet performer,” said Coach Peter Thomas. “He was very dedicated and focused and improved season to season.”
Born to run with a thin athletic built, Hatch, a native of Nashua, quickly found his niche in the sport when he moved from the sprints to long distance events and the cross country trails as a sophomore at Nashua High School.
Hatch, like so many runners that preceded him, welcomed the challenge of joining a talented Keene State team whose roster already included Rod Ellsworth, Tom Anderson, Chris Moulton and Scott Clark his freshman season. “I wanted to be challenged and run with good runners and see what can happen,” he said.
Up to the task, Hatch made his move at the regional cross country qualifying race when he placed 19th overall and third on the team. He helped the Owls finish third at the NCAA Championships that fall.
Earning his first All-America award with a 6th place finish in the 5,000-meter indoor race as a sophomore, Hatch came into his own as a junior when he brought home five All-America certificates. The highlight of his season came at the spring track nationals in 1988. Running in the heat of Texas, Hatch placed fourth in the 10,000-meter event and came back two days later with a sixth-place performance in the 5,000-meter race. “That was the best one-two race of my career,” Hatch said.
As a senior, he capped off his Owl cross country career with a personal best fourth place effort at the Division II Nationals in Clinton, Miss. A race ran despite a tornado warning and 83-degree humidity.
“There’s no question that being around talented runners pushed me to become a national caliber runner, “said Hatch, reflecting on his KSC career. “Every workout, every practice, and every race, you’re competing against your teammates as well.
“Running was our life and we worked hard at it.” Hatch said of himself and teammates.
Appreciative of his teammates for pushing him to his potential, Hatch also praised Thomas for playing a major role in his development. “Pete always had a knack for pulling in talented runners from New England and making them national champions. It’s nice to be among them.”
“I’m very proud of my accomplishments at Keene State,” Hatch said. “Those were the best days of my life. I leaned a lot as a person. It taught me how to give it my all no matter what I did and work hard at it.”
Hatch, currently resides in Manchester with his wife Diane and daughter Rachel.