For many students, balancing a full course load and aspects of student life is strenuous enough. It takes a dedicated individual to add a varsity sports team to the mix. Anna von Maltzahn is a standout Dalhousie neuroscience student who also excels as an athlete. A basketball co-captain last season, she is a leader on the court and has earned top honours as a CIS Academic All-Canadian. This season she has chosen to push her boundaries further and will be igniting an old passion for running by joining the varsity cross country team.
Although basketball has been her priority since she came to Dal, von Maltzahn competed in both cross country and track during high school, a testament to her overall athleticism. Since then, von Maltzahn has continued to be an avid runner in her free time and has participated in numerous events including the Cabot Trail Relay and the Halifax Bluenose Goodlife Fitness 10km, which she won last May.
When asked why she decided to run competitively this year on top of her basketball commitment, von Maltzahn explained, “I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to make the absolute most of my upcoming year at Dalhousie.”
Not a light decision
The choice to compete on two varsity teams was not made lightly. Von Maltzahn discussed the decision with the Tigers women’s basketball head coach, Anna Stammberger, to ensure that she was up to the task. Having coached von Maltzahn on Dal’s basketball team for three years now, coach Stammberger knows exactly what she is capable of. “She’s a competitor. If anyone can pull it off, it’s Anna.”
Coach Stammberger sees this as a great challenge for von Maltzahn, describing her as a go-to leader and the hardest working player on the team. Knowing that adding another varsity sport to her already demanding schedule will be straining, Stammberger still expressed the utmost confidence in von Maltzahn’s abilities. “It takes a certain kind of person to be able to do what Anna does athletically and academically.”
Joining the team
After receiving the green light from her basketball coach, the next step was to coordinate a schedule with Dal’s new cross country head coach, Rich Lehman. Having von Maltzahn on the roster has strengthened the already competitive team as they look to repeat last season’s AUS championship. Coach Lehman expressed his enthusiasm in adding von Maltzahn to the line-up, “She brings a level of intensity that the other girls are able to feed off of on race day and she is so composed on the start line that it has a calming effect on those around her.”
Although basketball has been set as the priority, von Maltzahn’s efforts on the trails have not been compromised. With the cross country season well under way, von Maltzahn has already earned impressive fifth and sixth place finishes in the last two races, helping the Tigers team finish second overall in both meets.
Von Maltzahn’s success as a student-athlete can be attributed to her hard work and dedication. With an unparalleled work ethic and efficient time management skills she has achieved what is nothing short of exceptional. While talking with von Maltzahn, she made it clear that her coaches were instrumental to her success. “A huge amount of credit goes to my coaches,” she says. “Coach Lehman has been extremely accommodating by providing me with alternative work out times so that I don't have to miss basketball practices while Coach Stammberger has been extremely supportive of my decision to run this fall.”
Catch her in action
Von Maltzahn and the women’s basketball team hit the court for the first time this season on October 4th at Dalplex for an exhibition match with the University of Calgary Dinos. You can catch her and the Tigers cross country team at Point Pleasant Park on October 27 when Dalhousie hosts the Subway AUS Championship.
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