By Erin Brown, Free Press Sports editor
Tiia (pronounced Tie-ah) Kand is a year-round athlete here at USM. She participates in cross country, indoor and outdoor track for the Huskies. Out of the running shoes, Tiia is a junior international business major who’s originally from Abbot, Maine, a small town in central Maine about two hours north of Portland. Though she loves the outdoors and peacefulness of her small hometown, Tiia said she chose to come to USM for a change of scenery and culture in general.
Fitting with her degree in international business, Tiia also is interested in learning and reading about international relations, as well as traveling abroad. This summer she spent time studying abroad in the Netherlands and was able to see neighboring countries, such as Belgium and France. Her next travel interest is Asia. “I’m super interested in Southeast Asia. I’m not even sure why, but I’d love to go there to teach English or just travel,” she said about what she hops will be her next endeavor.
This year is the third year Tiia has run for the Huskies. The great records and reputations the USM cross country and track teams have are what drew Tiia to join the teams when she first started at USM. She said her involvement all started with her wanting to run indoor track, and her coach convincing her to train during cross country. While it was a struggle to learn to run distance, Tiia said she loves being on the team and said she would be lost without being a part of it. The team has been a motivator during her time at USM, she said, “I always have the motivation to go out and run with people I like and a coach that pushes us to get better, which is great.”
Tiia not only loves the camaraderie of being on the team itself, but she feels she brings her own individual strengths to the team as well: “I feel I bring positivity, I’m certainly not the best member, but I feel I have improved and still have more room to do so. I like helping people achieve their goals and being a motivator as we all push each other.”