Brandon Chabot

Equinox Staff


Keene State Cross Country runner, Brett Mastrangelo fared well in the California scene, but said he prefers the Keene life.

After studying three semesters as a film major at Keene State College, Mastrangelo sought better opportunities out west. He went to Los Angeles where he got an internship with American Idol. There he preformed a rigorous work schedule, working 70 hours a week, waking up at 7:30 a.m.

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Mastrangelo said, “It’s one of those careers, the higher up you are, the less you do. Just trying to work my way through the brunt of work, I couldn’t see myself doing that and working my way up for the next seven to ten years, until I found a position I was happy with.”

Mastrangelo said he went to school in Calif. for a semester in the spring of 2011 then took the fall 2011 semester off where he got back into running.

Mastrangelo said he spent time in Mammoth Lakes, Calif. He took a semester off from school and took the time to enjoy running again, he said.

“The town is like 10,000 feet altitude in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, there’s a ton of trails,” Mastrangelo said.

Mastrangelo said the cost of school, being too busy to run and not enjoying his work combined to bring him back to the east coast.

Senior cross country runner Thomas Paquette said Mastrangelo has been his best friend since freshman year, and that he was unhappy to hear that Mastrangelo was leaving for the west coast.

“When he told me the fall of sophomore year that he was moving, I was like okay. But then he told me the reason why and I knew that was the best thing for him at the time,” Paquette said.

Paquette added, “I was really heartbroken. My best friend was leaving, kind of didn’t hit me until he left but it kind of sucked.”

Paquette said when he talked to Mastrangelo while he was in California, he said he didn’t enjoy it out there as much as he thought he would.

“I think he was surprised to find out how much different it was living over there than here,” Paquette said. “The reason he came back was friends, family, and running.”

Cross country coach Peter Thomas said he had to be happy for Mastrangelo because he was following his career dream and couldn’t stop him from seeking out the best possibilities.

Thomas said Mastrangelo thought the school in Orange County he attended was one of the best film schools in the country.

“He applied to it out of high school and didn’t get in, but he had gotten good grades and was a film major here, and said he had reapplied and got in and that was his dream school so you couldn’t fault him for it,” Thomas said.

This year is Mastrangelo’s first season running cross country. In his freshman year, Mastrangelo injured himself, getting a stress fracture in his ankle, which held him back from competing in cross country.

Mastrangelo decided the west coast city life and being a film major wasn’t for him. But he said going to California and working for “American Idol” was worth the experience.

Mastrangelo said small town life appealed more to him than the Los Angeles life. “Out in L.A. where everyone is trying to make it, and they don’t even know what ‘make it’ means.”

Now, Mastrangelo plans on graduating at KSC as a general science major and may have to continue for an additional year of school. “I am definitely going to stay here now through all this,” Mastrangelo said.

He said he isn’t graduating on time, which gives him two more years of eligibility for the KSC Cross Country team.

Thomas Paquette said, “We live together now, and we train together. We both have that goal to make the team better, and our initial goal is to go to Indiana for nationals as a team.” Paquette added, “I know I only have one shot at it I’m a senior, and Brett’s got two more years. He really motivates me and the team just by what he does and how he goes about things.”

Mastrangelo’s advice for those out there seeking out internships and jobs is that you need to go the extra length and create contacts; they won’t come to you.

“If you are around them, they will be willing to work with you, but if you are just like walking by they have heard it a thousand times,” he said.

Mastrangelo raced to a tenth place finish in last weekend’s KSC Invitational with a time of 27 minutes and 43 seconds.


Brandon Chabot can be contacted at


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