Catching Up with Top Returners: Hannah Hartzell

-Athlete name: Hannah Hartzell
-School: Olentangy Orange High School
-Year of Graduation: 2013
-Best time in a 5k race and in what meet:
18:19 at the Les Eisenhart Invitational last year
-Tell us how your summer training is going?
My summer training is going very well.  I am focusing on getting a good base, so I’ve been doing mainly long runs and not over-working and training myself pre season.  I’ve also focused a lot this summer on swimming laps and doing strength training.  In July, I went to a cross country camp at Malone University.  That was a really great experience and I also met some really great friends there that I’ll get to race later this season!
-How long have you been running and how did you get started?
I joined cross country and track in the 7th grade.   I’ve  always loved running though, so I did some  races I was much younger, and I enjoyed running with my parents.  I was more of a soccer player then, but my dad had run in high school and track.  That’s really what got me started.  I heard all the stories about racing, the state meet, and the team fun: it sounded like something I absolutely wanted to do!
-Will you competing anywhere out of state this season?
We don’t have any meets out of state during the regular season.  Post-Season, I would really like to run Nike Regionals in hopes of making Nationals: that would be so awesome.  My coach said we’ll see how the season goes, but I know it’s my last chance to go to a national meet in high school.  If I never try I’ll never know…so I’d like to try and see!
-What is your favorite course to run in Ohio?
The course at Watkins Memorial High School is an amazing one.  It’s basically all in the woods, which makes it very easy to focus on the course and get the job done.  It’s also very scenic, which is a plus.  We run Districts at Watkins and the McGowan Invitational earlier in the season is held there, too.  It tends to get pretty soupy for districts, but it was very dry and fast at McGowan last year, so there are always really fast times.
-What is the toughest course to run in Ohio?
The toughest course we run is the Erin Nance Invite in London, Ohio.  I really like the course because it’s on a golf course, it good mental preparation for the post-season, and its great competition to run against Sarra Taylor (from London high School) and some other girls I don’t usually get to race.  It’s pretty difficult though because the last mile or so is basically all hills.
-What meet during the regular season do you put extra emphasis on to compete well at? 
Les Eisenhart at Thomas Worthington is a meet I have loved since middle school.  I really enjoy running there because it pulls in so many schools to create a big and competitive race.  Eisenhart is important to me because I usually race well there and because there is such great competition.  We are also going to the Tiffin Carnival this year.  We went during my sophomore year, but I was injured and couldn’t race.  That race will be a really important one for me as well.  It was  my dad’s home course, so that’s pretty special.  I’m excited to race some different girls there and get a good time in the process.
-What is your favorite cross country race so far in your high school career?
Running at Les Eisenhart this past year was one of the most memorable for me.  I had been focusing on that the power God has to do even more than I can imagine.  I gave the race to him, went out, and won!  Although racing is hard work, I had a great time.  I always race my best when I have joy and just let loose.  I won’t forget how much fun I was having during that race.  I got a PR by a lot and ran better than I ever thought I could- better than I believe I could on my own.
-Favorite cross country memory?
This past year we  had a goal of qualifying as a team for Regionals.  We were really a long shot, but everyone gave their absolute best and we actually came in second.  We were so excited that our hard work paid off in such a great way. On another note, I will never forget sitting in my coach’s car for a good hour when her car broke down after a team dinner at Olive Garden.  Maybe not a “favorite” moment, but a memorable one for sure!
-When you are not running what is your favorite thing to do?
I enjoy traveling and hiking. I also like going to Bible study, hanging out with friends, and playing some Frisbee golf now and then.
-Favorite quote?
“God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast;  and when I run, I feel his pleasure.”  -Eric Liddle
-What’s on your Ipod when you go out for runs?
I’m not one for music during a run, but pre-race, my favorite songs on my playlist are “I am Free” by the Newsboys and “Our God” by Chris Tomlin.
-What professional athlete would you most like to meet?
Hands down: Ryan Hall.  I admire his outward display of faith and the way he gives all credit and glory to God.  He uses his influence as an elite runner to bless others and even raise money for his charity for children.  He is the kind of runner and person that I want to be.   I’m a huge fan!