Latrobe grad Hanna Green advances to NCAA finals in 800m
When Hanna Green was a senior at Latrobe in 2013, she told her coaches after the PIAA Track and Field Championships that she wasn't going to compete in the 800-meter run in college.
Her Latrobe coaches knew better, even though she didn't want to hear it.
She felt she was a 400 runner, an event she excelled in during high school. She was a WPIAL champion in the 400 her senior season and placed fourth in the PIAA meet.
Green, a sophomore at Virginia Tech, had coaches who knew what they were talking about. She has become one of the top 800 runners in the NCAA.
She has the fourth-best time for Division I women this season, and Green won her semifinal heat in 2 minutes, 3.35 seconds Thursday at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., to advance to the finals Saturday. She led the race from start to finish.
“I learned to like the event,” Green said. “I worked hard and now I believe in myself. That's something I had to overcome.”
Green owns the indoor and outdoor records at Virginia Tech. She broke her own mark numerous times and her record time of 2:01.72 occurred in the ACC Championships on May 16.
She finished second at the NCAA East Preliminary in Jacksonville, Fla.
She earned All-America honors after finishing 13th in the 2014 NCAA finals, and has earned All-America honors by advancing to the finals.
“I've surprised myself,” Green said. “I've train hard and my goal this weekend is to finish better than I did in the NCAA Indoor Championships.”
She placed fifth.
Green ran a 2:05.29 to set her own indoor mark and earned First Team All-America Honors for the first time in her career. She also earned Second Team All-America honors last season at the outdoor championships.
Green was named Indoor Track and Field Indoor Most Valuable Player and was nominated as best female athlete at Virginia Tech, where she also runs the 400 and 1,500. This year, she won the ACC Indoor Championships by edging Clemson's Natoya Goule.
Goule, however, edged Green in the ACC Outdoor finals in another classic race, and the two will race again in Saturday's NCAA final.