Latrobe grad Hanna Green eyes potential Olympic run in 2020
Hanna Green graduated from Latrobe in 2013 as one of the top 400-meter runners in the state.
When she graduated from Virginia Tech four years later, she was an elite NCAA Division I 800-meter runner.
Instead of retiring from running, Green decided to continue to run and train, so she moved to Oregon.
That decision paid off in a big way this past weekend.
After finishing second in the 800 at the U.S. Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, Green qualified for the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, beginning Sept. 27.
She ran a personal-best 1 minute, 58.19 seconds Sunday, finishing just behind Ajee Wilson of Neptune, N.J. (1:57.72), who holds the U.S. record in the event.
“Placing second gives me so much confidence now,” Green said. “I know I can compete against the top runners in the world.”
She’s already looking for the opportunity to make the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
With a top-three finish at the world championships, Green can qualify for the Olympic trials.
“I need to continue to build my confidence,” Green said. “I have to keep training hard and push myself.”
Green is the first athlete from Western Pennsylvania to qualify for the world championships since Rochester’s Lauryn Williams in 2009.
She has put in the work to get the opportunity.
After college, Green weighed her options. She decided to continue her track career and joined the Nike Oregon Track Club. There she trains with and against some of the top runners in the country.
“Moving to Oregon was a great decision for me,” Green said. “I feel comfortable with my teammates, and we pull for each other. I’m really excited to see how I do in Qatar.”
In high school, Green finished as a WPIAL Class AAA 400-meter champion and PIAA qualifier.
Green said she never dreamed of running the 800. But her coaches at Virginia Tech convinced her to change because of her 400 and cross country success.
She won six ACC outdoors championships. She holds school records in the 600 (indoor), 800 (indoor and outdoor), 1,500, Olympic Development mile and as part of the 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams.
Green was first-team All-American in indoor and outdoor, and she set ACC championship meet marks her senior season.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .