Hannah Frazee from Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids will join the distance squad at UNI next year. Continue below to see more about how she made the decision to become a Panther, some great advice for other athletes, and more!
What inspired you to begin running?
I began running because my mom signed me up for a local kids 5k on the fourth of July. Every runner got a ribbon and after that I was hooked. I gained a new found inspiration once I joined a local triathlon team in 8th grade and was surrounded by incredible athletes each day. They are the biggest reason that I began to take running seriously.
What has your high school athletic experience been like at Prairie High School?
My athletic experience at Prairie has been nothing short of amazing. Our school has been so supportive of athletics. Our cross country team and track teams have grown closer each year, I walk around school feeling like I am surrounded by a family.
What are your favorite events to compete in?
My favorite events are cross country and the 1500. I really enjoy cross country because it is longer and has so many different aspects to a single race such as hills,mud, and grass. I also really enjoy the 1500. I like the 1500 because it is not too long, but not too short. It also is a super gritty race mentally and that is something I am trying to improve on.
When did you start your college search and what schools were you considering?
I started seriously looking at colleges the spring of my junior year. I visited a few schools over the summer including Central and St. Louis University. During the fall I went on an official visit to UNI and University of Nebraska-Omaha.
How did you land on UNI?
Academically I liked that they are the only biology program in the state where the students get to use synthetic cadavers. Athletically I really loved the team and the coaches. They genuinely care about each member of the team and helping them be the best they can be.
How did your family, friends, and coaches react when you told them you had picked UNI?
My family was excited and relieved because they were tired of me stressing our over picking a college. My teammates and coaches were super supportive and excited for me too.
What are you most looking forward to about collegiate athletics?
I am looking forward to having the opportunity to pursue my passion of running competitively for another 4 years. I am also looking forward to having teammates by my side to push me and help me improve.
What are your athletic goals for the rest of your high school career and your collegiate career?
I am hoping to make it to state again this year and lower my PR's. I haven't really thought about any goals for my collegiate career, but I guess the biggest one is just to grow as a runner.
What is your advice for other high school athletes who may be considering UNI?
I think the biggest advice I have is making sure that you love the school for the academics because that is the biggest reason you are attending the college. I also would make sure that you feel you fit in well with the team, as they are going to become your family for the next 4 years.
What else would you like for people to know about you?
This past summer and cross country season I began to have disordered eating, and wasn't giving my body near enough fuel for the amount of running I was doing. I am very lucky I had coaches and others in my life who did not allow this to continue. This past winter I my coach and I went to a dietician weekly, and have since gained over 12 pounds. However, I have gained so much more including strength, speed, and energy. If there was one thing I could pass on to younger runners it would be this, never let yourself fall into the trap of under-fueling, there are many better, and more sustainable ways to get faster. Coaches have an opportunity to empower their athletes too, and offering support to athletes who need it.