Pilots in the Spotlight: Hannah Johnson

By The Beacon | September 12, 2012 9:00pm

Hannah Johnson (Giovanna Solano| THE BEACON)

By Taylor Tobin, Staff Writer tobint16@up.edu

Freshman Hannah Johnson, one of UP's three women's rowing recruits this year, is enthusiastic about competing for the Pilots this year. Johnson is from Seattle, Wash. where she attended Bishop Blanchet High School and competed for Green Lake Crew for four years.

What is the atmosphere of the team so far this year?

"Really fun, inviting, and supportive. We are already like family."

When did you first start crew?

"I started in high school as a freshman. I didn't make the volleyball team, so I decided to try crew."

How did you choose UP?

"When I was a senior I started talking to coaches and I got to know head coach Bill Zack and he recruited me for the team."

What do you like about rowing?

"It's different than any sport I've ever done because of how family oriented it is and how nice the girls are. You get so close to them-basically those girls are your life. Rowing has just become a huge part of my life. I can't even think about what it would be like to not do crew. I'm just really happy that UP has a team."

Who do you look up to as a leader on the team?

"All of the girls really play a part in being a leader. It's early in the year, but they're all really fun. They all want to get to know us and take us out. They want us to be a part of their team."

Did you feel comfortable with all the girls from the beginning?

"Oh, for sure. One of the first days on campus they took me out to meet people. They are just really fun to be around."

What is it like rowing with so many girls who are new to rowing?

"I mean, I'm a freshman, so I'm new to the team too. It's just such a new sport and most of the other sports have been here for a long time, so they have solid teams. We are in a growing year right now and it's really exciting."

What do you wish more people knew about crew?

"It's a full body workout from your toes to your shoulders and it's constant cardio. It is so much work. I feel like people don't even know how hard it is and they underestimate it because we're sitting in a boat, but there is so much more to it."

What skills do you need to be successful in rowing?

"There is so much technique involved. Balance, physics; there is so much stuff that goes along with it. It's very mental, as well; it's really hard to tell yourself that you have 750 more meters of excruciating pain. You can stop whenever you want to, but there's something that makes you want to keep going as hard as you can."