Name: Sevanna Hanson
School: Desert Vista HS
Pole Vault: 12-9 @ Tempe City Meet
100m Hurdles: 15.11 @ Chandler Rotary Invitational
Long Jump: 16-9 @ AIA Track and Field State Championships (2017)
Sevanna Hanson is the top returning Arizona girl for the Pole Vault. As a junior last year, she clinched the victory at the Chandler Rotary Invitational and then placed 4th in the Girls' Invitational Pole Vault contest at the Arcadia Invitational. Her current best came when she cleared 12-9 at the Tempe City Championships on her home track. She capped off her interscholastic season with a D1 State Title at the AIA State Meet in May. Most recently, the ASU signee has taken victories at the National Pole Vault Summit and at the Air Force High School Indoor Open.
What has been the most memorable moment of your career to date?
The State meet my freshman year is probably the most memorable moment of my career to date. I cleared a new personal record and placed third. It was an emotional night with a very unexpected turnout for me and my teammates.
Did you listen to music before competing? If so what's on your playlist?
I do listen to music before competing because I think it helps put me in a positive, happy headspace. I don't really have a specific playlist and I usually just listen to whatever songs I'm into at that moment.
Do you have any quirky pre-race rituals or superstitions?
I think it's safe to say that I don't have any strict pre-competition rituals or superstitions. Although, I do always take a big jump at the back of the runway before each of my vaults, if that counts.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
Over the past couple years in high school, I have seen much of the competition come and go, so I cannot honestly pick one person and label them as my biggest competitor. However, I would say that I definitely go into each competition looking to set a new personal best so I am probably my own competition.
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment has to be winning state last year. It was such an amazing experience and an unforgettable feeling.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
If I could do it all over again, I would probably try more events in track and field or maybe even do a different sport. I'm super competitive and love to try new things so I wish I would've done more athletically in high school. However, I am super happy that I found pole vault and am very grateful for the doors it has opened.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
(Right: Sevanna Hanson took 1st in the Elite Girls' Pole Vault contest at the Chandler Rotary Invitational.-photo by John Hays)
I would say that pole vault is a big mental game. I have struggled with my confidence occasionally throughout my high school career, but I have become a lot more confident in my ability this year. I have also had to recover from some injuries that took both time and patience from me as an athlete.
What will you miss the most about competing for your team?
I will undoubtedly miss all of my teammates. They have all been extremely kind and supportive throughout my entire high school career and I was super blessed to be around each of them almost daily.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
Coach Guy has done everything in his power (and more) to make the best athlete I can be. I believe that I am both a better athlete and more importantly, a better person because of the impact Coach Guy has had on me. I am so grateful for all the years I have been able to work with him at Desert Vista and I will continue to keep in touch with Coach Guy as I continue my track and field career in college.
What was the deciding factor that made you choose Arizona State University?
My visit to Arizona State University really changed my whole perspective about staying in state. I fell in love with the campus, program, and people. I could vividly picture my future at ASU after I took my visit.
What are your college plans? Have you decided on a major?
I will attend Arizona State University to continue both my academic and athletic career. I am still deciding on a major, but I am interested in pursuing either Engineering or Business. I also plan to continue Spanish in college as I have developed a passion for it due to the amazing Foreign Language Department at Desert Vista.
The pole vault coach for the Sun Devils, Ron Barela is one of the top vaulters in ASU school history and helped develop the Thunder pole vault program in its early years. What do you like about his coaching style/philosophy?
I have known Coach Barela for several years and I am very excited that I get the opportunity to work with him for the next four years! I love the fact that Coach Barela is always very positive and encouraging. He never fails to remind an athlete what they are doing right and he is exceptional at communicating what he wants his athletes to do.
Who would you like to thank for your success in high school?
I would love to thank my parents for preparing meals for me, driving me to practice, taking me to physical therapy, supporting me at all my competitions, and so much more! I also am very grateful for everything my track coaches have done for me. They are always so willing to give up their time to help me both on and off the track. Finally, all of my friends have been very supportive of me and my athletic career and I am so thankful for everything they have done for me.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
If I could have any superpower, I would want the power to heal. I hate seeing people or animals that are in pain or sad so, I wish I had the power to remove them from pain.
What's the last movie you watched?
The last movie I watched was A Simple Favor. I have seen it at least three times now and I think it has become funnier each time.
What's your favorite sports team?
My favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks.
What's the best literary work you read in high school?
I am not much of a reader, but I did have three books that I read in high school stand out to me: Les Misérables, Rebecca, and The Great Gatsby.