Father Daughter Duo:
Hannah Douglas comes from a family of runners and coaches. Hannah’s grandfather (Ed) was a coach for Williamstown High School and runner himself. Hannah’s uncle (her dad’s older brother) ran for the University of Delaware. Hannah’s dad and coach Andy started running road races at the age of five and continued his love of running in high school and one year at the University of Delaware before moving onto soccer and eventually rowing crew for the University. So, it is easy to say running is in Hannah’s blood, which explains her fierce competitiveness.
Hannah’s dad has been coaching high school cross country and track & field for the last 12 years. Last year he had the opportunity to help start the Round Lake Charter middle school team in which Hannah would run on. Coach Andy admits he misses coaching high school a little but loves his opportunity to coach and teach younger athletes’ cross country and track & field. I recently asked Coach Andy, "As a dad and a coach I am sure it is rewarding helping your daughter achieve her goals on the track and knowing you helped with that. But have you found it difficult or easy to keep being dad and coach separate?" He replied that, "To be honest, practice is pretty easy since she trains with a group and I push all of them the same. When it comes to a meet, well that’s a different story. It’s a tough balance because I want to be there to cheer and encourage all my athletes as coach, but I must make sure I am there as dad to make sure I keep Hannah calm and focused for her events. I probably run five miles each meet trying to be everywhere."
After noticing Hannah as a standout athlete last cross country season, I continued to watch her this cross season and into track. I contacted her dad to ask her a few questions early in the track season.
You are in 6th grade, how long have you been running?
I just started running competitively this year. I was a competitive cheerleader and played club soccer until this year, so I think that may have helped by running.
You have run some pretty fast times for your age, what are your goals for the 2019 track season?
I had three goals for this season. I wanted to qualify for states in the 1500m (which is her favorite distance), which I already did. My second goal is to qualify in the 800m. My third goal is to run under a 5:10 in the 1500m. If I do that at the state meet hopefully that will get me a medal.
Note: Hannah ran the 1500m at state in 5:25.89 finishing 24th overall, 9th 6th grader overall. Hannah decided to pass on running the 800m when she qualified for the 3000m two weeks before the FLYRA State meet running her PR in the middle of the Florida heat with a 10:58. She ran 11:07.57 which put her 5th overall and the 1st 6th grader at the FLYRA State meet.
Who is your favorite athlete, what sport do they do?
Colleen Quigley is my favorite athlete. She is a USA Olympian track runner. She puts cool braids in her hair before her races. That’s why I have to have my hair braided before every race. She does the #fastbraidfriday.
Hannah also dedicates each race to her grandfather Ed, Ed passed away two years ago right before Hannah started running due to pancreatic cancer. Ed never saw his granddaughter compete but told her dad Andy many times when Hannah was little that one day, she would be a great runner. Hannah wears a cancer ribbon to tie the back of her jersey together to honor him.
This athlete’s future looks bright and with her dads assistance I look forward to continue to watch her times continue to drop as she moves onto high school and college.