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MCU Alum Set to Take on the World

August 11, 2017
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MCU Alum Hanna Hermansson is ready to show the world what she's got as she gears up to compete in the 800 meter run at the IAAF World Championships this week in London. Since graduating from MCU, Hermansson has continued to blaze a trail rarely seen in athletics, where in three short years she has gone from never having run a race in her life, to reaching the highest stage possible.

Ironically, Hermansson's incredible running career started out as somewhat of a misfortune. After completing her first year in soccer at MCU, she had learned that it would be her last season of eligible competition in the sport. It was then that she decided she would give running a shot and continue her athletic career away from the game she had been playing since she could walk. After a trying out multiple events, it was clear that Hanna's talents would serve her best in the middle distance events. From that point forward, Hanna has climbed the ranks so fast that even she has a hard time comprehending.

"It feels unbelievable. I still don't think I understand it, but I'm sure it will start feeling real once I'm there," Hermansson stated.

At the end of her collegiate career, Hermansson had amassed enough hardware to turn heads at each race she competed in, and caught the eye of club a coach from her home country of Sweden. Coach Aruhn presented Hanna with the opportunity to continue her running career for a club in Sweden, and with her phenomenal marks, access to the highly coveted European Track & Field circuit.

Fast forward one year and Hermansson dipped under the world qualifying time of 2:01, and earned the chance to compete in her biggest race yet. An opportunity to toe the line with world record holders, national champions, and a blazing field of women eager to earn a spot at the podium under the bright lights of London Stadium. Hanna is anxious to get going, but also understands how important it is to take in the experience, and just give it her best shot.

She stated, "I just want to enjoy the moment and run my best race yet. It would be awesome if I got into fast heat and had the possibility of running sub 2. I know I can do it."

Her strategy in qualifying for the semi-finals varies depending on the various scenarios, but she is ready to attack regardless of how the race pans out. "If it's a fast heat I want to position myself well and have a kick left for the last 100 meters. If it's a slow heat I'm going to try to take it out myself," she said about her outlook. The top 3 runners from each heat earn an automatic qualifier to the semi-finals, followed by the next 6 fastest times. Coach Suarez of MCU stated that Hanna's natural abilities have carried her very far, but it is her discipline and sheer determination that really brings out the best in her.

"Hanna's a true gamer. Whatever the stage, whatever the pressure, she has a knack to rise above it and perform beyond anyone's expectations, even her own. It's been such an incredible journey for her. Her progression has been amazing, and it's clear she's got much more in the tank".

Hermansson (2:00.94 PB) will be representing the Swedish National Team, and is seeded to compete in Heat 6 of the preliminary rounds on August 10th. She will be going up against Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi, who is entered with the 2nd fastest time in the world this year.

To view entries and results, please click here