NEW CASTLE —
PUTTING IN WORK
Having to compete in multiple events at invitationals and dual meets can be draining.
“It really works on you mentally,” Drake admitted. “Last year, that was something I really struggled with. I feel like I’ve improved with the mental aspect of it. That’s a huge part of running and jumping. It’s hard, but it’s something that you get used to.
“At some points, my legs feel shot. Even in the 4x4, you get those feelings where you don’t want to do it, but you push through it.”
If she had her druthers, Drake would prefer to focus solely on the triple jump.
“I really like the triple jump,” she said. “Not a lot of people know about it. It’s probably my favorite event and it’s probably my best event.
“You either get it or you don’t. I was able to pick it up pretty quickly when I was taught it in seventh grade. It’s a lot of technique. There’s a lot of pounding on your legs. It’s definitely something that you have to work at.”
Drake and her teammates have spent a lot of time working on handing off the baton in the 1600 and 3200 relays.
“Coach (Mary Beth) Acker has worked hard with us,” she said. “All the coaches do. They help us with the timing and the handoffs. It’s special, because I’ve been with this relay team since my freshman year and none of us have graduated. We’ve been together for a while now. You learn other people’s strategy and how they run. That helps with the timing.”
Drake has put her individual goals on the back burner for what’s best for the team.
“I know we have a good team and we have a well-rounded team,” she said. “I’m really excited to see what I can do for the team and how many points I can get for the team. We have a lot of goals this year and we have high expectations. To be a part of this, I feel really blessed.”
McFarland has been impressed with her attitude.
“She’s been willing to sacrifice her individual success for the success of the team,” he said. She’s a very unselfish athlete in that sense. She’ll do whatever we need her to do to help the team. We try to take into consideration her individual events, so she can go as far as she can.”
Although it hasn’t happened, yet, Drake could be moved from one event to another if the Lady Greyhounds suddenly need to secure points elsewhere.
“We haven’t had to do that,” McFarland said. “We’ve known our opponents and what we needed to do, but in past years, we’ve done that and we’ve been fortunate enough to have student-athletes like Hannah that accept that.”