While most Harvard students will be spending the week before Jan. 28 relaxing before classes begin or wrapping up a J-term project, Emily Hannah will be 3900 miles away from Cambridge, accomplishing a much different goal.
Along with five others women, the freshman Nordic skier was named to the 2013 FIS Junior World Championship team based on results from the past week’s US Cross Country Ski Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah.
Hannah skied to a second-place finish in the 5-km skate race at the national championships to secure her spot on the Junior World Championship team, a first for any Crimson cross-country skier.
But the honor isn’t completely novel for the Colorado native, who also made the team in 2012 as a J1 (ages 16-17) athlete. At the 2012 Junior Worlds, held in Erzurum, Turkey, Hannah placed 51st in the women’s skiathlon event.
This year, the freshman will again head off to take on the best 18 and 19-year-old skiers in the world—this time in Liberec, Czech Republic, where the 2013 FIS Nordic Junior and U23 World Championships will be held from Jan. 20 to Jan. 27. Over a thousand semi-professional and collegiate Nordic skiers will convene to compete for both individual and team honors.
“Most Harvard students realize how many adjustments you make as a freshman, just going from high school to college, but then as an athlete, you’re also making adjustments to a new coach, a new training plan, new teammates, and that’s a big adjustment, so it’s not unusual in those circumstances to have an athlete take a year just to get used to skiing at the college level,” Nordic coach Chris City said. “I think it says so many things about Emily’s focus and determination to be able to manage all of those things and still be able to ski at this level. I’m excited to see what she can do on her second trip to World Juniors with a little more familiarity with the racing environment expectations.”