Superstar Runner Hannah DeBalsi Commits to Stanford

Emma Lederer , Staff Writer

On Tuesday night, Oct. 20 at exactly 9:45 p.m., Hannah DeBalsi posted a status on Facebook. It read: “Stanford Class of 2020!!!” Within moments, congratulations flooded the post– friends, family, and acquaintances alike expressed how happy they were for the nationally-ranked runner.

DeBalsi is well-known in the Staples and Westport communities. Throughout her high school career, she has run in national races and won several prestigious awards. Her accomplishments include being crowned Westport’s “Sports Person of the Year” in 2014, and breaking the record for the girls’ national indoor sophomore record for 2 miles, finishing in just over 10 minutes. All the while dominating indoor and outdoor track, she’s also been performing at the top of the class.

Erin Munley ’16, a close friend and teammate to DeBalsi, said DeBalsi committing to Stanford came as no surprise. “I’ve always known this was where she’d end up,” she said. “She’s worked so hard in running as well as school and really deserves this.”

Furthermore, Munley acknowledged what a perfect fit Stanford is for DeBalsi. “This one was the one for her because it’s very competitive and it’s so highly ranked,” she said. She commented on the fact that Stanford is not only an incredible school academically, but also has one of the best running programs in the country. DeBalsi even received scholarship money to attend.

Expressing her own excitement about attending Stanford next fall, Debalsi said: “I just fell in love with [it]. I felt like I really connected with the coaches, the team, and just the campus culture in general.”