Hannah DeBalsi Featured By “Sports Illustrated”


Casey Lu , Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Dec. 16, Staples’ very own track and cross country athlete, Hannah DeBalsi ‘16, joined the ranks of Serena Williams and Michael Phelps. Just like the privilege afforded to famed athletes, DeBalsi received the honor of being covered by “Sports Illustrated.”


DeBalsi was profiled in a feature called “Student Athlete of the Month.” In this feature, selected high school athletes are trailed by a “Sports Illustrated” recording team for two weeks. The final product is a 10-minute documentary, consisting of action shots and interviews. The documentary conveys the athlete’s future goals and feelings toward his or her sport, along with interests beyond sports.


While the details surrounding her selection were a mystery even to DeBalsi herself, her fellow teammates were not surprised that she was chosen, given her various achievements and zany personality.


“[DeBalsi] got a bunch of freshmen to ‘Hit the Quan’ [a popular dance] at the team banquet instead of giving a speech,” girls’ cross country and track co-captain Katharine Smith ‘16 said, describing the event as “hilarious.”


Another teammate, Melissa Alvarado ‘16, echoed Smith’s sentiments but also noted DeBalsi’s trifecta of determination, academic achievement and athletic ability.


“My friends and people I’m close to probably know that I take school seriously,” DeBalsi said modestly, remaining unsure about those outside her circle of friends. Her academics were not a focal point of the documentary.


However, with the release of her documentary, DeBalsi did have advice for fellow students who may have learned more about her.


“My advice to other people would be to just enjoy [themselves],” she said. “Because it’s fun, not stressful, to do things you love.”