Hannah Capek: A Bear Who Rolls with the Tide

Hannah Capek saved her best seasons for her senior year and became one of Colorado's top high school distance talents. Photo by Alan Versaw.


Hannah Capek's best marks

1600 Meters - 5:09.28 (at altitude)

3200 Meters - 10:48.35

5K Cross Country - 18:50.0


Tell us a little about the decision to attend the University of Alabama. Is there a family connection or ...

I chose the University of Alabama because it offers the best combination of academics and athletics. Academically, I will be able to take a variety of classes and have opportunities for internships to prepare me for my future career. When I went on my visit, I loved the atmosphere of the school, especially the team. They know how to be serious when it's competition time, but they also hangout and have a laid-back side. The coaches make the training plans very personalized, so I know I will be well prepared to compete. I also love the supportive group of incoming freshmen who will be my teammates and training partners for the years to come.

What do you plan to study at Alabama?

I plan to study mechanical engineering with a minor in environmental engineering. With those two degrees, I should have a variety of career options.

Is there any apprehension in your mind as you ponder the prospect of running in Deep South kind of heat?

I am a little nervous to run in the heat and humidity later this summer and in the early fall. The team does a good job avoiding the most intense heat by running either early in the morning or later in the evening, but I'll have to get used to running in the humidity.

If things go the way you hope, what event or events do you hope to be running in track?

I hope to run the 3000m and the 5000m mostly, but I also want to try the 1500m and the 10000m to run new distances and change up the races. I would also love to try the steeplechase because it looks like fun!  

As you look back on your high school career, what was the moment--or was there even a single moment--that changed you from someone out for track and cross country to someone who is a highly committed runner?

Sophomore year, I was sick with mono for most of cross-country season and all of track season. The hardest part was watching my teammates all improve and race fast times while I kept getting slower. They went to Nike Regionals in Arizona and I had to stay home to rest. Then all of track season, they would race in invitational heats and run PR's while I struggled to run everyday at practice. At the end of that track season, I watched the state meet and decided that that summer I would improve my training so I could compete at a different level.  

What do you identify is the single biggest highlight of your high school career?

I can't choose between this year's state 4x800m and Arcadia. My favorite team moment was the 4x800 at this past state track meet because our team had 3 seniors on it and we wanted to place on the podium. When our anchor crossed the line in 9th, we were so happy to end our last 4x800 race with our goal place and a new school record time. My other favorite moment was racing the 2 mile under the lights at Arcadia. The atmosphere of the stadium was unlike anything I had ever raced at and the competition helped me run a new PR. Arcadia helped boost my confidence in big races and value my hard training.