Delaini Hanna - Texas Interview by Inspiring Teens Nomination by Becky Hanna Photography by Imagery By Carissa Issue 42 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Delaini Hanna is a senior student and athlete who, despite obstacles, keeps a positive perspective! She aspires to earn a scholarship pole vaulting; a literal high bar, but after missing last spring and a surgically reconstructed ACL from tearing it in a volleyball playoff game, this goal is high up there! With a smile and positive attitude, she amazes me every day as she battles through rehab to be back for track, “if it’s God’s will, it will happen!” She is an inspiration to her peers, teammates, and even competitors because of her positivity and tenacity through adversity!
Photography by Imagery By Carissa
How are you overcoming your struggle with your ACL surgery as a senior? Physically, I go to therapy three days a week. I’m blessed to have terrific care from my surgeon to my therapy; everyone is committed to the goal of getting me pole vaulting by district track. It’s been a lot more challenging mentally; I attempt to stay positive and believe God has a reason for all things. I know I am going to enjoy and appreciate the rewards more after working harder than I ever have to reach them!
How has covid affected your recovery? Surgery was delayed pending a negative Covid test. I have to wear a mask at therapy which makes it very hard to breath. In our county masks are required when unable to socially distance. Because my dad is my coach, training for pole vaulting isn’t as challenging with Covid restrictions since we’re members of the same household. The greatest challenge with Covid was the inability to compete last season; although, I recognize that was the case for my competition too!
Photography by Becky Hanna
Tell us more about your pole-vaulting career. I was 4 when I first put a short pole in the box and let my dad sling me into the pit, so you could say it was love at a low height. As a freshman I made it to regionals and got third-one place away from making it to state. My sophomore year I beat my personal best jump of 10 foot and qualified for the state competition. Due to covid I was unable to complete my junior year. Competing at the state track meet is my greatest accomplishment; it’s definitely a family affair-my two uncles and my sister have all competed/vaulted at the state level! I was humbled to be blessed to uphold the legacy.
Photography by Becky Hanna
What is the hardest thing about pole vaulting that people may not realize? Vaulters have to work every day over the course of many years in order to reach new heights. Besides being a long-term commitment, people don’t realize what vaulting requires; resources like poles and equipment to train are very costly. It is also critical to have a knowledgeable coach. Additionally, the vaulter has to be fearless. I’ve heard my whole life, “you have to be a little crazy to vault,” and I admit it’s not natural to put your body several feet in the air on a tiny tall stick upside down, so I accept being crazy because I enjoy vaulting.
Delaini Hanna - This is a painting I did for a family friend that works in the oil field. It is currently hanging up in the main Wilson Operating office in Archer City, Tx.
What is your favorite activity or pastime that was not in your nomination? I love painting; my favorite creation is an oil field related silhouette with a glowing sunset in the background.
Look for Delaini in issue 42 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!