Sept. 27, 2013
RollTide.com caught up with each new member of the track and cross country team to find out more about them. Today, we feature Hannah Waggoner, a freshman from Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Waggoner was valedictorian of her high school class and MVP of Oakland's cross country team in 2012, her first season competing in the sport.
What are you looking forward to most about being a member of the team?
I'm looking forward to the team aspect of it and the fact that it's a family.
How did your family react to your college decision?
They were so happy. At first they were a little hesitant because I got a pretty good offer at UNC-Charlotte, and they have a motorsports engineering program, which would have been beneficial for what I want to do. Once we came to Alabama and visited and they knew how the coaches would take care of me academically and athletically, they were really happy.
When did you begin competing and why?
I started running last year. I was actually a tennis player and was going to play in college at a lower D-I/higher D-II type school. I was just running cross country to stay in shape for tennis. I wasn't going to compete until my coach said I should try it out. I competed and really, really liked it. I wasn't going to run track because it was during tennis season, but they talked me into doing both. A friend of mine who signed here (Conner Thompson) then talked to the Alabama coaches about me, and here I am.
What is it like having a friend from home on the men's team here at Alabama?
It's very cool. It's very comforting just because I'm so new to all of this. He's been a blessing to me.
Are you still learning the sport?
Oh, yeah. With the terminology and everything, there's some stuff that I still don't know.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I have three: First is being valedictorian. Second is getting my black belt in karate. Third is receiving my International Baccalaureate diploma.
Have you decided on a major?
What are your plans after college?
I want to get an automotive engineering degree and work in the automotive industry for a large company, like working on performance cars. My dad and brother are both mechanical engineers. My dad and I got an engine my sophomore year of high school and tore it down. We were going to restore a car, but I was so busy with everything else I wasn't able to.
Is there any other athlete, either professional or collegiate, that inspires you?
Maria Sharapova. She's a fighter.
Athletes have strict diet regimens, but if there is one food you cannot live without, what is it?
Peanut Butter. It's a big deal. This morning I was almost late to practice but had to eat something, so I took three scoops of peanut butter.
What's on your iPod right now?
I don't have any particular favorites, but Christian music is basically all I listen to.