Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley

Student-Athlete of the Week: Hanna Luo


February 15, 2019

Jocelyn Rowley

Senior Hanna Luo finished her high school swim career on a high note, with a new personal record in the 200 IM (2:11.20) and runner-up titles in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays at the Class 4A state swim championships.

The Niwot girls swim team just wrapped up its most successful season in years, and senior Hanna Luo is a big part of the reason why. In the Northern Conference championships on Feb. 2, she set personal records in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly and helped deliver an overwhelming Cougars victory. A week later, the versatile Luo’s impressive performance was a key factor in her team’s second place finish at the Class 4A State Swimming Championships, an experience she called “a super nice way to go out on top”.

Luo credited hard work and a friendly rivalry for her record-breaking swims over the final weeks of the season.

“I went to club for a week before conference and really trained myself harder before that race started,” she said. “And the idea of racing Emiley [Yie], we really push each other to go fast, so that helped make me go faster.”

Luo is a four-time state qualifier for Niwot, and has been a fixture on the Cougars’ state relay teams since her freshman year. Individually, she competes mainly in the butterfly and IM, which she considers her best event.

“I’m not bad at any stroke,” she said. “I’m pretty decent at all of them, so it’s the IM for me.”

Head coach Sarah Stamp said the senior’s flexibility and “fun personality” will be hard to replace after graduation. “She's been a solid contributor for the last four years, and always willing to compete and do what the team needs. She knows when she has to step up and race hard for us.”

Luo started swimming when she was seven and started competing around age 10. She has swum for a number of local clubs, including Longmont Redtails and Boulder Swimming, before landing with her current club, the Jeffco Hurricanes in Arvada. Now that the high school swim season is over, she will resume swimming there most days per week.

When she’s not in the pool, Luo said she is almost surely doing homework. She hasn’t finalized her college plans yet, but she hopes to pursue an engineering degree at Northeastern in Boston or maybe at a more local alternative such as CU, DU or the School of Mines. She didn’t actively pursue any collegiate swimming opportunities, but may take her chances as a walk on if her future school has a swim team.


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