Hannah DeBalsi: Sports Illustrated’s High School Athlete Of The Month

Over its 129 years, Staples High School has seen some fantastic athletes.

They’ve done amazing things — and gone on to professional careers in soccer, football, basketball, softball and other sports.

But none has gotten the Sports Illustrated “High School Athlete of the Month” treatment of Hannah DeBalsi. (In the same issue naming Serena Williams “Athlete of the Year”!)

Hannah DiBalsi

The most highly acclaimed cross country and track star in the school’s history is the subject of a beautiful 9-minute video. Shot around Westport (and in the mist at Staples), and featuring interviews with her mother, plus coaches Amanda Morgan and Malcolm Watson, the SI segment explores Hannah’s national success and more.

It shows her running with the boys team — and tutoring a younger child in multivariable calculus.

Next fall, Hannah heads to Stanford University. For many reasons — and now, thanks to this video — Staples will never forget her.

(To see the Sports Illustrated video, click here.)

8 responses to “Hannah DeBalsi: Sports Illustrated’s High School Athlete Of The Month

  1. What an incredible young lady! Congratulations Hannah! ~ Kristan Hamlin, RTM Dist. #4

  2. That is quite an accomplishment. Kudos to Hannah and perhaps we’ll see her in the Olympics.

  3. Thanks Doug for posting the Hannah DiBalsi video. It was a wonderful story. What a girl from what a town. I loved it and hope for the best for Hannah at Stanford.

  4. WOW! Double WOW! Special kudos to Hannah’s folks and coaches.
    Congrats to SI too for a terrific video.

  5. Cheryl Mckenna

    I loved this story and appreciate how much Westport and Staples contributes to kids like Hannah.
    I went to school in Exeter NH in the 70’s and I too started track in 10 th grade. I ran the 50 yard hurtles one day and broke all records for 5 years after I graduated. Not once did any councelor or coach tell me to apply to college on a track scholarship. My mom was an Italian emigrant. My Dad was overseas in the service for those 3 years then divorced from my mom.
    I ran the 50 yard hurtles in under 6 seconds …
    Westport rocks my kids went here and I love this town and the teachers and opportunities that exist here.

  6. When I ran high school cross country in Maine as a freshman in 1974, I competed against a senior named “Joanie Benoit” at a meet held at Scarborough High School. The race started with one lap around a soccer field. As the pack ran the length of the field and made the first turn to run along the end zone, Joanie was already heading into the woods. Our coach had told us that we would see greatness but only for a few seconds because Joanie Benoit would blow our doors off. We got to see her at the end of the race – fully rested and comfortable – as the rest of us huffed and puffed past the finish line. She was quiet, petite, bright and humble just like Hannah, and it was clear to see that she was on another level – just like Hannah. We can’t wait to hear about what Hannah does next!

  7. Peter Gambaccini

    As an ancient product of Staples’ track program, I cannot even begin to describe how the achievements of Henry Wynne, and now Hannah, gladden my heart.

    • Cheryl McKenna

      Yes I too feel gladdened and live vacariously through this wonderful girl. I will be watching for more news of her acheivements this year and in Stanford!