Sports Illustrated HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

December 21, 2015

Presented by THE U.S. MARINE CORPS

HANNAH DEBALSI made a wrong turn in her first cross-country race as a freshman but still won. She didn't own racing flats or know what nationals were then. Four years later the senior at Staples High in Westport, Conn., is a three-time state and New England champ who last Saturday earned All-America status for the third year in a row with a 12th-place finish at the Foot Locker nationals in San Diego (17:49.80). But the laid-back approach she displayed as a newbie has proved to be her signature. She keeps running fun, wearing mismatched socks at practice and joking before races. The Stanford-bound runner also keeps up a 4.56 GPA, tutors middle schoolers and works part-time at a local library. "She's not checking all these boxes just to achieve some master plan," says her coach Amanda Morgan. "She's focused on giving it her all." For more of Hannah's story, visit SI.com/HSathlete

PHOTOALEXANDRA FENWICK FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (DEBALSI)
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)