No regrets for Utah co-captain Hailee Hansen
BERKELEY, Calif. – No. 5 Utah has made a statement in the Pac-12 Conference this season with a 6-1 league record, but it has been the senior leadership that's launched the Red Rocks into unprecedented success. Senior co-captain Hailee Hansen has been instrumental to the team’s momentum, helping foster Utah’s team chemistry from the moment she arrived as a walk-on. Saturday's 2014 Pac-12 Championships were a perfect example of that winning combination.
“I can’t believe what’s happened to our team and the accomplishments we’ve had,” Hansen said, beaming after the Red Rocks finished with a final team score of 197.925 to lead the meet after session 1. That score would hold up as Utah claimed it's first Pac-12 Women's Gymnastics Championship.
The Bountiful, Utah native scored a 9.90 on the bars, her signature event. The score was a huge improvement from her previous season high of 9.85, which she hit three times. Hansen is only the third walk-on in school history to earn All-American honors (on bars at the 2013 NCAA championships). She was awarded a scholarship this semester and has embraced her role as co-captain ever since she was voted into the position along with Corrie Lothrop by her teammates.
“I’m honored that my team chose Corrie and I twice,” Hansen said, “Anyone on that team could have been a leader so I was really honored when they chose us.”
Hansen has been a co-captain alongside 2008 U.S. Olympic alternate Lothrop for the past two years. She is the first walk-on to be named captain in Utah school history. Although she only competes on bars for the Red Rocks, she makes her presence felt as an impactful leader. She even met with multiple Utah gymnastics alumni over the summer to learn from past teams' successes.
“I just wanted them to do their best and I talked to everyone I could because I wanted to feel like I did everything possible to get as far as we can, to do the best that we can.” Hansen said, “I didn’t want to have any regrets.”
At the rate the Red Rocks are moving, there is nothing standing in their way. Utah will earn their NCAA regional destination on Monday, March 24 at 1 p.m. MT during an online selection show on NCAA.com.