The Northwest Conference Multi-Event Championships only invite the best athletes from around the Pacific Northwest region to compete for regional glory. One of those athletes is junior Hannah Walton. Walton recently qualified for the prestigious two-day event in the heptathlon.
Walton easily surpassed the 2,879 point total to qualify for the championship meet — she tallied 3,462 points. The women’s heptathlon consists of seven events: the 100 meters hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meters, long jump, javelin throw and the 800 meters.
Walton has always been experienced in the world of athletics. At the ripe age of four, she became involved in sports.
“I grew up working out and then my parents would just throw me in all these random sports and I figured out what I liked best,” Walton said.
Back then, however, Walton was a soccer player. Walton was sure she was going to continue playing soccer through high school until she discovered track and field in sixth grade.
“I really ended up liking the hurdles — that was my main event in middle school,” Walton said.
In high school, Walton noticed that she had more potential in track. She put soccer to the side her senior year in high school and strictly focused on track because that’s what she wanted to play in college.
Deciding where to go to college was more difficult than choosing between soccer and track for Walton. She was split between Pacific Lutheran University and Linfield. In the end, it came down to Walton’s family background.
“My parents both did sports at PLU,” Walton said. “My dad was on the 1980 National Championship football team and my mom did cross country and soccer here. I thought it would be cool to go to PLU and play track.”
Being a student-athlete at PLU is not easy for most people. Walton is no exception. She has difficulty finding free time between track and class.
“I try to have a time of rest, sit down, eat and calm down,” Walton said. “I really try not to have any distractions when I study. I don’t really have a lot of free time, which is fine, but I just get as much done as I can.”
Academics are an important part of the college equation for Walton. She is double majoring in German and applied physics with a goal of working at Boeing set in the future. Before that though, Walton wants to garner enough money to pay for graduate school, where she hopes to earn a master’s degree in either industrial or mechanical engineering.
Walton will be competing in the NWC Multi-Event Championships April 14 and 15 in Salem, Oregon. ◼︎