FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR—Hannah Derby, Bellarmine Prep
In Kentucky a Derby is one of several horse races held annually. In Washington a Derby named Hannah “owns” four races held every year by the State High School Athletic Association.
Bellarmine Prep’s Hannah Derby has accomplished what no female high school track & field athlete in the state has ever done before. She won her fourth consecutive state 400 meter championship at the 4A WIAA finals at Mount Tahoma Stadium during the recent Memorial Day weekend in Tacoma. Derby had to withstand her greatest challenges in 2014 to claim the distinction of “best ever” in her event. In the “gutsiest” race of her splendid prep career, Hannah recovered from vomiting under the check-in tent at MT just hours before the big race to fight back and win the toughest test of her four-years at the championships.
She was totally spent from a challenging 800 meter attempt a few hours before her record-setting 400. She finished third in a strong field in the 800 and “didn’t know if I could do it” Derby admitted. She decided to give it “everything I can”, however, and barreled off by everybody when “her race” got underway.
Twins from Evergreen high in Vancouver had beaten her in the West Central/Southwest Bidistricts a week earlier and she was determined to turn the tables. In a time of 27.3 she covered the first 200 to take a substantial lead. She ran it in 55.69, finishing in a headwind to withstand the challenges from Skyline’s Dorie Dalzell and the 9th grade Merriweather twins who were timed at 55.83 and 55.86 and 56.24.
Derby is the Narrows League champion in both the 400 and the 800 (an event where she placed 3rd at state) and she also was a key performer on the Lions state championship cross country team.
Will she be a “Kentucky” Derby next Fall? Not a chance. She is going to run in her home state and
will be a University of Washingon freshman student-athlete in September. Her credentials as a Husky will attest to her success at Bellarmine where she ranks as the most successful female track & field athlete in the state … EVER!