Competing in four throws this year has been kind of taxing for Bahamian scholar athlete Tiffany Hanna, but she persevered, and now she is not only a conference champion, but was also named as the Most Outstanding Field Performer at the Northeast Conference (NEC) Championships in New Britain, Connecticut, this past weekend.
Hanna, a sophomore at Wagner College in New York, New York, had three top five finishes including taking the gold in the women’s discus. She had a winning throw of 42.41 meters (m) – 139’ 1” – in the discus, taking home her first ever conference title. In the hammer throw, Hanna finished fourth with a toss of 47.08m (154’ 5”), and she was fifth in the shot put with a best throw of 12m flat (39’ 4-1/2”).
The distance in the hammer throw was a personal best mark for her, and she was just off her best marks in the other two throws.
Hanna is still significantly off the qualifying marks for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I East Preliminary Round in all of her events, but she said she is just happy to be making progress and is looking forward to greater results in the future. She is thankful for another healthy season, and is optimistic for her junior year in college. The preliminary round competition is set for May 23-25 at Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida.
“I feel happy about my performances this week,” she said. “I am proud of the improvement that I made not only in my techniques but also in how I approach competition. I placed a heavier focus on being more relaxed and remembering only a few position cues for each throw. I was hoping to throw just a little bit further, but overall I am very happy with how things went. The marks this year were exceptional, especially in the hammer. I only have one or two meets left in my season, so I don’t think it (qualifying for NCAA preliminaries) will happen this year, but I think I will definitely be hitting some marks around my senior year.”
Hanna is less than two meters short of the school record in the women’s hammer throw, and only about two meters short of the record in both the women’s discus and the women’s shot put. For the regionals (NCAA East Preliminary Round), she still has a long way to go, but is optimistic for 2020 and beyond.
“I find that my favorite event tends to be the one I am doing best in at the moment. Right now that would be discus, so I suppose discus is my favorite event. Although, I suspect that next year hammer will be my favorite event, but all jokes aside, I try not to be too biased toward any one event. I try to give each one the time it needs so that I can improve in all,” she said. “My regular season is pretty much over at this point. I wanted to move up to three turns in hammer which I did, so I am proud of that. Next year I want to move up to four. I’m hoping to hit 45 meters in the discus at my remaining track meets. For that, I would need to focus on staying bent in the circle and hitting positions properly. For my upcoming indoor season, I hope to clean up my shot put rotation and throw about 14 meters. I also want to move up to three turns in the weight throw and focus on having tighter, more connected turns. That would hopefully bring me up to 18 or 19 meters. I tend to focus on technical changes that I want to make when I think about my goals. If I get the technique right, the distances will follow.”
In her “favorite event”, Hanna said she is also hoping to hit about 45 meters (147’ 7”) at the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) National Open Track and Field Championships this summer. She said that would allow her to qualify for a couple regional meets.
“I am feeling very good health-wise. I am stronger than I have ever been,” she said. “I haven’t had any major injuries for another season, so I thank God for that. I would like to qualify for regionals in all my events, particularly in hammer and discus, but will take it one day at a time. I don’t think I will catch the 2020 cycle of the Olympics, but we’ll see about the 2024 run. On the academic side, I plan to go to graduate school. I’m not sure where I want to go yet, but I have about a year and a half to think about it.”
Hanna is a “straight A student”, earning a 4.0 grade point average (GPA) this past semester.
Indoors, she earned a second place finish in the weight throw – 15.36m (50’ 4-3/4”) and was seventh in the shot put – 12.35m (40’ 6-1/4”) at the conference championships.
At the NEC Outdoor Championships, Hanna helped the Wagner Seahawks to an eighth place finish, scoring 61.5 points.
Competing in just her second outdoor championships meet, she dominated the field events en route to earning the Most Outstanding Field Performer award.
Education: College of The Bahamas, Associates in Accounting