Former Rainier Athlete Competes At Nicholls State

By Jacob Dimond / jake@yelmonline.com
Posted 4/12/22

Elaina Hansen graduated from Rainier High School in 2019 with a goal to run at the collegiate level.

Hansen attended Saint Martin’s University in Lacey until the pandemic hit and then …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Former Rainier Athlete Competes At Nicholls State

Posted

Elaina Hansen graduated from Rainier High School in 2019 with a goal to run at the collegiate level.

Hansen attended Saint Martin’s University in Lacey until the pandemic hit and then decided to transfer to Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

While attending the Rainier School District, Hansen competed in track and cross country from seventh grade until she graduated from high school. Along the way, she made it to the state competition in each of her four years attending Rainier High School.

When Hansen first began running in seventh grade, it didn’t take long for her to realize that she was good at the sport, which helped create her ambitious mindset.

“I realized I wasn’t bad and ran all throughout high school,” said Hansen. “I realized I enjoyed it and wanted to do it at a college level.”

Competing in both track and cross country, Hansen became a multi-sport athlete, which was significant enough to draw attention from college coaches for the two sports.

Hansen committed to Saint Martin’s University and competed there from fall 2019 to spring 2020. She was able to get some experience running while attending the university, but her time at Saint Martin’s was ultimately cut short by the pandemic.

“Saint Martin’s was a great experience, but I wanted to move on to something bigger,” said Hansen. “I began to look around at other options. I had a goal of competing at the Division One level. While I was at SMU, I ran cross country that fall before COVID hit in the spring. Then everything got shut down and we missed the spring season.”

Hansen entered the transfer portal and was eventually contacted by a coach from Nicholls State, which helped her reach her goal of competing at the Division One level.

“You only get this opportunity of competing at the highest level once and I couldn’t pass it up,” Hansen said.



The incoming senior focuses her training on the 5K and 10K running events, but competes in other shorter events as well. Hansen has grown to love long distance running and competes for Nicholls State in three different athletic seasons. In the fall, she runs cross country. In the winter, she takes part in the indoor track season and in the spring, she’s a member of the outdoor track team.

Along the way, Hansen was fortunate to have great mentors who guided her along her journey. She credits Rainier coach Rob Henry for helping her achieve her dreams.

“My experience at Rainier was super good,” Hansen said. “Mr. Henry was my favorite. He was my go-to guy for absolutely everything. We still talk to this day about life and track.”

Hansen also thanked her parents for their support and their patience.

“My parents have been so supportive of me for so long. Especially after I transferred to Nicholls, they were so supportive of the move,” she said. “The entire time I was looking to transfer, they only wanted what was best for me.”

Hansen also expressed gratitude to her current coach, Stephanie Slekis, “for being a great coach and making my experience at Nicholls State great.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hansen was granted an extra year of eligibility for competition, and will continue to compete for Nicholls State following her graduation.

Hansen, who is studying interdisciplinary studies, hopes to soon obtain her master’s degree. As she enters her senior season this fall, she’ll be sporting a 3.5 GPA.

In the future, Hansen hopes to become an athletic director or work in administration at a school district.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here