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Ivy League opportunity for RHS Hannah Svilar
Hannah Svilar, left, and Kole Stewart were awarded the Riverton High School "R" Blanket for their success in high school athletics at the RHS awards banquet. Svilar has turned two consecutive state track championships into a chance to compete on the track and field team at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Ivy League opportunity for RHS Hannah Svilar

Jun 10, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer

Hannah Svilar could almost throw the discus from her home in Riverton's Big Wyoming addition to the parking lot at Riverton High School. She'll have a little trouble tossing the disk from her house to her next school, Brown University, in Providence, R.I.

But it's her throwing that will get her there.

Svilar, the two-time Wyoming state track and field shot put champion and two-time state discus runner up intends to attend Brown this fall and perform on the track and field team with the Bears, a Division I institution that competes in the Ivy League.

Besides excelling at track and field at RHS, Svilar also was the Class 4-A West volleyball co-player of the year, the Fremont County volleyball player of the year and was a two-time all-state first team selection in the sport.

It is track, though, where more opportunities begin to come Svilar's way and have opened the doors to a top quality education.

"After the summer of my junior year I was receiving a bunch of letters from schools. I filled out a questionnaire for Brown and their track coach (Michelle Eisenreich) started calling and kept in touch with me.

"I thought Brown was the best fit. It's exciting that it is clear across the country. It's going to be weird going there and so different," Svilar said.

Besides throwing the shot and discus in high school, Svilar will have an opportunity to also learn to throw the javelin and compete in the hammer throw during the NCAA outdoor season.

"Coach Griffith (RHS track co-head coach) actually brought a javelin to practice the week before state track. I got to test it out, and I thought it was really cool, but I'll have to get some more flexibility.

"It is a lot lighter than I expected it to be. She said I looked decent, so that is promising," Svilar said.

Although Svilar is excited about her opportunities in track, it was somewhat of a challenging choice for the versatile, 6-foot athlete.

"I really would have liked to do volleyball, but I just got so many offers for track and not a lot for volleyball at all, just some community colleges, which would be OK, but I wanted to do a four year school. I'll play volleyball for intramurals," Svilar said.

While at Brown, Svilar wants to study biology.

Svilar is looking forward to the chance to improve from her senior season that she wished would have ended even better.

"I was pretty disappointed in myself. Dropping a whole foot in shot from last year was pretty upsetting. I still won, which was awesome, regardless, but compared to what I did last year, I was kind of upset with myself.

"Same thing with discus. I thought I had a great chance to win it (state). I had been winning most of the meets through the whole season," Svilar said.

Svilar's final throw in the discus event was nearly 20 feet off her personal best, she said.

After a day of hiking to the falls above Sinks Canyon, Svilar reflected on her opportunity.

"I think if I have more coaching, more one and one when I get there, it will be OK. I like discus a whole lot more than shot put. They have two or three going to nationals. One of their discus throwers threw over 200 feet, and he is ranked nationally," Svilar said.

Svilar will make the 2,000-mile trek to Rhode Island in late August for orientation and will begin school in early September. Hannah is the daughter of Jim and Zelda Svilar.

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