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Carlee Hansen of Woods Cross High becomes two-time award winner for girls’ track and field in Utah

Long distance runner is headed to North Carolina next season.

(Photo courtesy of Frank Bellino/MileSplit California ) Carlee Hansen of Woods Cross High crosses the finish line in a long distance race. Hansen, a junior, won the Gatorade Utah Girls' Track and Field Athlete of the Year award.

Woods Cross High graduate Carlee Hansen competed in only one outdoor track and field meet all season last year. High school track and field athletes in Utah missed most of last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down spring sports.

So when she won the Gatorade award for girls’ track and field, she was surprised that it’d be handed out during a pandemic year. She thought her senior year would be an opportunity to prove that she really deserved to win it.

In Hansen’s last season at Wood Cross, she swept the 800-meter, 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter run events at the 5A state championship meet. Her team finished second overall with her help.

And Hansen again won the Gatorade for girls’ track and field in Utah, making her a back-to-back winner. She also won the award for girls’ cross country in May.

“It’s a reflection on what I’ve done, and I’ve always viewed it like that,” Hansen said of winning the award.

Hansen said she entered her senior track and field season setting goals for all the in-state events. She thought with the continuing pandemic, going out of state would be difficult and minimal.

“It was a good moment for me to focus on just the basics of setting goals and looking at them in the eyes of someone who hasn’t had an opportunity to race track in like two years,” Hansen said. “It was exciting for me to be able to race and I really wanted this year to prove something.”

Hansen signed a national letter of intent last November to run distance and cross country at the University of North Carolina. She had also received recruiting interest from BYU and Princeton.

Hansen looks back at her time running for Woods Cross as the “opportunity of a lifetime.”

“It’s not so much that high school was a traverse into college, but it was a start to the fire, per se,” Hansen said. “It made me driven to go do something great and kind of have the underdog mentality of go prove myself.”

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