Multi-talented Mustang: Hannah Glover's 13 varsity letters breaks school record
If the third baseman on South Western's softball diamond seems to bear a striking resemblance to the Mustangs' discus thrower on the track, your eyes aren't mistaken.
In both instances, it's Hannah Glover — a do-it-all, jack-of-all-trades athlete who can also be found manning the cage during field hockey season and grabbing rebounds during basketball season.
One athlete, four sports, every year for four years. It's an unprecedented feat in South Western sports history. At the conclusion of the softball and track seasons this month, Glover will earn her 12th and 13th varsity letters — four from field hockey, four from track and field, three from softball and two from basketball — breaking the school record for most varsity letters by a female athlete.
"It's something I've worked hard for, and I really wanted for a while," Glover said. "In my sophomore year, my dad told me the record was 12 letters, so I figured I might as well keep going and see if I could get the record."
Field hockey keeps Glover busy from August through November, then she's off to basketball open gyms for the winter season, which ends right when it's time to start practicing for softball and track.
"Once the school year starts, I'm constantly going," Glover said. "It's hard, but it's something I love. Sports are what I do."
Glover, who is committed to Division III Shenandoah University in Virginia for track, was a first-team all-league goalkeeper during her senior field hockey season and a state qualifier in her sophomore season of track. She also made a seamless switch from outfield to third base this season when the Mustangs needed her to, according to softball head coach Megan Pilarcik, and hits in the middle of the order.
"She was willing to do what the team needed," Pilarcik said. "She brings an athletic ability and fearlessness to the field. Transitioning from outfield to infield, especially third base, can be difficult, and she figured out a way to make it work."
So, is there any sport she can't do?
"Yes, swimming," Glover said with a laugh. "I give swimmers so much credit. I remember when I was little and it was between doing basketball and swimming. I went to one swimming practice and came home crying my eyes out because my core hurt so bad. I never wanted to do that again."
Four years of being a quad-sports athlete hasn't come without its share of stress.
"The hardest part is to balance sports and school work," Glover said. "When I come home from sports, I'm so tired I just want to sleep. I come in to school early in the morning to get extra help from teachers."
Throw in a part-time job at Sonic Drive-In on the weekends, and Glover rarely gets any time for family or a social life. The most time Glover gets to spend with her father, Bob, is when she has his independent study class at the high school, she joked.
"This isn't something every athlete can do," said Bruce Lee, Glover's track and field coach at South Western. "It has worked for Hannah, and I'm glad it has. She's a really talented kid, and I think it speaks to her athleticism."
Lee and Pilarcik set up a schedule for Glover before the spring sports season. Each day is planned, allowing for time at each sport and time with both teams on some days. It has been smooth for the most part, minus one comical instance this season when Glover accidentally got on the track bus to an away event when she was supposed to be playing a softball game at Susquehannock.
Lee had the bus driver drop Glover and her father, who is also an assistant coach, off in Spring Grove. They pretended to hitch hike back to Hanover on Rt. 116 as they waited for another assistant coach to pick them up and take them to South Western. Glover went home, changed into softball gear, and still made it to Susquehannock 15 minutes before game time.
"Yeah, that was a crazy day," Glover joked. "Other than that, we haven't gotten mixed up. It has been pretty smooth."
"Sometimes the schedule was crazy and hectic, but we made it work," Pilarcik echoed. "We often both want her at our contest but we try to work it out and figure out what is best for Hannah and each team."
So, when the hectic schedule finally subsides and Glover is left with the record all to herself, what will she do to celebrate?
"Probably get ice cream," she said. "I love ice cream. And I want to go far in these sports, but I'm so ready to sleep in for once."
Before she sleeps in and enjoys some celebratory ice cream, Glover has one more goal in mind: A return to states in the discus. After making it in her sophomore season, Glover missed states last year, which she considers a low point in her high school sports career.
By winning the girls discus event at the YAIAA championships on Friday, Glover took the first step toward states and qualified for districts.
"She's such a good athlete, a good kid, and a leader," Lee said of Glover. "And you can never question her work ethic."
Reach Brandon Stoneburg at 717-637-3736, ext. 163.