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CRMS grad rolls with the flow

Jeff CaspersenGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Submitted Photo Competing as an adult for the first time, Hanna Farrar recently placed fifth in the World Freestyle Kayaking Championships. The Colorado Rocky Mountain School alumna is currently taking pre-med courses at Dartmouth College while advancing her skills on the river.
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By now, Hanna Farrar is quite familiar with the Ottawa River.It’s where she qualified for the U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Team last summer, and earlier this month, she took to the Canadian river for her first World Freestyle Kayaking Championships as a non-junior.And the 20-year-old Colorado Rocky Mountain School graduate didn’t fail to impress, securing the top American finish while taking fifth overall in the Women’s K1 competition.”It went really well,” said Farrar, currently in the process of wrapping up her sophomore year at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. “The competition was really cool. It was held on a wave called Mini Bus. It’s probably the biggest wave I’ve ever surfed. It was a really cool, really dynamic wave. You could do lots of aerial tricks.”Farrar isn’t a newbie to the Worlds scene. She competed there as a junior in 2003 (Graz, Austria) and 2005 (Penrith, Australia).The chance to compete against the world’s best at a new level left Farrar in awe.”Just at the top of the field, the level of competition is quite a few steps up from juniors,” she stressed. “The top women were definitely doing some big moves. It was really impressive to see.”The former Pearl also had a chance to glean a little kayaking knowledge from Australia’s Tanya Faux, who finished second in the K1.”She is probably one of the best, most dynamic woman kayakers out there,” Farrar noted. “If not the best. She was working with me this fall, teaching me to do new tricks. I’ve learned a whole lot from her.”

With the impressive Worlds finish under her belt, Farrar is now focusing on finishing up the current school quarter. “We’re actually finishing up midterms right now,” the pre-med major relayed. “We go through the end of May.”In June, Farrar will take a brief break from her studies and return to Colorado to dabble in the Colorado freestyle kayak circuit, which includes the June 14-17 FIBArk in Salida. She’ll also tackle a comp in Boulder.After all that, it’s back to class for Dartmouth’s summer session.”We’re close to the Ottawa River and there are lots of cool rivers out here,” Farrar said. “I’ve never spent a summer in the east.”

Balancing national and international competition with pre-med coursework at an Ivy League school is no cakewalk.But Farrar wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s hard, but totally worth it,” she said. “I just have to find time to get ahead on work before I leave. All my professors have been really supportive of what I do, which is great.”Farrar wouldn’t mind more water time, but she’s dedicated to juggling her two passions.”I don’t get on the river as much as I want to, but school is great. It’s definitely worthwhile,” she said.Even when she can’t get out on the water, Farrar maintains a demanding training regimen.”Staying in shape is probably the most important thing,” she explained. “Most days I wake up early in the morning before class and I go running and then probably three days a week I do some kind of weight workout in the gym. As much as I can in the afternoon I go boating.”So does Farrar get any sleep?”Yeah,” she said with a chuckle. “For a couple hours between homework and running. No, it’s tough. But it’s definitely worth it. It keeps me going.”



Farrar, an eight-year kayaking veteran, hopes to see her sport take on new forms in the years to come. That also plays into her personal goals.”I’d love to take this as far as I can,” she said. “Right now there’s a push to make it an Olympic sport, which would be really cool. It’d get more money into the sport. I also think – and there hasn’t been any push for it yet – it’d be cool to have it in the X-Games as well. I think it’s a little more appropriate than the Olympics, but that’s not where we’re headed right now.”Until then, Farrar will no doubt continue to make a splash in the competitive scene as it’s currently formatted, and plug away at her studies.She said: “It’d be amazing to some day make it to the Olympics.”


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