Q&A with Hannah Davis
Junior Hannah Davis and the Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams return to the pool Saturday with a home meet against Tennessee. The men’s events will begin at noon with the women to follow at 3 p.m. A free fan fest for kids will be held in the AFC gymnasium from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. and will include a bounce house, target toss, face painting and prize drawings. Davis recently sat down with VirginiaSports.com to talk about the holiday break, the first semester of competition and her favorite class at UVa.
Question: How was your holiday break?
Davis: It was really good. It was nice to be able to get back home and see my family, sort of get away from the UVa bubble, but it’s good to be back too.
Question: How is the training right now?
Davis: It’s a lot about clearing your mind and getting away from other distractions. We are focused on having a really good aerobic base but also starting to sprint more. It’s a lot of time together – a good bonding time. It’s all about swimming right now.
Question: How would you describe the first semester?
Davis: As a team, the women especially, has done a good job of combining all the classes together, acting as one team and not worrying about years. We have had good focus of each meet and I am really excited to see what happens this month and next at ACCs. The first-years have so much talent and combining that with everyone else, and our relays, it’s going to be amazing.
Question: What kind of challenges does Tennessee present this weekend?
Davis: It’s really good to swim against someone outside of the ACC and against a team we haven’t swum against before. It’s a good challenge and we want to show them we can compete with them. It’s also exciting because it’s someone new.
Question: How did you get started swimming?
Davis: My oldest sister has asthma so my mom put us all is swimming. I followed along with my two older sisters. I started swimming at age four and have been ever since. My sisters stopped in high school but I kept going, stuck it out.
Question: What made you want to come to UVa?
Davis: At first I didn’t want to come to UVa because it was so close to home. But I went on all of my other recruiting trips then came here, and it was the people, coaches, and the team – I couldn’t pass it up. Not to mention the gorgeous campus and amazing academics. But I swim for my team here; I love everyone.
Question: What is your favorite event to swim?
Davis: 50 free. A lot of people underestimate how hard it is because you have to have a perfect race. I love the intensity of it – and also how fast it’s over. And it being a big part of relays.
Question: You have been a part of several championship relay teams. What has been your favorite moment?
Davis: The one relay swim I will always remember is the 200 freestyle relay at ACCs last year. I remember watching the video over and over again and having goose bumps. My relay start was on point and at ACCs especially, with the team cheering, you have a lot of adrenaline. I was anchor, and having the competition of Virginia Tech and UNC next to me, plus it would give us wins in all five relays – there was so much pressure. I had so much fun with it.
Question: How have you changed or developed since your first week on Grounds as a freshman?
Davis: Coming from my team at home, the intensity changed so much, and also the fact that you now specialize in something. You have your teammates with their specialties, and you don’t have to swim every event, yet it is so much more team-oriented. The expectations are so much higher, but that’s the challenge you face in college swimming.
Question: What is your major?
Davis: I am a biology and hope to minor in environmental science. I wanted to be a veterinarian, but now I am looking more into the conservation area.
Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa thus far?
Davis: Bio 418 last semester – behavioral ecology. It was the highest-level bio class I have taken but it was really interesting to study about why animals behave the way they do and the evaluation of that.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Davis: Napping is a favorite pastime. I just enjoy hanging out with my teammates, even though we are always together, they are my best friends. We just like to cook and watch movies. I really like to find new recipes and try them out, but I am known for my Asian noodles.