Athletes of the Month: Emily Hernandez & Levi Haen
Lake City High School
Lake City High School senior Emily Hernandez has made her mark in the world of track and field. A member of the track-and-field team, Emily throws shot put and discus and is learning how to throw the hammer to prepare her for next year when she competes for New Mexico State University, with whom she has signed and where she plans to pursue a career in nursing.
During her time at Lake City High School, Emily won the 2017 Idaho State Championship and placed second at state as a sophomore. She also won the 2017 regional track meet and is a two-time Meet of Champions champion. In addition to all of these accomplishments, Emily also earned the Women’s Idaho Track Athlete of the Year award.
Emily said that while learning to throw she also learned the importance of patience. “I’ve learned that you’re not always going to have perfect meets every time you compete,” she said. “Every time you have a bad meet or practice, you have to pick yourself back up, try again and never give up. Believe in yourself.”
She enjoys being part of a team that supports her and loves competing and hearing her teammates cheer her on.
While Emily has learned much about track and field, she is also grateful to her coaches who have taught her the importance of positive self-talk.
“A coach of mine passed away about two summers ago. His name was Bill Boggs, and he would always tell us to think positively when we compete, and that has always stuck with me throughout my entire high school career,” she said. Emily also cites a quote that has stuck with her that she heard some time ago. “Your body hears everything your mind says.”
“I truly believe that, because we often don’t realize how much our thoughts affect our actions. I wouldn’t be here today without the help of my loving and supportive family and coaches.”
Coeur d’Alene High School
Senior Levi Haen has been playing baseball since he was just 4 years old, and he doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.
“I am still undecided on what college I want to go to, but I do plan on playing baseball in college,” said Levi.
He moved from Walla Walla to Coeur d’Alene four years ago and lettered in varsity baseball as a sophomore, but Levi shares that it wasn’t an easy transition initially.
“One of the biggest challenges I had was moving here in 2014 and having to play with kids that I didn't know and who had grown up together,” said Levi. “I overcame this challenge by showing my baseball skills and by putting myself out there.”
It paid off. Levi has been on the varsity team for three years while also maintaining above a 3.0 GPA. He also appreciates the friendships he has made over the last few years. “The thing I most enjoy about baseball is bonding with my teammates, because, although I didn't know them five years ago, they are now pretty much family to me.”
His career plans include becoming a nutritionist as well as a personal trainer. “Health is a huge problem we have in America, and that is one thing that I want to help change. I also enjoy helping others reach their personal goals,” said Levi.
He is grateful to his coach who has taught him a lesson that he will carry with him through life: “Failure isn't what defines you; it’s what you do after that defines you,” said Levi.