By Kareemah Muhammad
She transferred from Howard University. Now at Xavier, Hannah Stoutmire has had to start over her career in track and field after injury and setbacks. But she has been surrounded by sports ever since she was a little girl. Giving up is not in her DNA.
“I grew up running track because it was always just around me,” said Stoutmire, who is from Dallas, Texas, majoring in Mass Communication.
“My parents both ran track in high school. My mom ran track at LSU, and my dad played in the NFL for many years,” Stoutmire said. “My parents own a track club, so that obviously got me running a lot, and I’ve been running since I was 7 years old,” Stoutmire added.
Sheila Stoutmire, Hannah’s mother said she spotted Hannah’s talent from an early age.
“We found Hannah’s gift in running track at 4 years old, she has grown in the sport all around and all of her hard work over the years has paid off,” Sheila, Hannah’s mother said.
Stoutmire’s high school days consisted of being a 13 time All-American and a high school state champion three years in a row. She went on to commit to Howard University with a full scholarship for 2020-2021 in her high school senior year.
“I initially liked Howard because of the status, and big history that’s behind it. It’s such a prestigious HBCU, and the track program was on the come up so I really wanted to be a part of that,” Stoutmire said.
Her hopes for Howard were quickly darkened when injuries came into play her first year as a Bison.
“I had to leave Howard because I got injured in the Fall of 2021,” Stoutmire said. “I wasn’t able to run for the rest of the season and it just wasn’t going to be beneficial for me to stay for those next couple years so I knew I needed to get into the transfer portal,” Stoutmire added.
Stoutmire then went on to rebuild her college athletic career as she continued her quest to find another school that fit her needs and expectations.
“I chose Xavier for track because I saw that they had won their conference a few years in a row, and talking to the coach here, he seemed like he knew what he was doing,” she shared. “It seemed like it was going to be a very good decision for me because I wanted to be a part of a winning program because I know I want to win championships and add to that success,” Stoutmire said.
However, that assurance Stoutmire feels wasn’t easy to attain.
“When I left Howard I was obviously very sad for a while. Even when I got to Xavier, I wasn’t completely over it. I initially didn’t like Xavier in the first few days. I was just really mad because I missed my friends so much, and I was finding it difficult to adapt. In the end, I knew it was going to be the best thing for me,” Stoutmire said regarding her feelings of starting over as a transfer athlete.
Stoutmire’s talents on the track don’t go unnoticed by her newfound Xavier teammates either.
“I like watching Hannah during practice because she has a good running form and has great control of her speed,” said psychology, pre-medicine major, and Stoutmire’s freshman teammate Jade Harris.
Stoutmire said she is keeping her hopes high, and embarking on this new journey at Xavier. She’s eager to make an impact on her team, and is excited about getting this opportunity to start over again.
“I’m really excited for my track career here at Xavier. I have not ran in a single track meet since my senior year of high school, so I’m really looking forward to just being a part of a team again: being able to run, being able to contribute, and being able to win. I’m just excited for this next chapter and these next years to come at Xavier,” Stoutmire said.