Westminster’s Hatz heads to Japan for Paralympics

Steve Smith
ssmith@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 7/6/21

Beatriz Hatz has a full summer ahead of her.  The Westminster resident continues to train in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meters and the long jump because it’s part of her routine.  There’s also …

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Westminster’s Hatz heads to Japan for Paralympics

Posted

Beatriz Hatz has a full summer ahead of her. 

The Westminster resident continues to train in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meters and the long jump because it’s part of her routine. 

There’s also this. She qualified for the Paralympics in Tokyo Aug. 24 through Sept. 5. 

“Trials were in Minneapolis June 17 to 19,” she said. “To qualify for the team, you had to hit a certain percentage of your standard in that particular event. For example, my 100-meter A standard was 12.9 seconds, and I ran 12.86, meaning I had more than 100% of the A standard.” 

Hatz, who is 20 and a 2019 graduate of D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School, was born without a fibula in her right leg. Doctors amputated the leg below the knee. 

“My two younger brothers (John and Ryan) always did sports growing up. And because I’m so competitive, I did the sports they did,” Hatz said. That list of sports included softball, basketball, soccer, karate and skiing. 

“When Ryan did basketball, I had to try basketball,” she said. “When Buddy did baseball, I tried softball, etc.” 

She tried other sports, too. Hatz is the American record holder in the long jump at 18.7 feet. 

“I used to do softball, basketball, skiing, snowboarding, CrossFit and even karate before trying track,” Hatz said. “I only joined track because of a friend who made a bet with me my freshman year of who could make a varsity meet first. I was the first of my friend group to go to a varsity meet and since then, I stuck with it.” 

Like other athletes, Hatz had to do without events because of COVID until this past April. 

“My coaches did a good job of keeping me interested,” she said. “We had tried different workouts on the track and in the gym, so it wasn’t always the same stuff. It was difficult at times because meets were not happening, so I couldn’t tell where I was at compared to my competition. But training with the able-bodied professional heptathletes helped me so much. 

“Getting to chase them in all my workouts and getting destroyed by them on the track every day pushed me to work harder and to try to catch up to them even more,” she continued. Working and getting better with them just meant that I would be getting prepared to do amazing things against my competitors in the Paralympics.  

“Why train with people like me when I can train and get my butt whooped by people better than me?” 

Hatz gets a lot of support from her family. 

I am very, very close with my family, so their support means everything to me,” she said. “They always remind me that I am going to do big things, and their faith in me gives me an incredible amount of confidence.” 

Hatz called herself “very stubborn” when it comes to sports. 

“So, competing in sports gives me a way to show everyone that I can do everything anyone else can do,” she said. “I have always hated pity, and when people doubted my abilities, it gave me an excuse to show them up.” 

Hatz isn’t sure when she’s leaving for Japan.

“I am excited to be able to represent the United States on such a large platform,” she said. “This will be the biggest moment of my life so far, and I’m excited to show the world what I can do. Unfortunately, we will not get the opportunity to sightsee because of COVIC protocols.  

She finished fifth in the 200-meters in the 2019 world championships and eighth in the 100-meters. Hatz enjoys drawing painting, snowboarding and drawing. 

“I’m extremely grateful to be working with my coach, Kris Mack,” she said. “Switching to Coach Mack and his training group was the best decision I ever made, and I am proud to be his first Paralympian. I’m grateful to be able to train with the best athletes (Annie Kunz, Riley Cooks, Erica Bougard and Harrison Williams.” 

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