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Johanna Glaaser set to attend St. Olaf

Glaaser was recruited by St. Olaf hockey and track

Jasmine Gonzalez, Staff Reporter

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After four years of hard work and dedication, senior Johanna Glaaser is preparing to head to St. Olaf College after being recruited for track & field and hockey.

Glaaser started playing hockey in the fifth grade on a traveling team in middle school, and then she moved on to playing in high school. With both her father and brother having played, Glaaser took inspiration from her family to get involved in the sport.

Over the past eight years, Glaaser has improved a great deal. Nelson Forsberg, her hockey coach, particularly admires her defensive capabilities and her amazing shot.

That great shot must be what took her and her team to the state championship at the United Center her sophomore year and helped them win.

“I scored, so that was probably the highlight of my hockey career [so far],” Glaaser said.

For someone to put so much time and effort into anything, they must have a true love for it, and Glaaser has just that. “She’s excited to be on the ice and is someone you can tell really enjoys the game and loves the spirit of competition,” Forsberg said.

According to Forsberg, Glaaser is always making an effort to play the best she can and continue to improve. “Johanna gives 100% in practice and games, always working hard and flying around the ice,” Forsberg said, citing Glaaser’s work ethic.

That same work ethic is what has helped Glaaser do so well in track and field, despite only joining last year during her junior year.

Glaaser, who played soccer, initially joined track simply because she was looking for a new spring sport.

Despite this, Glaaser has definitely made a name for herself in track as well, even qualifying for state last year, her first year of track.

A relay and open event runner, Glaaser has trained and shown a clear talent. Robert Spanoli, the head coach for girls’ track, recognized this talent from the very beginning. “When Johanna first started, she just thought she was going to be another kid on our team. However, the coaching staff quickly recognized what a tremendously talented athlete she [is],” Spanoli said.

Junior Rani Mehta also admires Glaaser’s dedication and the effort she puts in to keep improving.

“Johanna’s one of the most determined, focused, and competitively driven athletes on the team. Watching her race is always awesome because you know she gives 110% and is constantly trying to improve and get to the next level,” Mehta said.

However, team sports often require a lot more than just physical capability. It’s also important to work well with other members on the team.

Although the level of team chemistry required for hockey and track is different, it is equally important to Glaaser and one of her favorite aspects of both sports. According to both her coaches and teammates, it shows. “She is a great teammate, super competitive and fun to be around,” said senior Mia Solberg, one of Glaaser’s teammates from her hockey team.

Glaaser also shines as a leader, another important aspect of team chemistry. “She is a leader by example because of how good she is on and off the ice. She gets excited to talk to everyone and makes everyone feel special,” said teammate Tommy Solberg, a junior who also plays hockey and runs track with Glaaser.

In terms of training, the sports are different; track is more uniform and strict, focusing mainly on endurance Hockey training is more varied and focused on making quick plays.

Of course, being a two sport athlete in high school is both mentally and physically demanding, with practice the entire school week plus early morning track practice and late night hockey practice on Saturdays. However, Glaaser says the many rewards, which include learning better time management and making new friends, are well worth it.

As for her future plans, Glaaser plans to study pre-med next year at St. Olaf College, where she will continue to compete in both hockey and track.

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Johanna Glaaser set to attend St. Olaf