The secret’s in the socks

Hannah Limanek prepares to launch her hammer throw during the UMASS Dartmouth Invitational

“I always have to wear the same socks, for me they’re tap dancing pigs with top hats and canes.”

Superstitions are common among athletes — with first year member of the track team, Hannah Limanek, who throws discus and hammer, superstition gets taken to a whole new level.

“Those were the pair of socks I wore to my first hammer practice, and I actually threw really well. So now I feel like I have to wear these every single time to throw well,” said Limanek, who first started throwing discus at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, ten miles outside of her hometown, Sutton, Massachusetts.

“When I look down to tie my shoes, it puts a smile on my face, like ‘Oh! Tap dancing pigs,’” said Limanek, who says she normally gets nervous before it’s time to perform her events.

“I just don’t want to mess up,” said Limanek. “I’m just nervous that I have to hit every single technical point of it [her throw].”

Despite her pre-meet jitters, Limanek managed to set a personal record in her first college track meet, throwing hammer 37.49 meters — almost 41 yards.

Besides dawning the tap dancing pig socks as a part of her uniform and preparation for competition, Limanek makes use of her AirPod Pros that are always kept on the noise-canceling setting. What she chooses to play in them does not lack any variety either.

“I have a great playlist that has every genre in music,” said Limanek.

Classical, Broadway, pop, punk-pop, you name it, it’s in the playlist.

“It’s a lot of instrumental, classical music, like study music almost. So that gets me in the zone to get focused,” said Limanek.

The focus centers around the technical movements involved with launching the discus and ball attached to steel wiring as far as possible with enough control to keep it in the legal scoring area.

“It’s almost like I’m sitting down to study,” said Limanek. “I would put on an instrumental score of some sort, so that gets me focused so I think about ‘Okay, I have to make sure I close my hips, make sure I bend all the way down, make sure my forms correct, that I’m pushing the hammer.’”

Limanek is no stranger to studying outside of the focus she uses for the technique required for her events. The electrical engineering major and mathematics minor spends a lot of time crunching numbers off the field.
“I went to a technical high school, so I was studying electrical engineering since my freshman year of high school and I just wanted to continue it on because I loved it so much,” said Limanek.

Her decision to attend RWU was partly influenced by the advancements made to the School of Engineering with the construction of the Richard L. Bready Applied Learning Laboratories on campus.

“I thought that was really important to see that a school was actually focusing on building new stuff and giving students more equipment and better facilities,” she said.

Limanek and the Hawks look to compete in The Coast Guard Invitational next on April 9.