Last October, senior Zach Hanf nearly died when he collided head-on with a semi truck on Route 31. After 13 surgeries, including a left leg amputation, Zach was forced to adjust. But his love for athletics didn't stop him from competing. In January, just four days after he was fitted for a prosthetic leg, Zach was walking.
This spring, he has been training with Mick Amicone from the Fieldhouse to meet his goals in sprinting and shotput. Amicone and the Adaptive Sports Program of Ohio (ASPO) helped set up Zach with a high-tech racing chair for the 100, 400, and 800 meter races. Through his work on the track, Zach has been an inspiration to disabled athletes across the area.
"Don't let it hold you back, you can still do everything that everyone else does," Hanf said. "It might look a little different, it might take a little longer, but you can get stuff done. So don't be afraid to do what you want to do."
Friday at the MVL Track Meet, Zach competed alongside two other chair athletes, including Tri-Valley's Kaleb Davis, and Derek Payden of Cambridge. During the meet, Zach set what is likely an Ohio state record in shotput with a throw of 19 feet. He also qualified for the state meet in the 100 and 400 meter dashes.
Earlier this spring, Zach was awarded the Seth Dille Courage and Athletics Scholarship. He plans on attending the Ohio State University in the fall to study Pre-Med and ultimately become a trauma surgeon, or be apart of a related field.
Zach also plans to be fitted with a prosthetic blade in the near future, to hopefully meet his goal of running again one day.
"This young man will run again, there is no doubt in my mind," Amicone said. "After seeing what he's been able to accomplish since the first day I saw him in November, there's no doubt that the story of Zach Hanf...we're only in about chapter three of about ten chapters."