Long Beach Junior Lifeguard Hannah Levy honored by City of Long Beach
Hannah Levy joined the Long Beach Jr. Lifeguards to do what she enjoyed most — running, swimming and socializing with new friends.
The Wilson High School junior said she never expected to be named Long Beach Junior Lifeguard of the Year this summer, and especially didn’t expect to be announced as the California Surf Lifesaving Junior Lifeguard of the Year.
Levy was handed the award along with a proclamation from Mayor Bob Foster at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
“I was shocked to get the award because there are so many great kids in the program,” Levy said. “To get a proclamation from the mayor — it meant the world to me.”
Levy spends her days at Wilson keeping up her 4.0 GPA, while taking three Advanced Placement and one Honors class, choreographing routines in the school’s dance department and practicing crew rowing after school. Earlier this year, Levy and her dance partner were recognized for their original dance number portraying their friend’s battle against cancer
“The city wants to recognize you … for what a great asset you are to the city of Long Beach,” Foster said to Levy at the meeting. “Congratulations and great job.”
Her athletic achievements also include becoming the youngest female to receive an adult black belt in Karate at the age of 11, numerous swim-a-thons and charity half-marathons. As a birthday tradition, the teenager spends her day running 16 miles, she said.
“When I was 15, I decided I wanted to do something special to make my birthday memorable,” Levy added. “It might be hard at age 97 (to run 16 miles) but we’ll see.”
Although swimming wasn’t her strongest suit as a youngster, Levy joined the Jr. Lifeguards when she was 9 years old to spend some time at the beach — one of her favorite places to be, she said.
“When I started, I was completely unnoticed,” she said. “I was a bad swimmer, but a good runner. These past couple years, I really came into my own and started getting more into the program.”
During the past six summers, Levy has put her hard work to the test by competing in the annual Stud Ironman — a running and swimming competition — where she reduced her initial time of 3:04:00 by half to 1:34:00. She also formed a group with the other junior guards to compete in this year’s Mega Colossus — an 8.5-mile run, including 4,000 yards of swimming.
Graced with the new title, Levy said she is in talks with crew teams at Stanford, Harvard, Princeton and Georgetown. While she is undecided about what she wants to do when she gets older, Levy is certain of one thing — happiness.