Former Te Puke High School student Hannah Wells no longer lives in Te Puke, but the high-achieving triathlete does ride through on her bike from time to time. Hannah is the latest former student to speak to Te Puke Times editor Stuart Whitaker.
As an elite individual athlete, it's a bit of a surprise to learn that it was team sports where Hannah Wells excelled at school.
''I had a really amazing time at Te Puke High School,'' she says. ''It was a great school for me. I had really good friends, really good teachers and it was a well grounded upbringing through my high school years that taught me a lot.''
Mostly she played netball and volleyball while at school, but was involved in whatever sport she could.
''I think I even played badminton and a little bit of squash. I got involved in athletics, and cross country and hockey in the earlier years.
''I played cricket as well - there was a pretty good coach who was passionate about cricket.
''Back then I actually did a lot of team sports rather than what I do now which is triathlons which are, obviously, individual.''
Hannah says having good coaches and being in good teams while at school taught her a lot about teamwork and working with others.
''That was vital to learn through those years and now, as an individual athlete, it means I have good grasp on how to work with people and sportsmanship and working as part of a team even though I now do an individual sport. It means, hopefully, I'm a bit more balanced.''
While she has now made a name for herself as a triathlete, she says she has no regrets about the time she spent on playing team sports.
Hannah left high school in 2008 but it wasn't until her final year at university that she first entertained the idea of being a triathlete.
''I was still playing netball and volleyball when I went to university in Palmerston North where I did my degree.
''I got an injury which meant I had to take a little bit of time off running so I started swimming, which was very foreign to me. But I met the triathlon club while I was going to the pool pretty regularly to keep fit, and I just joined in with the triathlon club and ended up leaving netball and volleyball and taking up triathlon.''
Hannah has also reached the heights academically. After her degree in biotechnical engineering, she studied for her doctorate and, until last year, was a postgraduate researcher at Massey University.
She can trace that success back to high school.
''I had some really good teachers through high school, particularly in the sciences, and because they were such good teachers it meant I enjoyed those subjects and continued on with them.
''I guess that helped pave the way into wanting to do something in the science or engineering area when I left school.''
At the start of this year Hannah decided to focus on being a fulltime athlete, so gave up her researcher position. The decision came on the back of a great 2019 when she won ever race she entered.
''Last year was a bit of a break through year for me,'' she says.
Last year's success and the decision to go fulltime has made the limited amount of competition in 2020 due to Covid-19 doubly difficult.
''I did plan on being overseas for the majority of this year, so obviously things had to change very suddenly.
''It's a shame, but you can't dwell on it and we've got to be thankful for what we do have.
''The chances are we will have a good summer season here in New Zealand and so now it's about not dwelling on it too much and looking forward to that seasons and, yes, it might be different to what I had planned, but that doesn't mean I can't still go out there and improve as an athlete.''
She says the hope is there will be overseas racing once again after the New Zealand season.
Hannah now live in Ōtumoetai, but is no stranger to Te Puke.
''My parents still live rurally out the other side of Paengaroa, and I ride through Te Puke quite often on my bike, so people might see me doing that.''