PORTSMOUTH — Behind his two stellar times at the Youngstown State Invitational — which resulted in a pair of NAIA National ‘A’ Standards in the 3,000 and 5,000-meter runs — Shawnee State senior harrier Hunter Hoover was awarded with his first Mid-South Conference Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week honor on Monday afternoon by conference officials.
Hoover — who had already set a NAIA ‘A’ Standard mark with his 14:59.47 in the 5,000-meter run at the KCU Ice Breaker Meet last November in Grayson, Ky., — obliterated not only his personal-bests in the 5,000-meter run from an indoor perspective as well as the 3,000-meter run in general, but finished inside the top-five in both events.
On Friday, Hoover notched an indoor personal standard of 14:53.27 in the 5,000-meter run to finish in second-place of 22 competitors at the Youngstown State Mid-Major Invitational, besting his previous indoor best in the event by 6.2 seconds — and bettering the necessary NAIA National ‘A’ Standard by a whopping 12.73 seconds.
He finished less than five seconds behind the winning time of 14:48.92, set by Walsh’s Drew Roberts, and was one of four runners to run a time under 15 minutes overall.
In Saturday’s event, Hoover posted an 8:24.22 in the 3,000-meter run, running third-fastest in the 23-runner field.
He improved on his personal-best by a whopping 25.58 seconds, and as a result, bettered the necessary NAIA ‘A’ Standard time by 17.78.
He finished less than a second-and-a-half back of the 3,000 race winner, Ashland’s Ian Johnson.
Hoover’s new standards in both events have the senior third overall among all NAIA competitors in the 3,000-meters and fifth overall in the 5,000-meters.
Fellow teammate Thryceton Deckard, who could’ve easily won the MSC Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week honor himself with his own NAIA ‘A’ Standard performance this past weekend, has a top-five NAIA performance in the one mile — with his 4:19.04 placing the senior fifth on the national leaderboard.
The conference award is Hoover’s first in track and field, but his second overall as a runner.
During the second week of official competition in September 2019, Hoover was awarded with his first MSC Cross Country Runner of the Week award, which was the Waverly native’s first in that sport.
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