SSU’s Hoover continues to surpass expectations

By Ben Vannatta - SSU Sports Information



WAVERLY — If you refer to yourself as someone who follows sports in southern Ohio, and appreciates greatness when you see it, there is no doubt you have heard the name Hunter Hoover.

From his days at Waverly High School up until now, Hoover continues to do things many of us couldn’t imagine doing.

He is a three-time All-American, accomplishing this feat in the span of just 11 weeks.

He was also the NAIA national runner-up this year in the 5,000-meter run this past spring.

As well as running, it is of equal importance to note that Hoover is an education major at Shawnee State.

Dating back from his time at Waverly, academics and carrying himself respectfully away from athletics has always been a priority kept in the forefront of his mind.

It was obvious from day one that Hoover was going to leave his mark at Shawnee State.

For those who know him, that was knowledge as soon as he signed with the Bears.

However, to become an NAIA All-American runner in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track is something that even Hoover didn’t fully expect.

“In all honesty, I didn’t know what it would be like running at Shawnee,” Hoover said. “I had no expectations when I first signed. The friendships I’ve made, and the memories have made my time here really enjoyable.”

Staying home, when the option of leaving was there, was certainly a statement about how important it was to Hoover to represent where he is from.

“Being NAIA and going against these bigger schools, repping Shawnee State just gives you that mentality that you have something to prove,” Hoover said. “Representing this school close to home means everything because I want to represent where I come from always. Waverly started my love for sport and education.”

When the day comes that Hoover’s running career at Shawnee State ends, things he was able to learn during his time here will prove to be very important for the next chapter in his life.

Thankfully, he has been able to take advantage of the opportunity which Shawnee State has given him — regarding preparing him for the future.

“My time at Shawnee State will help me a ton because I’ve been very thankful for the help the education program has given me with preparing me for my future in education,” Hoover said. “Running-wise, Shawnee State has helped me develop and continue to develop my work ethic. I think this will help me a lot when I begin my future career.”

Aside from teaching, Hoover has intentions of keeping running — and Shawnee State — in his future.

“I would love to help coach,” Hoover said. “Coach (Eric) Putnam has taught me a lot with coaching, and I’ve met a lot of people in the sport along the way.”

Hoover has undoubtedly already created a legacy at Shawnee State that is going to continue for years to come.

With a resume like his, he will go down as one of the greatest Shawnee State has ever seen.

Although all of these things are true, that isn’t the first thing Hoover wants to be remembered for after his time at Shawnee State.

“I want to be remembered as a leader and being someone who worked hard,” Hoover said. “I didn’t have the times in high school, but I took every opportunity to better myself, set goals, and shoot for things people said were crazy or that I couldn’t do. I don’t want to leave a stone unturned next season.”

Although Hoover realizes what he is doing puts him in elite company, he is very humble through it all — never mentioning personal goals.

“Personally, I usually don’t tell my personal goals, but I definitely want to accomplish accolades that haven’t been done before and chase times that I know I’m capable of in that same way,” Hoover said. “I’ve always had big goals, but over time, I believe that I’ve finally developed the confidence to chase those.”

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By Ben Vannatta

SSU Sports Information