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Hooker Sprints to Victory in Olympic Trials Tune-Ups
Release: 07/06/2000
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July 6, 2000

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Husky sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker today captured his third victory in as many days at the Athletics Canada High Altitude Series meet in Flagstaff, Ariz., taking the 400-meter dash in 44.95 seconds over fellow Olympic hopefuls from the United States and Canada.

Earlier this week, Hooker recorded victories in both 200-meter races, taking Monday's race in 20.18 seconds, and Tuesday's in 20.27.

The meet, which concludes Saturday, is the final tune-up for Hooker before the United States Olympic Trials, July 14-23 in Sacramento, Calif. Hooker earned a berth at the trials with a school-record 44.91 in the 400m at the Seattle Pacific Invitational in May, a mark which at the time was the world's fifth-fastest in 2000.

"We just wanted to get Ja'Warren loose and keep him going right up on into the trials," Husky head coach Orin Richburg said.

Hooker is bidding to become UW's 20th Olympian, but first on the track since Sterling Hinds ran the 4x400m relay in Los Angeles in 1984. The Husky sprinter will begin trials competition on July 14th, with the first of the 400-meter preliminary heats. Hooker will also race in the 200 meters.

Hooker earned Pac-10 Male Track and Field Athlete of the Year honors in 2000 for the second time in his three-year career after capturing the 100-meter (10.19) and 200-meter (20.39) titles at the conference championship meet May 21 in Eugene, Ore. Hooker also won both events as a freshman in 1998, when he earned his first Athlete of the Year honor. He is the only Washington athlete to win the award since its inception in 1976, and was just the third man to win it twice.

The 2000 track season was a decorated one for Hooker, who established new school records in the 200 and 400-meters, in addition to the 100-meter record he has held since 1998. Hooker was named the U.S. Track and Field Coaches' Association's Western Region Indoor and Western Region Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year, and earned the Maury White Award as the top performer at the prestigious Drake Relays in April.

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