May 15, 2000
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Washington junior sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker received the Pacific-10 Conference Track Athlete of the Week award on Monday for the third time this season after shattering a 10-year-old school record in the men's 400 meters last weekend at Husky Stadium.
Running the 400 meters for the first time since 1998, Hooker clocked a sizzling time of 44.91 seconds on Saturday in the Seattle Pacific Invitational to break his second school record in as many meets. He shaved nearly one second off the Washington 400-meter record of 45.81 established in 1990 by Orlando McKay. That time is the fifth fastest in the world this year, qualifying Hooker for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
The Ellensburg (Wash.) High School product is eligible to compete in three events at the Olympic Trials, having reached qualifying standards in the 100 (10.18), 200 (20.23) and 400 meters. Hooker will likely participate in only the 400 at the Trials that are scheduled for July 14-23 in Sacramento, Calif. The top eight 400-meter performers will earn berths on the U.S. Olympic team, including five athletes to train for the 4 x 400 relay.
Hooker now owns three Washington school records, including the 200-meter mark of 20.23 that he set on May 6 in Provo, Utah and the 100-meter standard of 10.18 that he established as a freshman in 1998.
The Pac-10 honored Hooker twice before this season, naming him the athlete of the week on April 17 and May 1. The Husky track & field team travels to Eugene, Ore. for the Pac-10 Championship Meet on Saturday and Sunday at historic Hayward Field.
Hooker has reached NCAA automatic qualifying standards in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter events. He will compete at the NCAA Division I Championships, May 31-June 3 in Durham, N.C.