Guyana’s Natricia Hooper named NJCCA Regional Field Athlete-of-the-Year
Guyanese jumper Natricia Hooper has on Wednesday been named the New Jersey Child Care Association’s (NJCCA’s) Division One Atlantic Region Female Field Athlete-of-the-Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The Essex County sophomore won the NJCCA Outdoor Championships triple jump title last weekend with a best mark of 13.37 metres (WIND: +2.2m/s).
It would’ve surpassed her own school record she set in April en route to defeating a strong field of mostly NCAA Division 1 jumpers to win the Penn Relays title if the wind was not slightly over the allowable limit of +2.0m/s.
Two weeks prior, she finished 8th overall representing Guyana at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with her lifetime best of 13.36m (+1.3m/s).
Hooper has carried over the momentum from a very successful indoor season wherein she was also named the region’s field athlete of the year after going toe to toe with some of the best jumpers in the country at the NCAA Divisions I and II levels, and in most cases besting them.
Though she missed both the Regional and NJCAA Indoor Championships, the 19-year-old went over 13m at four different meets, finishing with a season and personal best of 13.33m.
Her college best of 13.20m, with which she won the event at the Dr. Sander Invitational Armory Challenge over a slew of NCAA Division I athletes, was the 7th best on the week across all divisions, and finished the top mark in the NJCAA at the end of the season by 0.19m.
The 2017 CARIFTA Games triple-jump gold medalist is one of the brightest track and field prospects coming out of the Caribbean, and will be making the transition from the Junior College (NJCAA) level to NCAA Division 1 this summer.
The Georgetown, Guyana native, who is a solid 400m runner as well, caught the attention of several top NCAA Division 1 institutions, but chose to sign with the University of Kentucky.
She received offers from other top universities such as University of Nebraska, Louisiana State University (LSU), Florida State University, University of Florida, Mississippi State, Clemson University and UCLA. (sayfcarib)