AUSTIN, Texas -- University of Texas All-America sprinter/jumper Marshevet Hooker (San Antonio, Texas/Southwest) has elected to forgo her final season of collegiate eligibility to pursue a professional track and field career, the four-time NCAA champion announced Monday. An eight-time All-American, Hooker will remain a student at Texas and continue her training under coach Bev Kearney. Hooker will begin her professional career this weekend at the USA Track and Field Championships in Indianapolis and is scheduled to compete in the 100 meters and the long jump.
"It has been nothing short of a privilege to compete for The University of Texas under coach Kearney," Hooker said. "I can't thank Bev and (Director of Women's Athletics) Chris Plonsky enough for the opportunities afforded to me over the last three years. My time at UT will help me prepare for the challenges that await me at the next level."
Hooker, an eight-time All-American, leaves UT as one of the most decorated student-athletes in the program's history.
"Marshevet has been an exceptional student-athlete, person and teammate during her time here at Texas," Kearney said. "She is the epitome of a team player. This move is right for Marshevet, and we're really excited for her. Marshevet deserves this success and more. She is an unbelievable person and a phenomenal talent. I don't think she will have any problems as she moves toward the next level and her goals of winning an Olympic medal."
At the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships, Hooker led Texas to its sixth NCAA indoor title by collecting nearly half of the Longhorns' 51 points. Hooker captured individual titles in the 60 meters and long jump (school-record leap of 22-0 1/4) and added a fourth-place finish in the 200 meters to help UT outdistance second-place Stanford.
Hooker, a corporate communications major, made her mark as one of the top athletes in collegiate track and field during the 2005 outdoor season, when she helped Texas to its fourth NCAA outdoor title. Hooker became UT's third NCAA 100-meter champion and its first since 1991, when she claimed the event in 11.14 seconds. She also anchored the 4x100-meter relay team to victory in 42.87, the third-fastest time in school history. Hooker took second in the long jump, finishing only behind eventual World Champion Tianna Madison.
"The past three years have been wonderful," Hooker added. "I've enjoyed a tremendous college experience, which I will continue as I pursue my track and field career. I look forward to becoming a UT graduate and representing the University around the world."
Hooker, the 2005 USTFCCCA (United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association) Women's Athlete of the Year, owns the UT indoor long jump record at 22-0 1/4 and holds the school's second-best marks in the indoor 60 meters (7.20), outdoor 100 meters (11.09), outdoor long jump (21-10) and outdoor 4x100-meter relay (42.84).
Marshevet Hooker's Career Highlights
· 2006 USTFCCCA South Central Region Women's Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year
· 2005 USTFCCCA Women's Athlete of the Year
· 2006 USTFCCCA South Central Region Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Year
· 2006 Big 12 Women's Indoor Track Athlete of the Year
· Four-time NCAA Champion (2005 outdoor 100m, 2005 outdoor 4x100m relay, 2006 indoor 60m, 2006 indoor long jump)
· Eight-time All-American o 2005 USTFCCCA Women's Athlete of the Year
· 2005 Big 12 Women's Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year
· 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials participant
· Seven-time NCAA Midwest Regional Champion
· 11-time Big 12 Champion
· 18-time All-Big 12
IN THE UT RECORD BOOK
Outdoor 100m 2nd (11.09)
Outdoor 200m 8th (22.73)
Outdoor Long jump 2nd (21-10)
Outdoor 4x100m 2nd (42.84)
Indoor 60m 2nd (7.20)
Indoor 200m 2nd (22.86)
Indoor Long jump 1st (22-0.25)