Hocker announces decision to turn pro
EUGENE, ore. Cole stool signed with Nike and will be leaving the remainder of his college career in Oregon to begin his professional career. He announced this on Monday morning on his Instagram account.
“Oregon played a huge role in this journey by providing the best coaches, facilities, and community possible. I couldn’t look forward to hitting the track as a Nike athlete,” Hocker wrote in his post.
During his 2021 breakout campaign, Hocker was a three-time NCAA champion for the Ducks and US 1500-meter champions before finishing sixth at the Tokyo Olympics. The Indianapolis, Indiana native is also a finalist for The Bowerman, which is awarded annually to the best male and female achievers in the athletics college.
“We’re really looking forward to Cole and his future as a professional athlete,” said UO head coach Robert Johnson called. “Cole has set high goals this season and has reached incredible heights, culminating as a finalist at the Tokyo Olympics. The fact that he is so successful as a member of our program and at such a young age speaks for his incredible talent.” but also the standard that we want all of our student-athletes to strive for. Coach Thomas did an excellent job promoting his talent and accompanying Cole on his trip here in Oregon. “
Stool was the fourth UO man to reach the 1500m Olympic final and joined an exclusive list with Matthew Centrowitz (2012, ’16), Dyrol Burleson (1960, ’64) and Jim Grelle (1960). In that final, Hocker cut his best lifetime and school record in Oregon to 3:31:40 in the fastest race in Olympic history. The six best runners all finished below the previous Olympic record.
At the NCAA Indoor Championships, Hocker completed the Mile 3000 double and was the first to sweep the two events since 2013. His winning time in the mile of 3: 53.71 broke the meet record. Hocker won his third NCAA title in front of a home crowd at Hayward Field and raced to victory at 1,500 meters. It was the Ducks’ first national title since 2014.
Hocker’s individual success at the national level earned the Men of Oregon the NCAA Indoor Team Title and a runner-up in the open air.
During the 2021 indoor season, Hocker became the No. 2-mile performer in NCAA history and No. 8 all-time in the world with a time of 3: 50.55 at the Tyson Invitational. His mark only follows other ducks Cooper Teare who won that race in 3: 50.39 to break the college record.
Stool helped the UO men break the NCAA record and set a world record ever in the distance medley relay. He teamed up with Teare Luis Peralta and Charlie Hunter for a time of 9: 19.42 at the Razorback Invitational, beating Oregon’s own record from the previous year. Hocker shared 2: 49.89 on the first 1200 meter distance.
For his impressive awards in the first two months of the 2021 campaign, Hocker was named USTFCCCA National Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.
In a show of its kind, Hocker took a place in the top eight at three events nationwide during the outdoor season. His scores at the NCAA hit 1,500 and 5,000 (13: 18.95) meters in second and fourth place, and his 800-meter time of 1: 46.39 in the Pac-12 championships was the eighth fastest in the country . Hocker was also the Pac-12 champion over 5,000 meters and crossed the finish line over 800 meters with bronze.
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