The champion quarter-miler wants to put a full race together in the 400m.
That's why the Keller Fossil Ridge (Texas) High School senior and Texas Tech University signee is entered to run in the 60m and 200m. Hooper ultimately wants to come back to Texas with the ability to finish his go-to event when it counts.
"I want to get better," he said. "I want to run faster times."
Nearly 2,000 athletes from across the country will compete at the AAU Indoor Track and Field National Championships. For complete coverage of the meet, including photos, videos and pictures, visit our meet page here.
A year ago, Hooper won a national championship in the 400m, taking first place at the AAU Junior Olympic Games in August in a personal-record time of 46.17 seconds. When the outdoor season completed, it finished as the sixth-fastest time in the United States.
But Hooper, who owns a 200m PR of 21.91 seconds, only earned a national title after he was unable to grab a state championship at the Texas University Interscholastic League season with Keller Fossil Ridge. Hooper false-started at regionals, yielding him without a qualification to the state meet.
"What motivates me is wanting to prove a lot of people wrong," Hooper said. "A lot of people have been doubting me this year."
Hooper was hard on himself as a result of his misfortune.
"I didn't get the job done," he said, "so I'm trying to prove people wrong this year."
Instead of working through an entire 400m, though, Hooper instead is going to fine-tune his 200m. At the championships, the sprinter will work on running the curves without losing speed.
"I want to work on my turnover," he said.
Hooper, who will run unattached, chose the AAU National Championships instead of New Balance Nationals Indoor, which is taking place over the same weekend.
Hooper owns a U.S. No. 9 time in the 60m and will be running in just his second competitive 200m ever.
But he feels the talent in the race will allow him to make the best of his opportunity. He's betting on himself by virtue of qualifying for the finals in each race.
"I know the competition will be there," he said. "That's why I picked AAU Nationals."
AAU Indoor Track & Field National Championships
When: March 10-12, 2017
Where: Prince George County's Sports & Learning Complex, Landover, MD
What: Nearly 2,000 athletes will compete in track and field events over three days for the right to earn a national title in their respective events
Who: Sanctioned by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)
Contact: AAU Track & Field Executive Committee, Karen Hall, Meet Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Boys 17-18 200m Field
|M 17-18 200 40 entered|
|Clyde King, Jr||TrackandFieldUn||22.38|
|Anthony Reid Jr||AFasterYoutrack||23.31|
|Melvin Forrest Jr||DaleCityLightni||24|
|Jay Pope II||ProminentAthlet||24|
|Evan Pace Wilson||D.C.SpeedTrackC||25.4|
|Marthell Hicks III||Unattached||NM|