Sapulpa's Abby Hoover named 2012 All-Metro girls cross country athlete of the year
BY ZAK PATTERSON World Sports Writer
Thursday, December 20, 2012
12/20/12 at 6:11 AM
After finishing 21st at state last season, Sapulpa senior Abby Hoover made a commitment to improve.
Also a member of Sapulpa's basketball team, Hoover decided to focus on running over the summer. It worked out for her.
"I wanted to see what I could do if I focused on one sport," Hoover said. "I was in great shape and I showed myself that I could do really well in a limited amount of time."
The result was a runner-up finish at state with a 2-mile time of 11:28.20 in Class 6A and earned her the Tulsa World All-Metro Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year honor.
It was the fastest time of any metro-area girl at state and third time in her high school career that she finished in the top-10 at state. She was seventh as a freshman and ninth as a junior.
"Being the runner-up at state meant so much to me," Hoover said. "I couldn't have done it without God."
She won three races last season and had seven top-three finishes.
She was also the top Oklahoma finisher at the Missouri Stampede in Joplin, Mo.
At the Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, she was the top northeastern Oklahoma finisher, running 11:21.
Hoover credited others in helping to keep her upbeat and motivated.
"I have an awesome team, they are always very supportive of me and if there's one word to describe my coach Debra Williams, it's 'amazing.' She's always encouraging me and she stays positive."
Said Williams, "Abby has worked so hard to achieve the success she experienced this season."
The Sapulpa senior is also a close friend of Beggs standout Regan Ward, an area runner who has had an outstanding high school career. Ward ran an 11:29 at 3A state to finish second this past season and is first-team All-Metro this season.
"Regan motivates me all the time, she's done so well. I love running with her and even though we're both competitive, we don't get mad if one does better than the other."
Hoover plans to run in college, but is undecided as of yet where she wants to attend.
Original Print Headline: Commitment pays off
PICKING THE TEAM
Metro-area athletic directors were sent
nomination forms via email to distribute
to their coaches. All runners were eligible.
World Sports Writer Zak Patterson made
the final selection after reviewing nomination
forms and talking with coaches.
Abby Hoover finished in the top 10 at state in three of her four years at Sapulpa High School. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World