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Welcome to MavBlog • Providing Insite & Information on the Mavericks Since 1985Mankato, Minn.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Who is Nathan Hancock?

Nathan Hancock is a two-sport athlete at Minnesota State.

Nathan Hancock is one of those rare athletes that most schools would love to have. The junior from Independence, Mo., is a two-sport athlete at Minnesota State, playing safety for the football team as well as competing in the multi-events for the Maverick track and field team.

Not only does he participate in both sports, he excels in both.

As his high school career came to an end, he wanted to find a school where he could compete in both sports. Most schools he was considering would not allow him to play both and since football was his first love, he chose to attend the University of Nebraska-Omaha to play football. After redshirting his first year at UNO, the football program was cut.

That is when Hancock looked to Minnesota State and what it had to offer. After coming to Mankato for a visit, he loved the school and got the offer he was looking for. The Mavericks would allow him to play both sports. Allowing athletes to compete in two sports is nothing new for MSU. Three of Hancock’s teammates, Keyvan Rudd, Bryan Caffin, and Chris Reed are part of the track and field and football teams as well.

It seems to have worked out pretty well for both parties involved. Hancock just finished up one of his best seasons for the MSU track and field team. At the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Multi Championship, he was crowned champion for the second straight year in the heptathlon compiling 5,030 points after battling through a hamstring injury throughout the two-day meet. Going into the NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships his goal was to finish within the top three in the heptathlon. He met this goal as he finished second totaling a school record 5,449 points, surpassing his own school record and earning his third All-American honor in the event. He was also part of the All-American 4x400-meter relay team that finished in eighth place at the championships. As a team, the Purple and Gold had its best finish in 22 years claiming fourth place with 38 points.

Looking ahead to the outdoor season Hancock is planning to compete in the decathlon at 100 percent for the first time. The past two seasons he has had to battle through injury and hasn’t been able to compete to the best of his abilities.

After asking him what the biggest difference between is between the decathlon and heptathlon Hancock stated, “You have to have the endurance to get through 10 events in the decathlon compared to the heptathlon which is only seven events. The decathlon is a little more taxing on the body and you have to be able to recover quickly.”

Hancock is no slouch on the gridiron. In 2013 he started in 11 games for a football team that finished the regular season undefeated and made its second straight appearance in the NCAA tournament. He was named NSIC South Division First Team All-Conference finishing with 46 tackles and five interceptions.

Throughout his career at MSU, Hancock has had a lot of great accomplishments. I asked him what his favorite moment as a Maverick has been so far and he stated, “It has to be the last national meet. My goal was to finish in the top three and to come in second was a great accomplishment. Also to be part of the 4x400-meter relay team to give us that one point in the last race of the meet to help us finish fourth and get that trophy was a great

Hancock still has two more seasons of eligibility for outdoor track and field and one season for indoor track and field. He also has one year of eligibility left for football. Hopefully the best is yet to come in what has already been a pretty great career.

It’s great to be a Maverick!

By: Paul Stenzel, Athletic Communications Graduate Intern

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Updating the list

Minnesota State's beautiful Taylor Center will host the
2014 NCAA DII men's basketball Central Regional
Local college sports fans are in for a treat this weekend with Minnesota State hosting the Men's Basketball NCAA Division II Central Regional and a first round Western Collegiate Hockey Association play-off series.

For basketball, that means an additional seven games of postseason action in Taylor Center with four regional quarterfinal games Saturday, a pair of semi-final games Sunday and a championship game Tuesday.  Teams from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC), the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) and the Great American Conference (GAC) make up the Central Region and in addition to ninth-rated Minnesota State (NSIC) taking on Harding (GAC), the other three first-round games include Missouri Southern (MIAA) vs. Fort Hays State (MIAA), Central Missouri (MIAA) vs. Arkansas Tech (GAC) and Winona State (NSIC) vs. Northwest Missouri State (MIAA).  The regional champion advances to the NCAA DII Elite Eight championship tournament, which is slated for March 26-29 in Evansville, Indiana.

The Mavericks, who stand 29-4 on the year, are hosting the regional tournament for the fourth time in the last five years.

The Minnesota State men's hockey team, meanwhile, squares off against Northern Michigan in a best-of-three series beginning Friday with the hopes of advancing to the WCHA Final Five. The winner of the league post-season tournament gets the league's auto-bid to the NCAA tournament.  The Mavericks, who enter this weekend with a 22-13-1 overall record and have fashioned a nine-game unbeaten streak, finished second in the league regular-season standings.

Minnesota State is the only school in the country hosting the unique NCAA DII men's basketball regional/men's hockey league play-off series this weekend, but hosting postseason events is nothing new for the Mavericks.  We've blogged a little on this in the past, but have added a few events to this burgeoning list.

Events Hosted by Minnesota State Athletics
Year    Event               
1984    NCC Baseball Tournament
1986    NCC Baseball Tournament
1988    NCAA DII Baseball Midwest Regional
1989    NCAA DII Softball Midwest Regional
1990    NCC Baseball Tournament
1994    NCAA DII Wrestling Regional/NCC Championship
1998    NCC Baseball Tournament
1999    NCC Baseball Tournament
2001    NCC Baseball Tournament
2003    WCHA Play-Offs First Round
2003    NCC Softball Tournament
2004    NCAA DII Wrestling National Championships
2006    NCC Baseball Tournament
2008    NCAA DII Wrestling Central Regional
2008    NCC Indoor Track & Field Championships
2008    NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships
2008    WCHA Play-Offs First Round
2008    NCAA DII Softball Central Regional
2009    NCAA DII Women’s Basketball Central Regional
2010    NCAA DII Men’s Basketball Central Regional
2010    NSIC Indoor Track & Field Championships
2011    NSIC Women’s Soccer Tournament
2011    NSIC Baseball Tournament
2011    NCAA DII Men’s Basketball Central Regional
2011    NCAA DII Softball Central SubRegional
2012    NSIC Indoor Track & Field Championships
2012    NCAA DII Indoor Track & Field Championships
2012    NSIC Baseball Tournament
2012    NCAA DII Softball Central SubRegional
2012    NCAA DII Baseball Central Regional
2012    NSIC Women’s Soccer Tournament
2012    NCAA DII Football Second Round Game
2012    NCAA DII Football Quarterfinal Game
2012    NCAA SII Football Semifinal Game
2012    NCAA DII Women’s Soccer Central Regional
2013    WCHA Play-Offs First Round
2013    NCAA DII Men’s Basketball Central Regional
2013    NCAA DII Softball Central SubRegional
2013    NCAA DII Baseball Central Regional
2013    NCAA DII Football Second Round Game
2014    NCAA DII Men’s Basketball Central Regional
2014    WCHA Play-Offs First Round

2014    NCAA DII Softball Central SubRegional
2014    NSIC Women's Soccer Tournament
2014    NCAA DII Women's Soccer Regional 1st & 2nd Round
2014    NCAA DII Football Second Round Game
2014    NCAA DII Football Quarterfinal Game
2014    NCAA DII Football Semifinal Game 
2015    NSIC Indoor Track & Field Championships
2015    NCAA DII Wrestling Super Region 3 Championship
2015    WCHA Play-Offs First Round
2015    NCAA DII Women's Soccer Regional 1st & 2nd Round
2015    NCAA DII Football First Round Game

It's great to be a Maverick.