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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

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