Paragould’s Olivia Hancock qualifies for Virtual Nationals in discus

Region 8 Sports Extra: Paragould's Olivia Hancock on qualifying for 2020 Virtual Nationals
Paragould’s Olivia Hancock qualifies for Virtual Nationals in discus

PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - An NEA standout has qualified for a national competition. But how she did it is certainly unique in these unique times.

Last May, Paragould’s Olivia Hancock stood atop the 5A podium in the discus. Her throw of 121 feet set a 5A State Championship meet record.

“My goal wasn’t to win state, that was just kind of a bonus,” Hancock said. “I really just wanted to hit 120 feet. And I knew if I hit 120 then I’d win. I’m really surprised that I hit that 120 because my form looking back at those videos, it needed work.”

The Lady Ram track & basketball standout certainly worked to repeat as discus state champion in 2020. COVID-19 canceled the campaign before it really started. But Hancock found a way for all the work in the circle to count. "We just started scouring the internet for anything to get some throws recorded."

The National Scholastic Athletics Foundation and AthleticNet created Virtual Nationals. Athletes can submit qualifying entries in different events. Hancock launched the discus 133 feet, 8 inches last week. That’s 12 feet farther than her 2019 state title mark.

“It was amazing,” Hancock added. “I just love throwing, even if I’m all by myself and at practice. The top 20 in the country were over 120 feet, and I was just really glad that I was a part of that.”

Hancock qualified for Virtual Nationals next month along with July’s New Balance Nationals.

Copyright 2020 KAIT. All rights reserved.