Track & field: Hunter caps stellar career with second straight CAA honor

Track & field: Hunter caps stellar career with second straight CAA honor

Former Husky shot putter Nate Hunter finished his career 37-0 at NU and was named CAA Track & Field Athlete of the Year two years in a row (Photo courtesy, GoNU)
By: Anthony Gulizia, News Staff

“You definitely have to be motivated,” former Northeastern shot putter Nate Hunter said. “If you’re not, you’re never going to reach the next level. Sometimes things get frustrating, but you need to be motivated to accomplish the impossible.”

The Gloucester native did just that, capping off a stellar 37-0 career in the shot put by being named Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Male Athlete of the Year in track and field for the second consecutive year, as well as qualifying for the US Track and Field Championships.

“To be honest, I was a little surprised I won the award,” Hunter said. “I didn’t compete the way I wanted to this outdoor with the back injury, but I did come back during the championship season and produce and I don’t even know how, my back was so messed up but I had some big throws.”

Throughout the outdoor season, he battled a herniated disc he sustained during the indoor season.

Hunter enjoyed a highly successful senior year, highlighted by his setting the new school record. At the Boston Indoor Championships, his throw of 63’11.5 qualified him for the US Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

“I wasn’t happy with my distance at Championships, but you never are as a thrower,” Hunter said. “But I was pleased I was able to get in the competition. I thought it was a good learning experience, it was a lot of fun and there were a lot of people watching, so you feel like the man in town.”

Hunter credited Joel St. Cyr, the head coordinator of strength and conditioning at Northeastern, for his qualification for the US Championships.

“[St. Cyr] worked with me to get me as strong and explosive as possible, and he worked so hard in getting me up to speed for US Championships, and without him I don’t think I could’ve done it,” Hunter said. “We really worked hard day in and day out to get past the injuries and I really want to thank him for making that US performance happen.”

Hunter finished 12th with a throw of 59’11.25, his fourth best throw of the season.

Hunter said that it felt great to qualify for the US Championships, but the best moment of his career was breaking the school record.

“My goal this year was to break a record, and even though I had some rough times, that moment definitely made it all worth it,” Hunter said.

After claiming four CAA Championships, five New England Championships, and an Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America Championship, Hunter aims to add an Olympic medal to his collection.

While the door has closed on Hunter’s collegiate career, another door has opened at the professional level. There is a chance Hunter will be tossing the shot put for the United States in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

“I’m going to try for the Olympics, and I’m looking at trying to get sponsored to help out with everything it takes to train during the season,” Hunter said. “If I get my technique and strength right, I’ll see what happens at trials. A lot of times your prime age for throwing is 28, so I’m kind of young. But I’m definitely going to keep doing this as long as I can.“

In the mean time, Hunter will begin working next week as a project manager for Morpho Detection, a computer software company based in Wilmington. He plans on balancing his work and training, a useful skill he learned at Northeastern.

“The best thing that I learned at school was to maintain training at my level, while keeping a full-time job at the same time,” Hunter said. “A lot of hard work, a lot of dedication, and motivation helped him succeed. And once you lose your motivation it’s an uphill climb and that’s a lesson I learned very early.”

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