PC Paw Print Athlete Highlight: Brooke Hooper


Brooke Hooper ’24 at the end of her amazing performance at the FL Horse Park Invite.

For our first ever Athlete Highlight, we chose to cover Brooke Hooper ’24, who, in last week’s Park Vista Invitational, stunned hundreds of runners by earning the state’s 4th best cross country time.

In her first meet of the season, Hooper got second place, racing against 178 other varsity runners from 19 different schools! She led Pine Crest to a 3rd place finish and broke her previous best time by 2 minutes and 20 seconds, an incredible improvement, which shows just how hard she has worked to get to where she is today. Additionally, she’s now run 3 meets and has held on to her top 5 statewide rankings. She has consistently put up great times and has led the Pine Crest Cross Country team to better and better placements meet after meet.

The psychology of a great athlete is paramount to their continued success, so Paw Print asked Hooper about how she felt before laying down these groundbreaking times. She emphasized the importance of being with her team on race day.
“I made sure to stretch a lot and warm up with the girls. I love being with a team because we all encourage each other.”

The girls’ cross country coach, Paul Baur, also emphasized the same point. At one of their most important races, the FL Horse Park Invite, Baur recounted a story for Hooper and her teammates before the race.
Arthur Costa ‘23 and Jaret Rozanski ‘23, Brooke’s teammates, recounted what they could recall of the emotional moral of Baur’s story for Paw Print, saying, “A blind horse will pull a truck because it won’t know it’s pulling alone. A horse who knows it’s pulling alone will never even try.”

This team focus has led both the boys’ and girl’s cross country teams to continued success throughout the years. The team practices 6 days a week, week in and week out. They have been training with no breaks since early June, and this hard work certainly seems to have paid off for Hooper and her teammates as they prepare to fight for district and regional titles in the coming weeks and months.

In addition to this team spirit, Hooper emphasizes both mental and physical preparedness before a meet.
She spoke to us about her mental battles during the PC Relays.

“Before the gun goes off, I like to strategize.” Hooper ’24 states, “For this race, I was planning not to go out fast. I knew people were going to die out, so I held a steady pace. I made goals to pass people in certain amounts of time. This mental strategy helped me a lot and forced me to stay strong.”

“At [the end] of the race, I was racing against 2 other girls for 2nd place. [One of them,] Christiana Coleman, was Broward Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2020… and in the last 200 meters [it came down] to whoever wanted it most, so I sprinted as hard as I could.”

Hooper is clearly a talented, hard-working athlete, and Paw Print is proud to report on her achievements. Her recent running has impressed the Paw Print, and Brooke Hooper 24’ received the first PC Paw Print Athlete Highlight because of it.

Congratulations, Brooke! Paw Print and the rest of the Pine Crest Community wish you the best of luck in your upcoming meets and other endeavors.