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Published on March 30, 2021

Nurse Tech Jumps for Gold 

Marshevet Hooker focuses on Tokyo. 

COVID-19 cancelled our vacations and forced Americans to stay home. What did you do? Many of us decided to remodel the kitchen, put in a backyard firepit, buy a car or even take up painting. Marshevet Hooker decided she would train for the Olympics.Vetter Hooker Jumping

A year ago, Hooker was coaching the finer techniques of the long jump to a cousin on the Southern Alamance High School track team. “Wow, I’m really getting out there,” thought Hooker as she demonstrated proper mechanics. When COIVD-19 forced the Tokyo Olympics to be delayed a year, she thought, “Why not?”  

Hooker is a nurse tech in the emergency department of Alamance Regional Medical Center. Everyone there calls her Vette and no one can recall seeing her without a smile. Her dedication, compassion and drive caught the attention of her director, Laura Stansfield, when Hooker was a student in the nursing assisting program at Alamance Community College. “I’m proud to know her,” says Stansfield. “Vette’s a force!”  

Hooker is also a force in track and field. At the University of Texas, she was an NCAA champion in the 100-meter dash and part of the national champion 4 X100 meter relay team. She finished 5th in the 200 meters in the Beijing Olympics. Hooker’s work in the 4X100 eventually carried her to a gold medal in the World Championships in 2011 in Daegu, South Korea. She even ran professionally. 

Vetter Hooker with weightsThis quest began with light runs in June then endurance training in July. (Three or four 300-meter runs. “That’s pretty painful for me. I’m a sprinter,” Hooker said laughing.) Today she hits the weights 3 days a week and runs 5. She credits husband, Lacy Flintall, and her extended family for helping her balance it all. “He thinks I’m nuts but loves every minute of it,” according to Hooker. By the way, Hooker just completed everything she needs to get into nursing school at Alamance Community College.  

With nursing aspirations, chasing a gold medal and three children (ages 8, 6 and 3), Hooker had to cut back. Hooker worked with Emergency Department Assistant Director Tiffany Johnson on a more accommodating schedule. Hooker now works a weekly 12-hour shift. “I love the emergency department. Even with my training, I could not bring myself to leaving it,” she says. 

To make the Olympic trials, Hooker must hit 21’ 11” in the long jump. She was right on it during a recent week of training in Colorado. But Hooker must make the mark in a competition. She hopes to enter as an “open” athlete at an event at NC A&T on April 10. If she makes it, she heads to Eugene, Oregon at the end of June. If all goes well, her next stop will be Tokyo. 

This 36-year-old mother of three says she is ready, “I’ve been through this before, so I have no pressure. Plus, I have three little cheerleaders.”  

Nurse Tech Jumps for Gold (and Got Her COVID-19 shot!)

And despite the busy schedule, Hooker still found time to get vaccinated—even after having COVID-19. “I have young children and a husband that thankfully didn’t get sick when I did. I had to act and make sure that I was doing everything that I could to protect them and myself.”