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Hunter Forgoes Indoor Season, Turns Pro

Dec 10, 2021

EUGENE, Ore. – Following a standout 2021 campaign on the track, two-time NCAA champion and 2021 Olympian Charlie Hunter has signed a contract with Nike and will make the jump to the professional ranks. The Gosford, Australia, native made the announcement Thursday via his Instagram account.
 
In the IG post accompanied by a video, Hunter simply wrote "the next chapter."
 
"I couldn't be happier for Charlie as he takes the next step in his career," head coach Robert Johnson said. "Charlie loved being a Duck. He set big goals for himself during his time at Oregon, and with his pure talent and incredible competitive nature, he got to check those boxes of becoming a national champion and Olympian, and ultimately, becoming a professional. Charlie has a unique story and I couldn't be prouder to call him a Duck."
 
Hunter was a double winner at the 2021 NCAA Indoor Championships. He secured his first national title as the 800-meter leg of the Ducks' distance-medley relay that combined for a meet-record 9:19.98, just off their collegiate record set earlier in the season. Hunter was back on the track on day three to win an individual title in the 800 meters.
 
At the season-opening Razorback Invitational, Hunter was part of Oregon's record-breaking effort in the DMR. He teamed with Cole Hocker, Luis Peralta and Cooper Teare for a time of 9:19.42, supplanting the previous collegiate record of 9:24.52 set by the Ducks one year prior. He split 1:47.65 on his 800-meter leg. The next day, Hunter set the Australian indoor national record in the mile with his 3:54.54 showing.
 
For his performance, he was named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week.
 
Two weeks later at the Tyson Invitational, Hunter not only lowered his mile mark to 3:53.49—the No. 6 time in NCAA history—but also posted a time of 1:45.59 in the 800 meters to establish a new UO school record and set a second Australian record in as many meets.
 
Hunter is the only man in NCAA history with multiple top-10 indoor times in both the 800 meters and mile. He leaves Oregon as the No. 5 performer (800m) and No. 6 performer (mile) in collegiate history.
 
In an outdoor campaign that would end with a trip to Tokyo to represent his native Australia in the Olympics, Hunter established an 800-meter lifetime best of 1:44.35 in late June to secure an Olympic qualifier. That time put him at No. 2 on the UO all-time list, trailing only 1984 Olympic gold medalist Joaquim Cruz.
 
Hunter advanced to the semifinals of the 800 meters in his Olympic debut.
 
For the Ducks, he finished third at the NCAA Championships in a then-outdoor PR of 1:45.75 in front of the Hayward Field crowd. Hunter opened the postseason with a runner-up performance at the Pac-12 Championships, clocking in at 1:46.34 in the final.
 
During the season, Hunter also established a personal best of 3:38.17 over 1500 meters at the Oregon Twilight.
 
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