CHS standout Trenton Hooker earns swimming scholarship to Rider
By: Mike Jones , Sports Editor
Conroe High senior Trenton Hooker is aiming to go to state in
the 500 freestyle this season. (Staff photo by JERRY BAKER)
Conroe High School senior Trenton
Hooker has dreamed of competing collegiately since he began swimming
competitively as an 11-year-old with Conroe Area Team Swimmers.
The dream has become a reality, with Hooker having earned a
scholarship to compete at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J.
The Broncs' men's swimming and diving team at the Metro Atlantic
Athletic Conference school is the defending league champion.
"I'm really looking forward to it," said Hooker. "I'm
also looking forward to making the NCAAs."
Hooker, who has made it to the regional meet the last two
seasons at Conroe in the 500 freestyle, will be competing in the
500, 1,000 and 1,650 freestyle events in college.
Hooker got his start in swimming with the River Plantation
team as an 8-year-old under former Conroe High head coach Tom
Harwood. From there, he began competing for Conroe Area Team
Swimmers (CATS) at age 11 and then was a member of The Woodlands
Swim Team for three years before joining up with current CHS coach
Steve Montgomery on the Conroe Swim Club.
Hooker chose his event, the freestyle, thanks to CATS coach Jeff Helms.
Some of his top performances include finishing second at district as a
junior in the 500 and earning a state-qualifying time last November in the
Aggieland Invitational. Hooker broke his arm last year and didn't compete
Hooker said he tried all the team sports before deciding on
"It was best in terms of reaching your full potential," he
said. "Some sports hold you back. But, in swimming you give all you
can give. You focus on the individual rather than the group effort."
At Rider, Hooker will be taking the place of a senior who is
graduating and will be the fastest distance swimmer on the team.
Hooker has appreciated all the help from his coaches over the years.
"I've learned a lot from them," he said. "Swimming
builds many things, like character and being a competitive person."
Hooker, who is in the top 25 percent of his senior class and plans
to major in executive business administration, also thanked his parents.
"My parents (Debbie and Greg) have been the biggest
contributors in helping me achieve my goals," he said. "They've
stood by me every time I've tried to attain a goal and have pushed me
every step of the way to making it happen."