WASHINGTON — Often a boy’s role model is his father. Often, but not always.
Washington High School graduate Ethan Hunt has chosen his career based on watching his mother interact with patients at Halcyon House.
“My mom is a nurse and I have been hanging out with her since I was a kid,” Hunt said. “I have really enjoyed it.”
Because Mount Mercy offers a nursing program and Hunt wants to be a registered nurse, he took advantage of the opportunity offered and signed a letter of intent Tuesday at Case Field to run track at the college.
“I just felt it was a nice fit for me,” Hunt said. “They have a great nursing program which is what I want to do in the future. I talked to the coaches and it just seemed like the best fit. They are all about family and I appreciate that.”
A sense of family is what Washington track coach Steve Roth has nurtured with the Demons.
“He will do great (in college) because he has got the skill,” Roth said. “He hasn’t even touched the caliber of what he can run yet. They will get him bigger, faster and stronger.”
When he found out Hunt was going to go to Kirkwood and not run, Roth made the call to a Mount Mercy coach, hoping to give Hunt another chance to use his talents on the track after his senior season was lost due to the coronavirus. Hunt had finished sixth at the state meet in 2019 in the 400 hurdles.
“I was training to be a state champ this year,” Hunt said. “I also wanted to get placement medals for the sprint medley, 4X400, and the open 400. The thing that I am really going to miss most about this team is the strong family bond that we have and being able to push each other.”
A “good conversation” with Mount Mercy coaches and a visit convinced Hunt to forget about Kirkwood. The track program at Mount Mercy Is “pretty good,” Hunt said. “I am excited to get with the runners. I have heard some great things about their track program so I am pretty excited about it.”
He doesn’t yet have any specific goals to accomplish on the track.
“My goals are not set in stone, but I want to score at the conference meet,” Hunt said. “I have no idea yet.”
Roth said the program at the college will make a difference. With so much more time available than in high school, they will work on technique which is critical for hurdlers.
“They are happy to get him and I am so happy for him to be able to run again,” Roth said. “He deserves it. The hurdles are up a notch in college but he has the capability.”
Hunt’s talents are very versatile. He was a wide receiver on the football team that made the playoffs. He was a member of the conference championship the basketball team earned. He played on the baseball team this summer.
“He can do a lot of things,” Roth said. “He could run open quarters and he could run a half too. He didn’t know he was going to run halves, but if we had had a season, he would’ve. He ran the 200 for us in the medley, but I foresee 400s for him in college. Maybe 600s in the indoor season.”