Drew Hunter stole the show yesterday on Day 8 of the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. when he became the youngest male distance runner to sign a professional contract. The 18-year-old, a recent graduate of Loudoun Valley High School in Va., signed with adidas and Flynn Sports Management.
We met for an interview at a University of Oregon frat house, converted for use as adidas HQ during the Trials. Below is the full interview video, plus a few selected highlights from our conversation:
- adidas first approached Hunter about going pro in January, after he set the national high school record in the 3K.
- Hunter was not approached by other shoe companies and said his family chose not to approach others to avoid too much outside attention. He also said he is a lifelong fan of adidas products and was not interested in representing another brand.
- He can't legally discuss the terms of his contract, but confirmed that the deal is for 10 years and includes college tuition.
- He will likely take a gap year this fall and train at home while deciding on his next move.
- Hunter was forced to cut an ambitious outdoor track season short due to contracting Lyme disease, but he is back to regular running and feels he is on an upswing in his training. He plans to race in August, perhaps in North Carolina or at Falmouth.
- It's "bittersweet" to attend the Trials and originally, he did not want to come because he felt embarressed that he was not racing.
- His picks for the Men's 1500m delegration to Rio are (in no particular order): Matt Centrowitz, Robby Andrews, Ben Blankenship