Hawkins' Fair no stranger at state

Hawkins?junior Hunter Fair is competing in both the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs this weekend at the Class 1A state track meet in Austin. (Harold Wilson | Tyler Morning Telegraph)

HAWKINS — Hawkins junior Hunter Fair has had his fair share of success.

During his junior year alone, Fair has advanced to state in four different events: cross country, tennis, track and also band.

Fair reached the state tennis meet last week in mixed doubles, and constituted one-half of a regional championship duo. He placed third at the state cross country meet during the fall, an improvement from his eighth-place showing as a sophomore.

Fair qualified for the 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs in the Class 1A state track and field meet, set to begin Friday at Myers Stadium in Austin. Later this month, Fair returns to state in Austin to play the snare drums.

“A lot of it comes from my parents pushing me to do the best in everything, and not getting lazy and being motivated,” said the son of Robby and Cara Fair.

Fair took up running in middle school after crossing paths with Hawkins girls track coach Sarah Deller, a long-distance specialist.

Deller connected going far — in the training department — with how long a runner advances during the season.

“You’re not successful in long distance unless you’re willing to work,” Deller said. “He’s driven. It’s that simple.”

Reaching state last year in the 3200, where he placed fourth, and in the 1,600, where he crossed the line in fifth, set the bar for Fair to get back.

“It gives you a drive to work harder, run further and faster,” Fair said. “You have to make it back.”

Competing on the big stage countless times gives Fair a comfort level going into state.

“It keeps the nerves down,” he said. “You don’t freak out as much. You’ve done it before. You just want to do it the same way every time.”

In the 3200, set for Friday morning, Fair sports the top qualifying time from regionals — 10 minutes, 10.96 seconds. He holds a sizeable lead over Lindsay’s John Price (10:18.56).

In the 1600, slated for Saturday afternoon, Fair brings the third-best entry (4:38.35) behind Sanderson’s William Roberts (4:24.08) and Canadian’s Elliot Webb (4:37.21).

“I want to break 10 (minute mark) in the two-mile and run under 4:30 for the mile,” Fair said. “The times in the two-mile are a lot slower than they were going in last year. I’ll just race, give it all I’ve got and see what happens.”

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