Nathan Hancock is a tough kid.

Just ask any wide receiver who happened to catch a pass in his vicinity during an all-state season as a member of the Fort Osage High School secondary.

Nathan Hancock is a tough kid.
Just ask any wide receiver who happened to catch a pass in his vicinity during an all-state season as a member of the Fort Osage High School secondary.
He also proved his toughness Friday, undergoing a root canal, just a day before the Indians travel to Blue Springs South for a sectional meet that will determine the state field.
“Oh, I’m fine,” said Hancock, who won the triple jump (43 feet, 4.5 inches), was third in the high jump (6-4) and ran the second leg of the winning 800 relay team (1:29.27) at last week’s district meet at Park Hill High School.
“I had pain for so long, the dentist said the nerve endings in my tooth kind of died. It’s just a relief to get it all over with. Now, I can concentrate on sectionals.”
Hancock was a one-man show at district, but said he is not going to run the 400 at sectionals so he can concentrate on the triple and high jumps.
“I love the 400, but it just takes too much out of my legs,” Hancock said. “So we decided on the triple and high jump and my main event – the 4-by-200 relay. That’s the race I love.”
He shares the relay event with two of his Indian football teammates.
“E.J. (Gaines) leads off, then it goes to me, I get it to Tyler Lee-Banks – the only kid on the relay who didn’t play football – and Edward (Pearl) is the anchor.
“We set a school record over at Blue Springs at the Gary Park Invitational when we ran 1:27.7. That was the fastest time in the state until Hazelwood Central beat our time the next day.
“When you play football at Fort Osage, it’s like being a part of a big family. And that’s what it’s like running with E.J. and Edward, and Tyler. The three of us are like a football family and Tyler makes it a track family.
“I was part of two relay teams that never made it to state. The 4-by-100 as a sophomore and 4-by-400 as a junior – so this relay race is important to me and the guys on the team.”
Hancock has never made it to state in an individual event, either.
“I’m hoping everything changes on Saturday,” Hancock said. “I feel confident in the high jump and triple jump, especially since I’m not running the 400.
“And we’re really running well on our relay event. We ran that 1:29.27 at district, but it was cold and wet and we just wanted to win and advance.”
Fort Osage track coach Eric Holmes told The Examiner he’s expecting big things from Hancock and the relay team.
“Nathan performed up to expectations (at district),” Holmes said. “He set himself up for a very good sectional.”
“The relay team is ready to go. Their handoffs have been good all year and they were on (at district). Considering the conditions, they ran a really good time.”