Nicolet National Bank Senior Spotlight: Hope Barington, Notre Dame basketball and track and field
By William Soquet
Name: Hope Barington
Parents: Nate and Andrea Barington
Sports: Basketball and track and field
Hope has been successful in both basketball and track, winning two state championships as a member of the basketball team and qualifying for the state track finals in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.
The Tritons played Bay Port this past Monday. How did it go?
“I’d say it went pretty well. We got off to kind of a rough start, we were down 0-10 but then we figured it out and won by a fair amount in the end.”
Is being down a new situation for a successful NDA team this year?
“I wouldn’t say it’s that new. We definitely have a few games where we maybe don’t start out very strong. It’s definitely something we should work on because if we play a game that’s going to be closer, if we get that deficit, it might be a lot harder to come back from.”
You’re the only senior on the team. Does that put any extra pressure on you?
“I just kind of take it in stride. I’ve played with all of (the other players) for a fair amount of time, so it almost doesn’t feel like I’m a senior.”
The Triton basketball program has a storied history and large fan base. What is it like to be a player in that type of program?
“It’s just so cool. Every game I just look at the fans and you see so many younger kids who are in the future Tritons program. I remember when I was that young and I would look up to the basketball team and think, ‘Wow, that’s going to be me someday.’ It just came by so fast, and now there’s younger kids looking up to me. It’s a really cool environment.”
Do you ever allow yourself to look back at the two state titles you’ve won in basketball or is that waiting until after the end of your senior year?
“Towards the end of every season, I look back at it. But I think that after my last season, I’ll really look back at everything and think, ‘Wow, it happened really fast.’ All of the different environments and different places we were and all the fun memories.”
You committed to UW-Oshkosh to play college basketball. Why the Titans?
“It was definitely the environment of not only the coaches by also the players. I’ll get to play with Sarah Hardwick again, I loved playing with her. Some of the other players I’ve either played against or with during the summers, and I love coach Fisher and coach Summers and coach Rabas. It just felt right, and I knew I wanted to go there right after my visit.”
You picked up high jump in addition to hurdles before your junior track season. What was the experience of taking up a different discipline?
“I kinda just went into it for fun, and then in the first meet I did really well. I don’t remember if I got first, but I was definitely top three. So then I was like, ‘Oh, I guess I’m really good at this,’ and I just kept going at it.”
In the high jump and hurdles, your events are under 20 seconds. What is your mindest like for such a short amount of time?
“It starts before the race, whether I’m stretching or getting a quick snack. When I get up to the blocks, I try to focus on my breathing and block out everything else around me. Then I try to focus on the little things. I know that if I don’t get the little things, I won’t perform will because it is such a quick race.”
You made state track in both the 100 and 300 hurdles last year. What was the experience like?
“It was definitely a little nerve-wracking. I was a little nervous but it was a very fun environment being in La Crosse, being able to stay in the dorms and all that. It was also fun seeing all the great athletes around me.”
If you had to choose between the 100 and 300 hurdles, which one would it be?
“Probably the 300-meter hurdles. It’s kind of a love-hate relationship because it’s a very tough race. At the same time, it’s just fun to finish at the end and then you feel really accomplished.”
Where’s your favorite place to go out to eat after a game or meet?
“Most of the time, if we have a home game, we usually go to Culver’s because it’s just down the road, and I also like to go there because I love ice cream.”
Who is at the top of your music playlist right now?
“Definitely Justin Bieber, I love him. I would say Juice WRLD as well.”
What is your favorite breakfast food?
“My go-to is Eggo waffles. My favorite flavor is chocolate chip.”
Do you have any pets?
“We actually have a lot of pets. I won’t list them all, but I’ll list a few. We have three cats, a dog, I have a bearded dragon, and then let’s just say my brother has a whole zoo. He has a lot of different reptiles in the basement.”
What are a couple of your hobbies?
“Taking hikes in nature — in summer though, I’m not a fan of the winter. I love tubing when we are on our lake in Minnesota.”
Where are the best spots to hike?
“Sometimes in Minnesota we find some different hiking trails, otherwise my grandparents live in Arizona for the winter, so when we visit them, we go hiking there.”
What will your academics look like at UW-Oshkosh?
“I want to go into social work with adoption and foster care. I’ll major in social work, and then I’ll probably minor in either sociology or psychology.”