EIGHTEEN-year- old Natricia Hooper is really beginning to come into her own and make everyone sit and notice just how good an athlete she is, and how great she will be.Currently on her indoor season in the United States, the CARIFTA Games silver medallist recently broke past the 13-metre mark in the female triple jump, a goal she has been hoping to achieve since last year, but just could not. But giving up is not a part of Hooper’s character.“Failure will never overtake me, if my determination to succeed is strong enough” is the policy Hooper lives by.At the New Balance Track a few weeks ago, Hooper cleared 13.20m while participating in the Artie O’Connor Invitational. It marks a new personal best for the South American Youth silver medallist, and is quite an improvement from the 12.19m she jumped a year ago, when she won silver at the CARIFTA Games.The jump placed Hooper among the top-ten best junior female performances in the world for the 2017 season, as listed on the IAAF official website. At that time the jump placed Hooper fourth on the list of indoor jumps worldwide. She has since slipped to number six as performances continue for the season.The list is currently headed by Viyaleta Skvartsova with a jump of 13.69m. Guyana’s national women’s indoor record stands at 13.62m, outdoor record is 13.72m. The jump came at a time when Hooper was focusing more on her 400m training.Not to say that the quarter-miler hasn’t also been seeing improvement on the track.At the same meet Hooper clocked 55.98 seconds in the 400m, an improvement after she had struggled to get below the 56 seconds mark.That timing had her finishing third in that race. Her personal best in this event 55.06 seconds, which she achieved in 2014 when she took that silver at the South American Youth Championships in Colombia.It’s been a while since she’s come that close. However, she’s hoping to bring that down to at least 53 seconds before the year is up. The going time for this season’s indoor junior female 400m is 53.05 seconds, clocked by USA’s Candace Hill last month.As her season progresses she’s looking forward to representing Guyana at a number of meets.Topping the list is her hope of returning to the CARIFTA Games, which is set for next month. Her recent performances in both the triple jump and 400m already surpass the Athletics Association of Guyana’s (AAG) qualifying marks. The junior female triple jump CARIFTA standard is 12.60m, the 400m is 55.50 seconds.She’s also eyeing the South American Junior Championships in May.Hooper is in a great position to achieve her goals once she keeps focused. The former New Campbellville Secondary student is currently attending Essex County College, where she’s studying Business and Training.Open to her are a number of opportunities to compete on a regular basis, against creditable competitors, something she could not have had at home.Ultimately she hopes to land a deal with Nike as a professional athlete, and of course no athlete is an athlete without that Olympic medal aspiration.