Cuesta Track & Field

Cuesta Runner Highlight: Riley Cooks

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Since 1995, City to the Sea has been a fundraiser for Cuesta College’s Track & Field and Cross Country teams. In addition to an enjoyable morning on your feet, each time you run the race you get the satisfaction of knowing that your entry fee is going to help fund hard-working student athletes’ dreams. Cuesta runners often earn scholarships to 4 year universities and go on to be hard-working, inspiring members of their communities. To give you an idea of who you’re supporting, we’ll be highlighting a few top athletes from the team. This first interview comes from Riley Cooks, a State Champion in the Heptathlon (a discipline made up of 7 track & field events).

According to her coach Brian Locher (full disclosure: Brian is also the Race Director for City to the Sea), “Riley is extremely coachable and eager to learn. She leads by example for the team and quietly guides her peers. She is willing to do whatever it takes on meet day to help her team and beat the competition. A good sportsman, though very competitive.”

First off Riley, what is your discipline and what are your major athletic accomplishments?

My discipline in track and field is the Heptathlon. My best athletic accomplishments would be winning the state title in the hep this year and doing well enough to receive a scholarship to run at CSU Long Beach next year.

Wow, quite an achievement. What will you be studying there?

I will be studying Film Production Management.

How did you get started in competitive running?

I ran a little in high school but my focus was volleyball and soccer. I decided to get back into competing on track and field once I was done with volleyball at Cuesta, mostly just for fun and to stay in shape.

Describe a day in the life.

I usually go to class in the morning and then a take a nap for as long as possible before hitting the track. My workouts vary quite a bit from my teammates, as I have 7 events to practice. The workout really just depended on the day.

How has your experience at Cuesta changed you (as a runner and as a person)?

I am a completely different person from when I started at Cuesta. I changed my major from business to film to go after a career and lifestyle that I know is what I really want. I would have never considered myself a runner before competing at Cuesta. I have found a new passion in competing in track and field, and I would have never ever imagined it would be something I wanted to do while in college.

What are your future plans?

I plan to complete at CSU Long Beach for the next few years then hope to begin working in the film industry once I graduate.


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