The Bearcat is Now a Catamount, Still Throwing Big: Alumni Report

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Hailey Cook Q&A

How did you get into track and field, and why were throws the event you got into?
-I never thought about being a part of the track team, but when I was in middle school I needed something to do after volleyball and basketball season. I was talking to the track coach who at the time was my teacher and he told me I needed to join the track team. I told him he was crazy because there was no way I was running anywhere. He then explained to me what a shotput was and the next week I went out and ended up throwing further than everyone else....when you're 6ft tall in middle school, throwing was about the only track event I was good at haha 

What was the biggest accomplishment you had from throwing in High School?
- The biggest accomplishment for me in high school was actually throwing 45ft. in the shotput. I loved being apart of the team that won a state championship, but for some reason, I just remember working so hard to throw that 45 and when I did I had this overwhelming sense of joy.

What was it about Western Carolina that made you chose to continue your career there?
-Western reminds me home. I didn't want to go to a school where i'd feel lost walking to class, or wasn't able to go home and see my family on the rare chance that I had some free time. 

What goals do you have set for yourself this track season?
-I would love to be able to qualify for indoor and outdoor NCAA regionals this year in the shotput. As for all other events I am just trying to throw further than last year and hopefully place high at conference in order to help my team bring home another championship. 

Who has been your biggest inspiration in the sport?
-There isn't one person who has inspired me the most because there are so many people that without them I wouldn't be able to do this. My parents have been my biggest support system and I am beyond thankful for the way they raised my brother and I and the values they taught us, but my coaches have given me the skills, the encouragement and the opportunity to be a successful athlete. 

Talk us through the normal day in the life of Hailey Cook.
-A normal day consists of getting up for 6am weights, attending 2-3 classes a day depending on the day. Eating between my classes and squeezing an hour and a half of practice in there somewhere. by the time I am done it's around 5pm. I try to get my homework and studying done within a couple of hours, eat dinner in between and then trying to go to sleep before midnight

What are you majoring in and what do you plan on doing with your degree?
-I am majoring in Entrepreneurship and minoring in marketing. I plan to take two more years of classes after I graduate and become certified as an Esthetician, ideally opening my own business in the future. 

What's the biggest difference in high school and college competition?
-In high school, I never really got to see the broad range of amazing athletes, like I do in college. competing with large schools gives me the chance to compete against the best of the best and witness some amazing throwers. 

Which of the throws events is your favorite?
-I have a love-hate relationship with all of the throws, but the most fun to throw would probably be hammer. it's really fun to watch how far it can fly. 

Alumni Report- January 01, 2016 - February 17, 2016

1ST Annual Indoor Gorilla Classic

February 12, 2016 through February 13, 2016 in Pittsburg, KS

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