A big thanks to Peter Cooke for giving us some insight on his college commitment to Miami (Ohio)!
For those curious, the "I Love College Series" will begin sometime next week so keep an eye out for that! In the mean time, enjoy the interview...
Garrett: Before we talk about college, let’s talk about your high school performances this past spring. You were not only able to qualify for outdoor states in the 800, but you made it on to the medal stand with a personal best time of 1:54.30. What was it like to get on the podium in your final high school race?
Peter Cooke: A state medal was something I have always wanted since I started running my freshman year when I saw Connor Holm get one in the 1600. I came close my sophomore year twice in the 4x400 and 4x800. In the indoor season we missed a medal by half a second in the 4x400. Then in outdoor we unfortunately had an off race in the state final. Then in my junior year an injury sidelined my spring season. To be able to finally get a state medal was just a great way to end my high school career.
G: For the past few years, Radnor has been responsible for producing mid-distance studs like Watson Hanson, Andre Kelly, Connor Holm, and now yourself. How is it that Radnor continues to develop strong talent in the mid-distances?
PC: I have got to give it to our coaches. They push us to our limits in training every day, literally… every day. They really test our mental strength and I think this is what really help all of us.
G: Let’s talk about your college decision. Where will you be continuing your academic and athletic career? What will you be majoring in (if you’ve declared)?
PC: I will be attending Miami (Ohio) and I will be majoring in computer science.
G: What other schools were you looking at? What made Miami (Ohio) stand out?
PC: I was looking at RPI, Virginia Tech, and Penn State. The funny thing was that I wasn't really considering Miami (Ohio) until the spring this year. My parents and guidance counselor kept recommending to apply to Miami so I did just that. I was unsure about the school because you don't hear about Miami over here on the east coast. Then on spring break this year I went up and visited it and Coach Chorny gave me a fantastic tour around campus and I just loved it.
G: Last year, the Miami (Ohio) program garnered some attention for recruiting the Torpey twins as well as many other talented individuals. Did the recent high-level recruiting by Miami (Ohio) influence your decision?
PC: I wouldn't say specifically the Torpey twins or individuals influenced my decision. I just wanted to train with people that were better than me. I want to really try and push myself in college and not stay the same. I personally find training with a group of people is importantly more fun and much easier than training by yourself.
G: Have you had any discussions with the training staff in regards to what your training will be like? Was there a certain training philosophy the coaching staff that you felt would be beneficial to your development as a runner?
PC: Coach Chorny told me he would be training me like a 800/1500 runner. I will be running a lot more than I am use to this upcoming year. I am very excited because I always felt my endurance was lacking because I didn't run XC until my senior year of HS because I played soccer.
G: You may have heard that the Redhawks just had an All-American in the 1500 (Andrew Dusing) this past spring who was considered an underdog throughout most of the post-season. What was your reaction to hearing that news?
PC: I was honestly very shocked. I had no idea he was on that level or could run those types of times. It showed me that what the coach is doing training wise is working. It makes believe in his way of training and gets me excited to get up there.
G: What kind of legacy/impact do you want to leave when your time with Miami (Ohio) is done? What are some of your goals for the next four to five years?
PC: I have not really thought about leaving a legacy at Miami, but I really want to make a big jump in my times all around. I like to dream so I do have some big goals. I first want to break 1:50 in the 800m. Then I would want to try and run a sub 4 mile. I believe I have the basic speed to run these time so I just think the endurance training is missing.
G: What is your advice to runners (or anyone for that matter) as they begin their college search?
PC: Find a college that fits your needs academically first then look at their track teams. It will work, so don't get too stressed out. Finally, go to the college you want to and not what someone else thinks you should do or wants you to do.
G: Finally, any shout outs?
PC: Shout out to Connor Holm, Andre Kelly, and Connor Zielinski for showing me what track was about. Shout out to my central league 4x4 team for being able to get the job done when it matters most. And finally a shout out to my the entire Radnor track team for making my last year my most fun!