Coming into his first year of college as a heavily recruited athlete, freshman Dezric Cook has many expectations weighing on his back. Not only has he proven himself on the track and the field, he has excelled in every aspect of the term “student-athlete,” and shows no signs of taking his foot off the gas.
Cook, a freshman from Stephenson High School in Atlanta, is a part of Reinhardt’s football team, indoor and outdoor track teams, and most recently, a member of the Dean’s List. He has earned scholarships in both athletics and academics and relentlessly continues to strive for success.
Cook was not able to participate on the field for football this past semester due to injury, but that didn’t stop him from working hard in the recovery aspect of the game, while still maintaining a strict grind in the weight room.
“Competition motivates me as an athlete and a student,” said Cook. “My high school coach told me to treat every aspect in life as if you’re competing, and in all actuality we are competing with the next person for the job, or in my case, for a spot as a top sprinter.”
Cook competed in his first collegiate track meet last week at Emory University. He participated in the 60-meter dash and put up great numbers. In prelims, he recorded a time of 7.12 seconds and made it to the Consolation finals (meaning he qualified in the top 16 out of all runners). In the Consolation finals, Cook ran a time of 7.20 seconds and finished 14th out of 48 participants.
“Overall I was happy with how I performed, but in no way am I content with what I accomplished,” said Cook after his first college track meet. “I put up decent numbers for a freshman but there’s only up from here. This constant hunger I have to get better and better motivates me not only on the track but also in the classroom.”
Aside from excelling in athletics, Cook has also been a stud in the classroom. Last semester, he was able to retain, and currently maintains, a cumulative 4.0 GPA. As an Accounting major, Cook aspires to find a way to merge his athletic dreams and his future in accounting together.
“Grades are extremely important to me,” said Cook. “Education is the reason I’m here and getting good grades has been engraved in my mind since I was young.”
When asked how he manages his time between school and athletics, Cook was very straight forward, “I keep a strict schedule on time spent on my academics. I study at least three hours a day during the week and on the weekends, Sundays are used strictly for recovery from workouts and finishing up school work.”
As the semester goes on, expectations will only rise as Cook continues to be successful on the track and in the classroom. After his statement meet from the last track meet, Cook has been promoted to participate in the 200-meter dash and also the 4×400 meter relay race in Reinhardt’s upcoming meet this Saturday at East Tennessee State University. As expected, Cook remains confident in his ability to keep improving.
“This upcoming track meet, I am expecting to finish top 3 in all three of my events, no exceptions,” said Cook. “Our whole team has worked extremely hard this week and we all have goals that we plan on accomplishing. The sky’s the limit.”