Cook put the finishing touches on a stellar in-state XC season two weeks ago at the OHSAA Championships, where he collected a fourth place finish in the Division 1 contest due to his mark of 15:34.30.
Prior to the state meet, the Dublin Jerome senior compiled six individual race wins in his nine outings and established a new personal best time of 15:01.40 over the 5k distance at OHSAA District Hilliard Darby.
Cook's cross country campaign is not done yet, however, as he'll be toeing the line this weekend in the Championship Division race at Lavern Gibson for the Nike Cross Nationals Midwest Regional.
While Cook has a distinguished cross country resume, his credentials on the track are arguably better. He was the runner-up in the 800 at the OHSAA Track and Field Championship and he'll return as Ohio's top half-miler in 2020 due to his 1:51.49 clocking last June at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
During his high school career, Cook has contested races ranging from the 400 to the 3200, but he specializes in the 800 and 1600 events. During his sophomore year, when he prioritized the 1600, Cook produced a personal best effort of 4:13.10 en route to a fifth place showing at the 2018 state meet. He's informed MileSplit that as a senior, he'll look to race both the 800 and 1600 regularly.
Elliott shared some context as to why Oregon was the right fit for him -
What made you decide on the University of Oregon?
"I went out to Eugene recently and I just really enjoyed everything about the school, the campus, the team, as well as the coaching staff. The guys really made me feel welcomed right away. They're determined, focused and hard-working, but they also seem like a group that really knows how to have fun."
"Also, the scenery out on the west coast was amazing and I immediately had confidence in the coaches. I feel like the wisdom, insight and training practices that I'll receive there will help me take my abilities to the next level."
Have you had a chance to think about what goals you'd like to accomplish while competing in college?
"I always have high expectations for myself and I'm extremely motivated to make a positive impact on the Oregon program. In terms of specific goals, I first want to see what roles I'll have defined for me. Regardless of what they are, I'm willing to help the team in any way possible and however the coaching staff sees fit to utilize my talents. If that means contesting events that I've done in the past then great, but if it means trying new events like the DMR or the Steeplechase, then I'm game for whatever they have in mind."
What adjustments do you think you'll need to make in order to be successful with the enhanced level of competition you'll face in college?
"Largely, I think I'll need to continue what I've already been doing. I'll certainly be paying strict attention to my training schedule, my nutrition intake, my recovery and of course my studies. I believe that this balanced approach will lead me to success."
Who at Dublin Jerome would you like to acknowledge as having helped you to get to this point.
"I'd like to thank all of my teammates from over the years, as well as the Dublin Jerome athletic boosters for their constant support. Of course, my parents have been a huge part of this journey and I'm very grateful for their guidance and leadership."
"Finally, a big thank you is extended to my incredible high school coaches, Coach McCrae, Coach Wadenstierna and Coach Koksal. I wouldn't have experienced the success that I've enjoyed without these men."
MileSplit caught up with Elliott following his victory at the OCC - Cardinal Division meet -