McPherson High track and field coach Jace Pavlovich believes Pittsburg State University is getting a steal with its signing Wednesday of Bullpup standout Bri Cooks.
Cooks, the school record-holder in the shot put with a mark of 42-3 3/4 and currently ranked in the Top 3 of Class 4A, penned her letter of intent in the MHS Library.
“They’re getting a great kid, a great athlete,” Pavlovich said. “She’s got Division I potential. She’s gotten some looks from Division I and when she devotes year-around efforts toward working out and becoming more explosive and powerful, she’s going to be incredible for them.”
Cooks was fourth in the state last year and should make a run at the championship gold next month in Wichita. She’s already had throws in the high 38s this year and Pavlovich says she’s right on track as he expects her to add four to five more feet within the next month.
“She’s got to work on her quickness and power a little bit,” he said. “The strength is there. Once she gets quickness and power, which is something she will no doubt develop with the year-around program like they have, the sky is the limit for her... she is just scratching her surface.”
Pavlovich added that she’s the type of competitor that every coach wants on his team.
“Very coachable,” he said. “She does anything and everything we ask her to d0. She works incredibly hard... she doesn’t always have to have a coach’s attention to do exactly what she should be doing.”
Cooks has been a four-year track and field performer along with basketball. She played a year of volleyball.
She believes Pittsburg State is a perfect fit for her.
“It’s a fun place and all the people there are really nice,” she said. “It’s (the track and field program) awesome, it’s great.”
Cooks said she’ll be working hard in her bid for a state championship and getting ready for next year. She’ll also be throwing the discus for PSU, something she already is doing for the Bullpups. She may even be asked to try the hammer throw.
“They had girls place (at nationals) there (at PSU),” Cooks said.
The MHS standout also is enamored with the campus and community.
“I can walk across campus and get to places easily,” she said. “They are building a new indoor facility that is going to be huge and they’re going to host (events). It’s going to be nice.”
Cooks will be majoring in art.