The Wheelock College Student-Athlete Spotlight is a bi-monthly series that will highlight and promote Wheelock student-athletes on and off the playing field. This week’s male student-athlete is Men’s Cross Country Riley Cushing.
In 2017, freshman runner Riley Cushing, of New Castle, Maine, has made quite the impact. Cushing finished sixth, with a time of 18:37, in his debut race at the 5k Southern Vermont Mountaineer Invitational. During his second race of his college career, the 8k New England Invitational in Biddeford, Maine, Cushing finished 17th overall with a time of 30:05.6. Cushing kept that momentum going and finished in fourth place, with a time of 18:49.7, at the Mitchell College Invitational in New London, Connecticut.
Riley has led the Wildcats in each of their four races this season and won the September 11th, 2017 NECC Rookie of the Week.
“From the start of pre-season to now, Riley has been extremely focused on perfecting his craft as a runner and his strong results thus far reflect that. As a team we’re all extremely excited to see how much further he progresses over the course of his freshman season” Coach Oke stated.
We caught up with the freshman runner to gain some insight on his experiences as a student-athlete at Wheelock College.
What do you like most about being a student-athlete at Wheelock College?
“Being a student athlete gives me structure. I do homework in between practices and classes...I do not get a lot of time and Cross Country has helped me stay structured depending on how the day goes.”
What has been your most memorable moment as a student-athlete so far in your college career?
“Definitely the 1st race, I haven’t run a 5k in two years. I was really nervous because this was my first 5k on collegiate level. After coming in the top 6 (In the Southern Vermont Mountaineer Invitational) I was really happy.”
What attracted you to Wheelock College?
“I wanted to get a education and play sports. When I visited campus, I met with Coach Oke and he gave me the opportunity to run cross-country. Honestly, [Coach Oke] has helped me push myself in and outside of the classroom.”
What are you hoping to do with your degree post-graduation?
“After graduation I hope to join the Peace Corp. I would love to travel and work with youth around the world.”
What’s your Secret Talent?
“I’m a great chess player.”