Jake Cohen always enjoyed the thrill of competition.
By the time he realized his love for not only the races, but the work it took to prepare for them, he desired to run as far as his legs could take him.
This fall, they’ll take the West Lafayette senior to East Lansing as Cohen chose to continue his track and cross country career at Michigan State, selecting the Spartans over Big Ten rival Iowa.
“It was a gut reaction,” Cohen said. “Leaving campus (on a visit), I knew I wanted to go to Michigan State.”
Cohen becomes the third senior from West Lafayette’s 2014 cross country program to commit to a future in the sport. Rachel Bales committed to Ball State in December and Dominic Patacsil, who along with Cohen helped West Lafayette win its first state championship in 50 years in November, will compete for Wabash College.
It continues a recent trend of the Red Devils churning out future collegiate athletes.
“Growing up in the program, freshman and sophomore year when we had Grace Lachmund (Purdue), Cailey Daluga (Purdue) and Bobbie Burgess (Georgetown), who was an All-American, it kind of set the bar for myself and Dom and Rachel,” Cohen said. “For us to really see that and actually be teammates with them got us excited about the next step.”
Battling plantar fasciitis during the latter half of cross country season, Cohen finished 50th in the IHSAA state championship meet.
Last season, Cohen was the Lafayette Jeff Sectional champion in the 800 and finished second in the 1,600 to teammate Evan Johnson.
Striking out cancer
Lafayette Jeff and Harrison are off to strong first halves of the baseball season.
The Bronchos and Raiders will try to take that success off the diamond as well in their North Central Conference series next week.
In their game at Loeb Stadium on Tuesday and at Harrison on Wednesday, the two programs will be raising money for cancer research. Both games begin at 5:30 p.m.
The always competitive Twin Lakes Invitational softball tournament takes place May 9 and 10 in Monticello.
Friday’s pool play openers include rivals Twin Lakes and Frontier squaring off at 5:30 p.m. on the varsity field, Delphi facing Pioneer at Voigt Park at 5 p.m. Benton Central and Class A No. 5 Carroll battling at 5 p.m. at Voigt Park and West Lafayette competing at Voigt Park against Maconaquah at 5:30 p.m.
Pool play continues on May 10 at the same locations in the 16-team tournament. The winners of each pool advance to the semifinals, scheduled for Saturday at 5:30 p.m.