School: New Rochelle High School
Sport: Indoor track and field
Athletic accomplishments: Cooper ranks third in the state in the shot put and weight throw. In the season-opening Hall of Fame Invitational at the Armory, Cooper established the meet record in both the shot put and weight throw. At the Rhode Island Classic on Dec. 30, she finished first in the shot put (41 feet, 7 inches) and third in the weight throw while also having the second-best throw of the competition (52-5.25). She’s been a captain for the indoor track and field squad since her sophomore year.
Academic accomplishments: Cooper has a 93.7 GPA. She received a full scholarship to Northeastern University to study biology and may be going pre-med. She’s in the top 5 percentile of her senior class. On the SATs she scored a 660 in creative writing, 640 in math, and 630 in writing. She’s an AP Scholar and has taken AP courses in chemistry, biology, U.S. history, world history and Calculus AB. She’s a member of the National Honor Society. Outside of school Cooper participates with the youth group at the New York Covenant Church in New Rochelle. Through the group, she’s involved with Isaiah’s Room, a Saturday program that feeds the homeless and distributes clothing.
Getting to know Monae Cooper
The Journal News: How did Wednesday night’s Section 1 Coaches Invitational go?
Monae Cooper: It went really well. I threw 44 feet, 1 inch in the shot put for first place.
TJN: Why did you to become a thrower?
MC: The throwers’ coach, Natalia Brown, was my volleyball coach in middle school. She asked if anyone is going to join the track team and I said I would. She’s the reason I became a thrower and I stuck with her. I wanted to stick with sports and I didn’t know what to pick so I thought why not go with Coach Brown.
TJN: What made you stick with throwing that you wanted to do it in the outdoor season as well?
MC: At first I didn’t know what throwing was and know much about it. Once I became a thrower and learned about it, I realized I loved it and had passion for it and it was something I was good at. I could see myself getting better at it so I stuck with it and put a lot of time into it.
TJN: How’d you feel when you got named captain for the first time as a sophomore?
MC: That was shocking. I thought I was too young and no one would vote for me. I felt then my teammates trusted me and I was happy they felt like they could trust me to lead them and influence them to do better in practice and at meets.
TJN: Why Northeastern?
MC: I fell in love with the team and it has a nice family atmosphere. Everyone knows everyone. I loved the school for academics as well. I like how the coaches are progressive in their thinking — trying to build the team up and make it the next big team. I like their vision for the team and I want to be a part of it and create our own legacy.
TJN: When you were looking at schools, did you want a school and an atmosphere that was reminiscent of what you have at New Rochelle?
MC: I love that at New Rochelle we are a family on the team. I wanted that when I get to college and to have the same vibe. Northeastern provided that so I fell in love immediately.
TJN: New Rochelle has such a strong community, so what does it mean to you to give back to the community through your church and Isaiah’s Room?
MC: There’s always someone worse off than you. It’s gratifying when you can help someone who’s struggling. You don’t want to be in that position and you know that if that were you, you’d want help. It is a gratifying feeling to go out there and help someone. When you’ve made an impact on someone else’s life, it makes you feel good inside.
The Con Edison Athlete of the Week recognizes students in Westchester and Putnam schools who excel athletically. Academic achievements, leadership, citizenship, and school and community activities are also factors. The winner is selected each week by a panel of athletic directors and coaches who review ballots submitted by each athlete’s athletic director or coach.