Profile: Pioneer’s Cookie Baugh earns MHSAA student-athlete scholarship award

Pioneer’s outstanding senior distance runner Cookie Estelleh Baugh was one of 13 student-athletes from Class A member schools selected to receive scholarships through The Michigan High School Athletic Association /Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award program.

Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 33rd year of sponsoring the award, will give $2,000 college scholarships to 32 individuals who represent their member schools in at least one sport in which the Association sponsors a postseason tournament. The first 30 scholarships are awarded proportionately by school classification and the number of student-athletes involved in those classes; also, there are two at-large honorees who can come from any classification.

Students applying for the Scholar-Athlete Award must be carrying at least a 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average and have previously won a letter in a varsity sport in which the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors a postseason tournament. Other requirements for the applicants were to show active participation in other school and community activities and produce an essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.

The 32 scholarship recipients will be recognized March 26 during the MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing.

Baugh ran four years of varsity cross country and will participate in her fourth of track & field this spring for the Pioneers. She helped the cross country team to three straight Lower Peninsula Division 1 championships and finished fifth and 12th, respectively, in the individual standings her final two seasons.

She also ran on LPD1 champion 3,200-meter relay last spring.

Baugh, who earned all-state academic honors seven times across her two sports and served as captain of both teams, is participating in her fourth year of student council and third of National Honor Society. She also is serving her first year as Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation board member trustee and also fourth year on foundation’s Youth Council. She participated for three years as part of the school’s Positive Peer Influencer program and is participating in her third year of Pioneer’s Restorative Justice Program.

More recently, Baugh was part of a couple of record-setting runs. Pioneer’s team of Baugh, Sarah Forsyth, Emily Cooper and Rachel Forsyth shattered the National HS record in the Distance Medley Relay. They ran 11:21.95, beating the old record of 11:34.50 by 13 seconds set in 2017 by a team from Burke, Va., at the Saginaw Valley State University Distance Festival earlier this month.

On Feb. 6, Pioneer’s 4×800 relay team set a Michigan High School record with a time of 9 minutes, 0.02 seconds at the Spire Scholastic Showcase meet in Geneva, Ohio.

Baugh will attend Michigan State University and study kinesiology.

Here is her essay quote for the MHSAA/ Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award: “Having begun playing competitive sports at age 3, I have experienced wins and losses, successes and failures. I have felt like the queen of the world, and I have wept like a baby into my pillow. With each experience I learned my why. … To demonstrate good sportsmanship is as much for myself, teammates, coaches, parents, and family; I owe it to them to lead by a positive example.”

Indoor Track: Pioneer girls break another record in Saturday’s meet