Jayvon Mitchum, Sports Reporter

Being an athlete of the week for the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association isn’t an easy accomplishment to achieve. 

It requires them to be consistent, a team leader, compassionate, a hard worker on and off the field, determined and dedicated. 

Kayleigh Bush wasn’t sure the Humber College Athletic Department knew who she was, or even what team she played on. 

Now, the Niagara Falls native was named an athlete of the week by the OCAA.

“It feels good to be recognized for things that I’ve been doing and working for,” the kinesiology student and second-year runner from the women’s cross-country team told Et Cetera.

Runner Kayleigh Bush won OCAA Athlete of the Week. Bush ran a 27:09 6K at the Seneca tournament. (Humber Athletics/Vania Gunawardi)

Bush, who made the Top 10 in individual performance for the first time in her career, also landed on the OCAA All-Academics list last year.

She knows about the demands and rewards of a solid work ethic. 

Bush is described as a positive influence towards friends, classmates and teammates. 

Megan Raso, a cross-country teammate of Bush, said the Hawks captain “is a supportive and confident leader, and she rallies us to make us stronger as a team.” 

Suhaila Yemen, a Paramedic student and a fifth-year team member, agreed with Raso.“The positivity and the encouragement that our captain brings to the team is encouraging for everyone,” she said.

“It makes us push harder and work our butts to get to the goals that we need to get to for the season.” Patricia Rothenburg, a third-year team member, said Bush exemplifies the character of successful student-athletes and being named athlete of the week brings a rare spotlight to cross-country.

“Being the captain, but then also being the athlete of the week, is a really good representation of cross-country,” she said. “Whether it’s a bad day or a good day, she’s always encouraging us and making sure we’re smiling just as much as she is.”

Bush is motivated by her success in recent weeks and has set goals for the upcoming 2019-2020 season. 

“Right now, we’re just working on better placement, so when we get to OCAA’s, that we can hopefully place and qualify for nationals,” she said. 

“It’s just about picking off teams and just gradually getting better every race.” 

The next cross-country event is the Centennial Invitational on Oct. 19 at Ashtonbee Reservoir Park in Scarborough.