Tiger Tales is a weekly piece highlighting a DePauw student-athlete. Athletic-intern Adam Tierney conducts the interviews.
Cameron Stewart is a junior on the men's track and field team who runs the 110 meter hurdles and the 400 dash. He placed seventh in the 110 hurdles in the NCAC Championships last season.
Stewart comes from Terre Haute, Ind. and is a graduate of Terre Haute North High School. He likes hiking, being outside, fishing and hanging friend.
Stewart is studying Environmental Geoscience. He is involved with the Sustainability Leadership Program and is a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.
Q: How would your friends and family describe you?
A: I'd say my friends and family describe me as a really out going, crazy and the eccentric type -- Someone that is always pretty cool and easy to talk to.
Q: What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
A: I'd say stretching, which is pretty ironic because I'm actually coming off an injury. But for hurdling, it involves a lot of flexibility so stretching at night and when I wake up. It's easy to lose your flexibility, but it's hard to gain so I think that being flexible is key in my training.
Q: What would you say is your role on the team?
A: I'd say that I'm the type of person that settles everyone down a little bit. I think that a lot of people get worked up about not doing well. It is super easy to get stressed out with school and if you are doing badly in athletics, it is easy for people to quit. I think that a lot of people at DePauw quit because of that, but I think that I'm in the fun role of the team. I always try to crack jokes and make practice fun for everyone.
Q: What are your goals for this season?
A: My personal goals for this outdoor season is to place high. I want to get top three in the 110 hurdles. That has been my ultimate goal. I have been fighting an injury for the past few months, so my 400M training hasn't been going well right now. But with hurdles, once you get the form, it never goes away so I think that is what I will be focusing on this season.
Q: What are some life lessons that track teaches you?
A: The biggest lesson is that you can always go farther, you can always push harder. Some of the workouts we have done over the past practices seem impossible. So, I think it does a good job of reminding you that you have a lot more in yourself than what you actually think.
Q: What advice would you have for young track and field athletes looking to improve themselves?
A: I'd say stay focused. It's real easy to lose focus and to stay dedicated. Track practice is generally shorter than other practices -- you're in and you're out. So, you are spending a lot of time out of practice working on your body. It can be easy to not do the things you need to do outside of practice. Eating healthy is huge. Especially with running because other sports you can make do by not eating as healthy. I struggled with that a lot freshman year. I wanted everything and wanted something quick here and there. I'd say stay focused on everything you need to do done, figuring out what extra you need to do like stretching and then eating healthy because it affects running so much.
Q: Do you have any superstitions?
A: Yeah! When you get on the blocks, everyone has their routine, and I have to do it a certain way. I have to jump twice. I have to reach down and touch my toes twice before I have to get into the blocks. When you get a couple run outs before the race, I run to the first hurdle and hurdle it. Then come back and step underneath it and put my head down on the hurdle and do a little prayer. I think that I am superstitious. If my legs don't feel like a certain level of looseness when I wake up, I start freaking out. There is definitely a lot of superstition and routine in track that is easy to get caught up in. Not that it matters a lot, but it's just something we all do.
Q: If you had one superpower, what would that be?
A: Probably speed. You can go wherever you want to go.
Q: Do you have a favorite athlete past or present?
A: My favorite athlete growing up was Derek Jeter. I love him. But track-wise, Jeremy Warner. He is a 400 runner. He doesn't do that much anymore, he ran for Baylor and ran in the Olympics. He got Gold in Beijing for the 400 in 2004. He is my favorite track runner for sure.
Q: What is something people may not know about you?
A: I am allergic to bees. People probably wonder why I am always running around and running away from bees. I always get jokes about that. But I am extremely allergic to bees. After five minutes of being stung, my throat can completely shut so it's pretty intense stuff!