SFA Sprinter Looks to Earn Spot on US National Team
June 14, 2013
Following the NCAA Championships, in any sport, competition comes to a close. Athletes either begin preparing for graduation or the next season. That is not the case for Stephen F. Austin junior sprinter Cass Brown-Stewart. The Fort Worth, Texas native is trying to maintain the momentum he gained at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and parlay that into a spot on the national team when he competes at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the end of June.
"As far as track and field is concerned, running for Team USA is the ultimate goal," said 2013 All-American sprinter Cass Brown-Stewart. "Just to be in a position to compete for a spot on the team is an absolute honor. It is a blessing for me just to be able to compete for a Team USA jersey."
Brown-Stewart exploded onto the scene at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. After dominating the Southland Conference in the 400 meters for the past two seasons, and helping SFA build one of the top 1,600-meter relay teams in the region for the past three years, Brown-Stewart set his sights on bigger goals this past season.
He earned a spot to compete at the USA Championships by clocking a school-record time of 45.62 in the national semifinals. Brown-Stewart went on to finish seventh in the 400-meters earning first-team All-America honors. It was his second All-America honor at the outdoor championships (4x400-meter relay third-team All-American).
"I considered it an honor just to be in the finals," said Brown-Stewart. "The way I looked at it, anything after that was icing on the cake. It was also great to step on the track against guys from USC, Florida and Texas A&M. I was so proud to be standing out there with Stephen F. Austin on my chest."
When it comes to track and field, Brown-Stewart hasn't always been in the spotlight. In fact, he hasn't always been on the track. He originally started out as a high jumper and pole vaulter in high school, but admittedly that wasn't his strength. After winning a high jump competition, his high school coach rewarded by allowing him to run the 200 meters, and Brown-Stewart hasn't looked back since.
Although he has set himself apart as one of the top talents in the country, Brown-Stewart's arrival in Nacogdoches came with very little acclaim. A former walk-on, Brown-Stewart didn't make the move to the 400 until after his arrival in the Piney Woods. Not only has he become the league's top quarter-miler, but he has also become the conference's most-feared anchor leg in the 1,600-meter relay.
"Obviously, Cass is very fast out on the track," said 2013 USTFCCCA South Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year Sean Lonergan. "But I think the thing that sets him apart from other sprinters is that fact that he is very cool customer on the track, he stays focused on the process and he is a very hard worker. From the day he has stepped on campus he has taken very few steps backwards. He just goes out everyday and gets better. "
The USA Outdoor Track and Field Championship will take place Thursday June 20th, through Sunday June 23rd in Des Moines, Iowa. The first round of the men's 400 meters is slated for Thursday at 5:45 p.m.