March 17, 2009
By Keenan Bowen, EWU Sports Information
All it takes is one jump.
Sophomore Adam Stewart, from Yakima, Wash., peaked at the right time on Feb. 27 at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships. Entering the high jump event ranked sixth after qualifying with a mark of 6-feet, 7-inches, Stewart exploded for a jump of 6-8 1/4 to seal the victory.
Stewart has been selected as February Scholar-Athlete of the Month by the EWU Athletic Department. He was also a Big Sky Conference All-Academic selection two times last year as a freshman when he had a pair of top five finishes and personal bests at league championship meets.
Stewart had the best jump of his debut season in 2008 at the Big Sky Indoor Championships with a mark of 6-6 3/4 to place fifth. During the outdoor season, his personal best was a mark of 6-7, which he achieved twice – once at the 38th Annual Pelluer Invitational and once at the Big Sky Outdoor Championships. The mark at the conference championships gave him a third-place finish.
Eastern kicks-off the outdoor season this Friday and Saturday (March 20-21) at the Dusty Lane Invitational in Spokane, Wash. The Eagles will then head to Palo Alto, Calif., for the Stanford Invitational on March 27 and 28.
The Eagle men were picked to finish fourth by the Big Sky Conference head coaches in the league’s preseason poll, while Northern Arizona was picked to win. Eastern’s women were picked to finish sixth while the NAU women are picked first followed by Sacramento State.
Q: Who have been the most influential people in your academic career?
A: "The most influential person in my academic career has been my sister. All throughout the years we have battled back and forth to see which one was smarter and who could get better grades. That has just always made me work hard."
Q: How does it feel to be honored for hard work in the classroom?
A: "It’s a great honor to know that I’m getting honored. Coaches always say it is student-athlete and the student comes first, so I take those words into consideration and do what needs to be done in the classroom."
Q: Who has been your favorite professor at EWU and why? What about your favorite class?
A: "I don't have a favorite yet. I have been taking the general requirement classes so far but most of the teachers I have had have been good. My favorite class so far has to be coaching track and field. I’m more of a hands-on learner and that is what this class was all about. I got a feel for what the other events are like besides the ones I do."
Q: To what do you attribute your academic success?
A: "I think athletics makes me want to do better in class because it relates to most of what a student wants to accomplish. If you work hard then it will pay off in the long run. Also, to keep competing you have to have good grades or else you can’t compete."
Q: What are your plans for your post-college career?
A: "I am not sure what my plans are after college. I haven’t really thought too much about it and I have quite a while until it gets here. I am thinking about majoring in marketing with a minor in web design. Hopefully that leads to something good."
Q: Your winning mark at the BSC Championships largely surpassed your previous personal record. What do you think contributed to your victory?
A: "I think all the time we put in at the beginning of the year paid off for me. I did not jump well all indoor season long except at the Candy Cane Invitational and then at conference. It was frustrating, but I didn't let it get me down. I knew I had a big jump in me and I peaked at the right time -- I was very focused and ready to go when we went to conference."
Q: Playing sports in college requires a lot of hard work. What is it about track and field that makes you put in the time?
A: "Actually I didn't start track until my junior year of high school and I realized it was a lot of fun. My senior year I really got focused and wanted to put some effort into it. After my high school career was over I told my coach, Kylee Sixkiller, that I wanted to do this in college and here I am. It’s not all about the jumping, I love hanging out with my teammates and just being around them. They are a great bunch of people – they are like my second family."
Q: What is your favorite track and field moment?
A: "It was last year when we had a meet in California and after the meet I went with some of the team to Disney town – it was a lot of fun. Generally, I’m a very shy person. But this is the experience that helped me because it was the first time I could be open up and just be myself."
Q: What are you looking forward to most about the outdoor season? Any goals?
A: "For outdoor I am looking to just have a good time, have fun jumping and going to the meets. For me it's mostly about the experiences because that is what’s going to last, so I will compete to the best of my ability and have as much fun as I can. My goal for outdoor is to win another conference title and hit the regional mark which is 6-10 3/4."
Q: What do you like best, indoor or outdoor track season?
A: "I can’t say which one is better. I think it depends on the place we are competing at. It really doesn't matter whether it’s indoors or outdoors for me, I just love to compete."