By Ronnie Woodward
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
East Carolina’s Cameron Hudson compares a collegiate track and field athlete participating in a meet at Oregon’s Heyward Field to an amateur football player getting to play inside New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
But Hudson was not overwhelmed at last week’s NCAA outdoor track and field championships hosted by Oregon.
Instead, he thrived.
The ECU freshman finished fourth in the long jump, becoming the first East Carolina male to collect first-team All-America honors in the event. His leap of 7.86 meters tied a school record.
“It’s called Track Town, USA, and when you’re in track, that’s the place you want to go,” Hudson said of Eugene, Ore.
Hudson was the only underclassman to finish ninth or better. The second-best finish by a freshman was Arkansas’ Jarrion Lawson at 14th.
The top nine athletes were allowed six jumps. Hudson tied the ECU record with his second attempt.
“When I landed, my eyes got real wide and I kind of knew that it was pretty far. But I didn’t know it was going to be that far,” he said. “I wanted to jump around, but I had to keep it in because we were still within competition.
“I was happy for myself and other people were happy for me, but you just have to keep it all in and get ready to compete because you still have more to do.”
Hudson, a Charlotte native, said he was recruited by some Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference schools, but the family atmosphere surrounding East Carolina helped lure him to Greenville.
He was versatile for the Pirates as a rookie. Along with his high jump success, Hudson was a standout in the 100-meter dash and collected victories in relay events.
“This has been his highest competition in his young career, and there’s no question that he rose to the occasion,” ECU coach Curt Kraft said of Hudson’s All-America nod. “Now we have to keep him level-headed, grounded and keep him working hard and hungry. But it was a neat thing that he accomplished.”
Hudson added to the list of Pirates who have recently achieved national success. Tynita Butts finished third in the high jump at the NCAA outdoor meet last year and competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
This season, East Carolina had two athletes at the NCAA indoor meet and three at the outdoor meet.
“Any time you get an individual to the national championships, you’ve done something right,” Craft said. “I’m very proud of what we’re doing and proud of where we’re going.”
Contact Ronnie Woodward at email@example.com, 252-329-9592 or follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.
TRACK AND FIELD
via The Daily Reflector.