As Josh Stewart took an early lead at the ECU Tiger Chase on September 10th, many spectators were surprised. As I made my way around the course to catch a peek of the action; I heard people saying things such as, "who is this guy?" Well, this guy is East Central University Sophomore Josh Stewart, who ran for the Byng Pirates in high school. Josh took some time to set down for a quick question-answer session.
Oktrackxc.com: When and how did you start running?
Josh: I started my sophomore year because my friend talked me into it for basketball. I went out there the first day of practice and beat everyone when they had a half mile head start because we were late. One of the guys I beat got 12th place the year before.
Oktrackxc.com: As you took the lead, I heard a lot of, "who is this
guy?" You surprised several people; were you
surprised at all?
Josh: To tell you the truth I knew I could win I just knew a lot of people did not think I could win, like Cody Weaver (teammate). I was surprised I led from mile one I figured I would pass him at mile three and have to hold on.
Oktrackxc.com: Tell me a little about the race, the start and when
you took the lead?
Josh: Well the start ticked me off because I forgot to start my watch (laugh). I knew we were going really slow which was making me mad too, because Bowling is a better runner than that. When I heard our assistant coach, Steve tell me 5:23 for my first mile I just took off and opened up a gap on Bowling. Then after that I just kept matching moves and listened to people when they would tell me he was closing in.
Oktrackxc.com: Was the win a little more special since you not only
got the win on your home course, but also your
Josh: Definitely, because my parents were there and my brother. My brother was going crazy which helped out a lot.
Oktrackxc.com: At the four mile mark you said something to graduate assistant coach Steve Sawyer, do you mind sharing that with us?
Josh: (Laugh) Sure, I came through the four mile burning up I was wanting to rip my jersey off and just lay down. When I saw Steve he was yelling at me to push it and I told him \"Freak, man I am about to throw up.\"
Oktrackxc.com: What did you think about your team\'s performance?
Josh: They ran lights out. They all took off really slow and came in for a strong finish, which in my opinion is a perfect race.
Oktrackxc.com: I noticed you were with out Koby Styles. Will we be
seeing him this season?
Josh: Yes we will definitely be seeing a lot of kobz. He is racing this Saturday at MSSU. He just has a little IT-band prob that is just about fixed.
Oktrackxc.com: You and Styles will make a pretty good one two punch
for the tigers. What is it like for you guys to train together? Do you push each other in workouts?
Josh: Training together is hell in hard workouts. We race each other all the freakin time because we both have too much pride to take it easy. Some days I just let the team take off on workouts without me so that I don't have to race Kobz, plus if I let them get a lead on me it makes me work harder to pass people, rather than killing myself just to beat koby in a little tempo or hill workout.
Oktrackxc.com: Well, Josh I look forward to seeing you run the rest
of the season, do you have any advise for any up and coming runners?
Josh: There really isn't any good advice, because there are too many theories on how to run. I just think people should run on the off seasons, because everyone is running during season. Off season is where you can make up lots of ground on peeps.
Josh and the ECU Tigers will be competing this Saturday at Missouri Southern.