Feb. 24, 2011
Sophomore James Cameron has enjoyed an outstanding indoor season, building on a strong end to the fall cross country campaign. The Lake Forest, Calif. native has jumped up to third on UW's all-time Top-10 list in the 3,000-meters, running a PR of 8:00.19 at the Husky Classic to move ahead of Husky All-Americans like Eric Garner and Carl Moe. Cameron is set to run his first 5,000-meters of the year at the MPSF Championships this weekend. He talked to GoHuskies.com after a weight room session about his large collection of roommates, Mt. Rainier's effect on his college choice, and his artistic side.
GoHuskies.com: You've had a couple great races now and seem to be on a good roll. Do you feel as confident as you've ever been? What's working for you?
James Cameron: I've just been blessed to be healthy right now, for the past two months training has been really solid. I have great teammates to train with everyday. I think as a unit we've been working a lot better together and "vibing" off of each other. I don't think it's anything I'm doing alone, it's definitely a team atmosphere--everyone is being supportive. And we've all bought into the season and we're very excited about it.
GH: You mentioned rooming with a lot of your teammates; what guys on the team do you room with?
JC: We have a house just off campus, nine of us live there. It's myself, Gareth Gilna, Joey Bywater, David McCary, Chalie Williams, Bryan Tibaduiza, Taylor Carlson, Rob Webster, and Max O'Donoghue-McDonald. It's an awesome house, super fun and we all get along. We're just a big family over there--we're brothers.
GH: How does your season shape up from this point? Is indoor nationals a goal of yours and what are you looking to do moving forwards?
JC: For the rest of the indoor season, I think our best chance right now to get to Texas would be the DMR so we need to hit that auto. I think this weekend we can do it, although this weekend I'm not on the team. We're going to put Colton (Tully-Doyle) in there [on the anchor leg]--I think that's the best team right now. If we go to Texas, there's a shot that I can be anchoring that team but whatever team is best, whether or not I'm on it, is the best choice. I'm running the 5k this weekend for the first time so if I can hit auto, great, if not it'll be super fun just to run. The 3k is going to be pretty tough because that race is stacked. I would just have to hit the 7:54 on that one. The mile, I haven't ran an open mile yet this season, so I'll run that at Last Chance and give it all I've got and have fun with it.
GH: You've obviously shown a wide range this season and last, is there an event you enjoy most or feel you're best at?
JC: I've always thought of myself as a miler, but every day is different. I ran the 800 earlier this year and I never thought I could run that fast. And hopefully in outdoor I can run a 10k and see how that goes. So just having that range is super fun. It's a ton of fun, like running steeple last year, I didn't do that well time-wise but I had a lot of fun with it. I thought it was awesome and just being able to go out and compete in any event is good.
GH: Being from Southern California, talk about how you first came to UW, and what you liked about what you saw here.
JC: It was kind of weird. I narrowed my choice down to Arizona, and I was almost committed there, and then one of the coaches from UW called me and said that they'd love to have me for a visit. I decided I'd just take a visit. I came up here and fell in love with Seattle and the team and everything. On the plane ride back home I was flying over Mt. Rainier and decided, "Alright, I need to come back here." It's kind of cheesy but it was just spur of the moment. The whole process took maybe two weeks from the time the coach had called me to the time I committed. I wanted to have a decision made before my senior year of track so I wouldn't have to worry about it; I could just go out there and have fun. Coming up here I've found there's nowhere else I'd rather be.
GH: You and the team definitely ended on a high note in the fall with cross-country Regionals, and that being your first 10k. How big of a part did that race play in sort of building into the indoor season?
JC: Well actually I would start off with that question just going off of how the first part of the season went. We're a super young team and we didn't have, especially with Max getting knocked out early, that leadership part on our team, so we were just struggling to find our identity in that. Once we found that we got so much momentum going throughout the team. Like from Pre-Nats, the Pac-10, and then Regionals. When we finished Regionals, we knew we could operate as a team and gained so much maturity. After cross country we all sat down and talked about getting excited for track season and what we need to do. We learned from some of the mistakes we made in fall. We're all on the same page right now and it's so great, that momentum was a big key.
GH: Where are some of the places around here you like to run?
JC: I love running out on the (Redmond) water shed. That's probably the answer you'll get from everyone. You can just go and run alone. Usually on Wednesdays I'll go run around Lake Union and throw in my iPod and reflect on the week, just to see how everything's been going. I go my own pace and just enjoy running.
GH: What do you listen to when you're running?
JC: I listen to some worship music; some good Christian jams. That's what I've been listening to lately.
GH: It seems like spirituality is a big thing for a lot of the guys and girls on this team, did that draw you here at all?
JC: Not really, in high school I didn't really live the Christian life-style but coming up here and getting in contact with some really great people on the team and coming to Christ, I saw how he's worked in my life and that I'm so thankful for my gifts and I'm so blessed. I learned that ultimately glorifying God is the goal so it's been awesome; just absolutely incredible.
GH: What sorts of things do you do in your free time, if you ever get any?
JC: I don't have a ton of free time right now, but I lead a youth group at Mars Hill church so that's been super fun to hang out with some high school kids. I work at Roadrunner Sports out at Green Lake so that takes a lot of time. I'm a drama major so I like to act. I actually got cast for a role in a play but I had to turn it down because of track but I'm staying here for the summer so hopefully if there's a role that opens up I can get in on that. I'm a tattoo artist so I've been doing that--I've been practicing a lot with that. I read, and do homework.
GH: Did you think you wanted to do drama when you came here?
JC: I had done it when I was in junior high and a lot in elementary school. Once high school came around I was so busy with running and work that it never even crossed my mind. I came up here intending to pursue business, and then I realized it wasn't something I really enjoyed doing so I started taking some general ed classes and I took some art classes I really liked like drama classes. I thought maybe I'd look into it more, and talked to my Grandpa, he always says do something that you really love and the money will come later. Drama is super fun, I love going to class every day and acting. There are about 20 of us in the class so it's super close and we all know each other.
GH: Is it mostly acting that you do every day?
JC: Yes, it is. My major is Drama with a focus on performance. So it's mostly acting. I might be in a class next year where it's tech so I'd be building sets and stuff like that which I did a little bit of last year and had a lot of fun. I think you do a little bit of directing and filming too--and I've got the right name for that.
GH: Do you have any favorite actors?
JC: Favorite actor is probably Jeremy Piven, I love Entourage.
GH: When did you get your first tattoo?
JC: I got the one on my leg right out of high school, that's my family crest. Once you get one, you feel like you need to get another one. I always told myself I was going to get more but just never had the money to do it. Then over Thanksgiving break I had some money and my buddy had a tattoo kit he was trying to sell so I got on that right away. I've done some on my upper leg so most of it you can't see, but they're pretty good. I did a few on my brother and friends would come and want one. The word got out so people started come out. I do it right out of my house.
GH: Do people come in with ideas of what they want or do you help them figure it out?
JC: Most of the time. There's one girl back at home that wanted the word `hope' on her wrist but wasn't sure how she wanted it so I got to design it. I made it so that you can read it looking at it from both directions. But some people, I'll draw them out and see what they like, then change it a little bit. Most of the time, the tattoos are just lettering and stuff or things you can trace on the computer or get off stencil.
GH: Thanks James and good luck this weekend at MPSFs.
JC: Thank you!