Some high school athletes put a lot of emphasis on their games, matches or meets.

Seymour’s Cameron Deppen says it all starts with practice.

“Practice is actually the most important, to me,” he said. “It’s not my favorite part for sure just because it’s hard, and you don’t get to race, but it definitely pays off. You can see it in the races, and as you continue to do workouts you progress and you get better. I think the most important thing is the practice, just putting in the work.”

The senior has been a member of the cross-country and track and field teams throughout high school.

“I think the thing I enjoy about running is it is peaceful most of the time,” Deppen said. “It’s not just one all-out sprint. It gives you time to think, it gives you time to strategize what you are doing.”

Deppen’s main, and favorite, event this spring will be the mile.

He also will run either the 800 or 3,200, and the 4×800-meter relay.

“My career-best in the mile is 4:50,” Deppen said. “I’m hoping to get into the 4:30s. My first lap in the mile I would like to start out strong and get a good place. The second lap I’m still going to be having adrenaline, so I’m going to run that hard, too.

“The third lap is really the challenge. That is where you really need to be mentally tough, where you need to focus.” He said he hopes to run his first lap in 1:10.

Deppen said he looks forward to running the 4×800-meter relay.

“I really don’t have a preference,” he said. “It’s really whatever benefits the team the most. If I’m going to be the best, I’d prefer to be last, but if there is somebody I know can do a better job than I can than I obviously want them to run last.”

He helped the Owls win the Hoosier Hills Conference cross-country meet last fall, and helped the team advance to the semistate the past four years.

Deppen said he had different strategy for difference races.

“It really depended on what kind of meet we were running,” he said. “If we were running a big, competitive meet, I’d usually try and get out after it, try and be a little edgy and run a good first mile, and then see what I could do after that.

“But if it was one I knew I could actually win, I would take the first mile kind of conservative, and run an even split every single mile.”

Deppen’s career-best was 16:51 in cross-country, and that places him on Seymour’s top-20 record board.

“My favorite course is definitely Brown County,” Deppen said. “I love Brown County. There’s not a lot of hills. I love flat courses. Good competition is always something that makes you push yourself even harder.

“My personal belief is that mentality is everything. You can be a good athlete, you can be physically fit, but if you don’t have the mentality that you’re a good athlete then you’re not going to be. You’re not going to succeed. But if you work with your team, and they support you and you support them, I think success is imminent.”

At a glance

Name: Cameron Deppen

School: Seymour

Parents: Shawn and Lisa Deppen

Siblings: Kelly, Caleb, Katie

Sports: Cross-country, four years; track and field, four years

Athletic highlights: Track- 2015 regional qualifier; cross-country- 4-time semi-state qualifiers, 2015 HHC champions, top 20 record board

Organizations: National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, athletic board, chess club, Mr. SHS

Plans after high school: Attend Purdue University, study engineering

Favorite food: Peanut butter or white rice

Favorite TV show: “Outrageous Acts of Science”

Favorite singer: Panic! At the Disco

Favorite athlete: Galen Rupp

Q&A

Q: Your fondest track memory?

A: “One of the biggest wins I’ve ever had would be the sectional at BNL. I was competing for the third spot. We were going into the last lap, and I was trailing by 10 meters and ended up winning by 10 meters.”

Q: What’s it like competing at opposing tracks?

A: “I like running at Seymour, but I always like going to different tracks because it gives you a new environment; it keeps it interesting. My favorite away track would have to be Columbus East.

“I want our team to do well. Last year we didn’t win the sectional, but this year I think we can win the sectional if we all put in the effort.”

Q: What’s it like attending SHS?

A: “I love being a student at SHS. It’s interesting, diverse. I love the people; I love the teachers. It’s been a good four years.”

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.