June 11, 2014
EUGENE, Oregon - Chastity Stewart started the outdoor track and field season with an unexpected pain in her left foot. The discomfort progressed throughout the season, diagnosed as a stress fracture or broken bone.
Stewart was limited in the number of events she raced per meet in order to stay healthy, but by the time of the Conference USA Championships, she was having the best season of her career.
The junior took the C-USA title in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, which qualified her for the NCAA West Preliminary. Her time of 58.08 placed her on the all-time performance list for a third time.
“I can’t pinpoint a time or activity that caused my injury,” Stewart said. “I just started feeling a pain in my left foot this season and it quickly progressed. Although I can’t always run on the track with the rest of the team, our trainer makes sure that I stay in good shape.”
At the NCAA West Prelims, Stewart overcame her ailments and placed ninth with a time of 57.74, lowering her North Texas record and earning a spot at 2014 NCAA Track and Field championships this week in Eugene, Oregon.
“Every week I surprise myself, so I know that the best is yet to come,” Stewart said. “I definitely haven’t reached the goals that I set for myself.”
Stewart will compete in her first NCAA championships Wednesday at Hayward Field, when she runs in the 400 hurdles semifinals at 8:30 p.m. central time. Stewart enters the meet seeded 21st, but is within reach of finishing in the top 16 and earning All-America honors.
“I know I have gained more confidence, drive, and momentum to carry into next season,” Stewart said. “Nationals is definitely an awesome experience but just being here isn’t enough. I want compete well.”
will open the meet for North Texas in the men’s 400-meter dash at 7 p.m. CT Wednesday. For live results throughout the championship click here: http://www.ncaa.com/sports/trackfield-outdoor-men/d1/2014-di-track-and-field-results