February 27, 2024
Life At Witt

Eye on the Tigers: Cameron Elliott '25

Speedy Cameron Elliott excels in two sports and in the classroom at hometown Wittenberg University

SPRINGFIELD — Ask around the Wittenberg campus about junior Cameron Elliott, and the same word almost always comes up — fast. One of the characteristics that Elliott is most known for is his speed on both the soccer field and the running track.

"Growing up, speed is something that has just come naturally," he said, smiling. "I never really practiced building my speed as a young kid, but just playing sports my whole life has kind of helped with that."

While his speed makes him a standout on both the men's soccer and track and field teams at Wittenberg, his first love was a different sport altogether.

"As a kid, I wanted to pursue playing basketball," he said.

Elliott, a Springfield native, started playing basketball and soccer in local rec leagues when he was 4 or 5 years old. In elementary school, he was drawn more toward basketball and started to pursue it more seriously than soccer. But, after a few years, that changed.

"When I got to middle school, I started really enjoying soccer, and that's when I started to see myself excel compared to my teammates," he said.

Elliott proceeded to join the track and field team in eighth grade and stopped playing organized basketball after his freshman year at Springfield High School.

"That's when I started taking track and soccer seriously," he said. "It was indoor track and soccer in the fall, and outdoor track and soccer in the spring, so it was just track and soccer year-round pretty much."

That level of commitment to multiple sports stemmed from a passion for competition and athletics Elliott had developed from a young age. His father grew up in Springfield and coached women's basketball at SHS and helped coach football at Roosevelt Middle School and SHS, so Elliott and his two brothers were surrounded by sports throughout their childhoods.

Elliott remains appreciative of his high school coaches' and teachers' understanding of his schedule and the time commitment required of a student and two-sport athlete, which made balancing all his responsibilities relatively easy and resulted in lots of success athletically and in the classroom.

He was a four-year varsity starter and a three-time All-GWOC and All-Miami Valley selection in soccer and still holds the school's all-time goal and assist records. In track and field, he was a two-time All-GWOC honoree, an All-Ohio selection and was part of the fourth-fastest 4x400 relay team in Ohio in 2021. Academically, he earned the Award of Excellence all four years in high school, was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated with honors.

After graduating from SHS, Elliott decided to pursue a collegiate soccer career and enrolled at Capital University in Columbus for a year before transferring to Wittenberg. He said returning to his hometown to close out his college career has been one of the best decisions he's ever made.

"It's great," Elliott said of attending Wittenberg. "Obviously for financial reasons to save money, but I have great friends and teammates here, and that makes the environment easier as well as having family and hometown friends to spend time with away from the school setting. It's very nice and very relaxing."

He has also enjoyed the relationships he's built with his professors.

"When you go to a bigger school, you have more people in your classes, and you don't get that personalized experience. But here at Wittenberg, at the most I've had about 30 kids in my class, and the teachers really take the time to get to know you and help you out," he said. "They really want to make sure that you're getting the most out of the money that you're paying for school and that you have a great experience over your four years here."

Within Wittenberg athletics, men's soccer head coach Dwight Burgess and track and field head coach Paris Hilliard were both eager to have Elliott join their teams. While playing multiple sports at the collegiate level can be difficult, Elliott was eager to give it a try.

"When I to transferred, I decided to do both sports to see where that would take me," he said.

Thanks to his experience as a multi-sport athlete in high school, Elliott has had little difficulty balancing all his responsibilities as a Tiger student-athlete.

"Since I did it in high school, my body is more prepared," he said. "I did soccer and track in the same season in high school, and now that I'm in college and it's two separate seasons, it's easier."

Elliott added that the mutual understanding between his coaches and professors and their flexibility with his schedule has also helped him succeed academically and athletically at Wittenberg.

As a forward on the soccer team, he has accrued 14 points on five goals and four assists in 29 career games, including 18 starts, and is coming off a season in which he earned OCSA Academic All-Ohio and CSC Academic All-District accolades.

"Cam is a talented student-athlete and an even better person," Burgess said. "He truly represents what Wittenberg is all about, both in the classroom and on the athletic field. He is well-liked and highly respected."

On the track, he is an All-Conference sprinter who was part of the outdoor 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams that set school records with times of 41.90 seconds and 3:14.90, respectively, last May. He was also part of the 2023 conference champion indoor 4x200 relay team and is coming off winning a conference title in the 400 meters in the 2024 NCAC Indoor Championships.

"Cameron is a true pillar of our team and has continued to grow on and off the track," Hilliard said. "He is very driven and committed, and we are thrilled to have him be part of our team."

Academically, Elliott is driven to succeed thanks in part to the support of his parents, Timothy and Leatrice, who are both Springfield City Schools employees, and the school system itself.

"My parents push me to be the best student I can be. They know the talent I have as an athlete, but they really want to make sure that I'm also showing my talent as a student as well," he said. "Also, Springfield City Schools has always cared for their students and made sure they get the education they need going into college. It has set me up really well."

He also credits his success in balancing his many responsibilities to a focus on setting aside blocks of time for doing things he enjoys.

"My first year at Capital was hard because I think I was too worried about my academics and getting things done right away. I was really pushing myself to my limit, but you don't always have to do that," he said. "You need to set time aside to do things that you love to do like hanging out with friends and relaxing. You need to make time to do that for yourself or you're going to burn yourself out halfway through the semester."

Elliott, who began his college career as an exercise science major at Capital, is now studying psychology at Wittenberg.

"My mom is a school psychologist here in Springfield, and some of my uncles were in psychology as well. So I decided to switch over to psychology to see how well I liked it," he said. "I really enjoy learning about how humans think and interact. Now I'm leaning more toward sports psychology, and that's where I want to go with my future career plans."

Graduation and that future career will come in 2025. Until then, he's right where he wants to be.

"I think a lot of people make Springfield seem like such a bad place, but having grown up here, I think it's great," he said. "For people thinking about coming to Wittenberg, I think they should give it a try and really see what this place is like."

Wes Mayberry
Wes Mayberry
Associate Director of Athletics Communications

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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