KIMBERLY, Wis. - Kimberly's DJ Stewart ran wild on the gridiron. Now, he's counting those steps on the track.
"Definitely a football guy first," Stewart said. "When I was little, I found out I could run fast and not going to lie, when I was younger, I was more of a track guy."
A 4-time state champion and Gatorade State Player of the Year in football, Stewart's currently focusing his attention on a different sport, as one of the top 10 hurdlers in the state.
"Oh he's a fantastic hurdler," coach Brad Hoerth said. "He's a great athlete so that carries over into hurdles. He's worked very hard at it. He really seems to enjoy track, which is really, really fun to see."
At state last year, Stewart finished third in 300 meter hurdles and was less than a second shy of the state record set back in 2010, a mark he's aiming to break.
"The first 100 meters of the 300 meter has to be a lot harder," Stewart said. "Push harder on the curve and obviously just finish the race. My last two hurdles are kind of week. If I can stay strong in the last two, just come out strong, I think I'll get it."
Now, he'll have to deal with some in-house competition from one of his best friends, Austin Wallace, who is giving Stewart a run for his money.
"You know last year, I used to beat Wally and this year, Wally beats me," Stewart said.
And that's fueled Stewart's competitive nature.
"Me and Wally, as soon as we hear runners to your mark, we're just eyeing down that first hurdle," Stewart said.
"When we're in the blocks next to eachother, it's pretty much just let the best man win, I mean, whoever has the better race there," Wallace said.
And now it's a chance for Stewart to wrap up his athletic career at Kimberly in the best way possible, before he runs off to play football at North Dakota State this fall.
"To a lot of people, that sounds like a big goal to go and take the state record and also podium on the 110's," Stewart said. "The state record has been something I've been eyeing down since my freshman year. Just going to be working really hard this year, not taking my foot off the gas pedal, just trying to go after it."
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