Running Ahead

Cameron+Bates+jumps+a+hurdle+as+his+dad%2C+Coach+Bates%2C+observes

Viktoria Tapia

Cameron Bates jumps a hurdle as his dad, Coach Bates, observes

Leilani Fierro, Staff Writer

The crowd silences as freshman Cameron Bates and the other competitors set into their blocks. At the sound of the gun, he takes off out of his blocks. He gives it his all as he sprints down his lane and leaps over the hurdles.

Bates has run track since the age of five. He took after his parents who also ran at a young age. His parents placed him in youth football, and since he excelled in football, they put him into a summer track program.

“I guess my parents noticed that I was the fastest on the team and they just put me in track to see how it went,” Bates said. “I’m glad they did because I’ve come a long way with it.”

His father, Trey Bates, and Legacy boy’s track coach trained Cameron for numerous years. Now, Cameron competes on varsity as a freshman.

“I feel like I am counted as one of the leaders even as a freshman, but not just as [Coach Bates’] son, but because I know what to do and how to do it,” Bates said.

Cameron runs the 110 and 300-meter hurdles. He didn’t begin his track career with the hurdles, he began the 100, 200-meter sprints and relays. He transitioned to the hurdles once he showed his dad he had natural form. He didn’t want to run them at first, but once he realized his natural talent he was all in. 

I enjoy my events because I like running and competing with other people in my events,” Cameron said. 

Bates’ experiences include many coaches, teammates, and has competed in many events. Despite the new COVID-19 protocols, it being Cameron’s first year and bigger stages this year has not been too different compared to previous seasons. 

“Track treats me well. I love my teammates,” Cameron said. “It’s really no different from other times, I just have new teammates and good coaches who know what they’re doing.”

Now that his dad is his high school coach, Bates’ expectations for himself in high school are to win and advance to state meets. Even though his father wants him to be the best, his father constantly reminds himself of the age gap between Bates and the other competitors

“My expectations for him are no different than any other parent. I love track and field so my expectation of him is to give the sport the respect it deserves by working hard and being dedicated to it,” Coach Bates said.

While being Cameron Bates coach he has had to remember he is also his dad. Since Cameron Bates is still such a young athlete, time is on their side. He has three years left in high school to continue to grow.

“I’ve learned patience, not because he’s hard to coach, but because the dad in me wants him to be great and I have to remind myself he’s only a freshman,” Coach Bates said.

Cameron Bates plans to run track in college like his father did. Cameron Bates believes track will be the best option for him in the future, as he can have the ultimate chance to reach that career.

“My dad can push me to go just a little harder at times,” Cameron said. ”He can just motivate me a little more and  make me want to go harder”