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February 26, 2014

Throwing for championships

Fraser High grad, Lewis, has gone on to garner MVP awards with University of Detroit Mercy track and field team

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

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Pictured is University of Detroit Mercy track and field athlete Eric Lewis. During his time with Detroit, Lewis has been named as a team MVP and won Horizon League championships.

While making it as far as the NCAA Division I level can be a difficult enough task in and of itself, finding success at that level can be an even more challenging endeavor.

Fraser High graduate Eric Lewis can lay claim to both, as aside from earning the chance to compete with the University of Detroit Mercy track and filed team, he has also done something with that opportunity.

Some of Lewis’ accomplishments with Mercy include reaching the NCAA Track & Field Outdoor East Regional Championship in the hammer throw in 2012, winning the weight throw at the Horizon League Indoor Championships in 2012 and 2013, and breaking Titans’ team records for hammer and weight throws. He also qualified for the USATF Junior Nationals in 2011 and has been selected as the team Rookie of the Year and team MVP twice.

His time as an NCAA collegiate athlete has provided Lewis with some unique experiences.

“I enjoy it a lot,” said Lewis, who cited training hard, doing well in school, having his priorities straight and focusing on goals as keys to his success. “I enjoy being an athlete while going to a university. It’s amazing. Not only personal, but seeing all the other big athletes that come through other Division I universities you compete against. Not even just track and field, but other sports.”

Although Lewis is currently in his last season with the indoor team, due to a redshirt he has previously taken, he still has two more outdoor seasons with the Titans. His accomplishments up to this point could help give Lewis confidence as he moves forward with his track and field career, and he cited a goal he would still like to achieve during his remaining time with Detroit.

“My goal is to become an All-American,” said Lewis, who placed third in the state in the discus competition while at Fraser. “But to get to the next level, it’s more work. It helps me reach for further goals or expectations I have for myself, knowing how far I got now.”

Lewis acknowledged his family, as well as coaches, such as Detroit assistant track and field coach Brian Richotte, for the support they have given him.

While the opportunities that have come Lewis’ way as a result of athletics may be rewarding enough, his time as an athlete could have also gone a long way toward helping him with more than just setting records and winning championships.

“Don’t give up — keep pursuing it,” Lewis said of lessons he has learned. “You learn from your mistakes. Time management — that’s the big one. Because you practice almost every single day of the week, plus lifting, plus you have a full-time semester of credits. I had to find a good balance to get everything done and be good at both things — track and school. Time management will help me in the future, too. Kind of help me get organized, personally.”

Lewis is majoring in biology.