Cougar childhood, Cougar uniform

Senior runner knew WSU’s fight song at two years old, wants team to qualify for NCAA championships



Then-junior Cameron Dean runs in the WSU Alumni Open meet on Aug. 31, 2018 at the Colfax Golf Club in Colfax, Washington.

SHAYNE TAYLOR, Evergreen reporter

Senior Cameron Dean participated in his first WSU cross country season in 2017, but has been a Cougar at heart for much longer.

Cameron Dean was raised in Spokane, Washington, by his mother Robin Dean and father Jeff Dean, who is a WSU graduate.

Cameron Dean said his family has been his biggest inspiration to this point and recalls visiting the Pullman area frequently as a child.

“We actually used to come here very regularly for football and basketball games,” he said. “Coming here was a very exciting part of my childhood.”

Jeff Dean said the passion his son has for WSU and its community dates back to a very young age.

“He could recite the fight song when he was two and a half,” he said.

As much as he loved Pullman, Cameron Dean said he always thought it was too good to be true that one day he would suit up in a Cougar uniform for any sport.

“Not only did I come to a place that I love so much, but to be able to be offered a spot on the team was beyond my wildest dreams,” Cameron Dean said. “I felt so honored to even think about being on a team here that it made the decision really easy when I was offered a spot.”

During his sophomore season, Cameron Dean placed 63rd overall and ninth on the team at the Pac-12 Championships and was named to the Pac-12 Cross Country All-Academic honorable mention team.

In his junior season, Cameron Dean ran at the Pac-12 Championships, where WSU placed fifth overall. He was also named to the Pac-12 Cross Country All-Academic honorable mention team for the second straight time in his career.

Cameron Dean said as good as it feels to have these achievements under his belt, his main objective is to have leadership skills that set an example for every athlete on his team.

“For me, my personal bests have not necessarily been my proudest part as an athlete,” he said. “I take a lot of pride in how hard I work and the positive impact I hopefully bring to my teammates and training environment.”

Four-year-old Cameron Dean sitting with Butch.

This strong leadership mentality is something Jeff Dean said has been a part of his son’s nature for as long as he’s been playing sports.  

Cameron Dean said the ceiling is high for this year’s roster, and that he is incredibly grateful for the efforts that his t

eammates have demonstrated over the course of the new season.

“My teammates are my whole world,” Cameron Dean said. “I would do anything for those guys, and I am sure they would do the same for me.”

When it comes to the definition of success, he said it is best defined as having a passion-filled goal, one that can almost wake a person up at night.

This being his senior season, Cameron Dean said his intentions are to focus on selflessly approaching his remaining meets in a Cougar uniform.

“I am not in the slightest concerned about myself. I am all in on our team goal of qualifying for NCAA National Championships,” he said. “We have been obsessing about it since May.”