Derek Drouin is a high jumper from Sarnia, Ontario who just completed his sophomore season at the University of Indiana. After jumping 6-10 in the high jump and running 14.36 in the hurdles in high school, Drouin has competed in both the heptathlon and decathlon in college but found his greatest success so far in the high jump with a leap of 7-5 at this weekend's NCAA Championships, making him Canada's first NCAA champion in the high jump since Mark Boswell for the University of Texas in 1999.
AM: Congratulations Derek. What were your expectations coming into the meet?
Drouin: Thanks a lot. Going into the NCAA (Championships) I was obviously hoping for the win but realistically I just wanted to jump well so I could walk off the track and be happy with my performance.
Drouin has improved 7 inches in the high jump in less than two seasons (Photo: IU Hoosiers)
AM: After placing second at the NCAA Indoor Championships as a true freshman, what have you improved upon since last year at this time?
Drouin: Probably the biggest my biggest change since last year at this time is my mental thought process. As a freshman I was just happy to be at the NCAA meet. Before I jumped I would think to myself, "what do I have to lose? I'm a freshman. Nobody expects anything from me". This year I've really gotten past that and expected big things of myself.
AM: To what do you attribute your massive jump in performance since high school?
Drouin: I had great coaching in high school but I think an overall new environment with new coaches, new teammates and a new facility has really motivated me these past couple of years; that along with focusing fully on track rather than a variety of sports like in high school.
AM: Having been a hurdler in high school and given the success of your sister (Jillian Drouin) in the heptathlon, did you think you would be focusing on the decathlon in college and is that still a possibility?
Drouin: When I was being recruited in high school it was primarily for the decathlon so I did expect to be doing the decathlon in college. I have actually been training for the multi-events since the first day of practice and still am. I compete in one multi each indoor and outdoor season but haven’t gotten quite strong enough at them to be competitive at (Big 10) conference yet.
AM: How are you planning to celebrate the big win?
Drouin: I will be celebrating the win by going home this week and spending time with my family and friends. It’s been a long time since I’ve been home so that’s really what I’m looking forward to.
AM: What are the plans the rest of the year and long term?
Drouin: My season is going to end with Canadian Nationals at the end of July. Between now and then I will try to get some rest and maybe find a few meets to stay in competition mode until then. As for long term, I’m going to finish off my two remaining years of eligibility at Indiana and then see where my career goes from there.