Belmont All-Access: Corprew leads the way

Caleb Corprew runs through the rain in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA East Region Championships last spring in Lexington, Ky.
Caleb Corprew runs through the rain in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA East Region Championships last spring in Lexington, Ky.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- For Belmont men's track and field student-athlete Caleb Corprew, there's more to leadership than simply a role or a title.

"It's more than just being involved," Corprew expanded. "It's about personal growth."

The NCAA appears to agree. The Belmont senior has been selected to participate in the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum this November. Corprew (Midwest City, Okla.) will spend four days in Washington D.C. gathering invaluable leadership experience along with representatives from dozens of other schools and diverse backgrounds from across the country.

That's a lot of opportunity for growth.

"It's such a huge honor," Corprew said. "It's really cool not just that I get to represent Belmont, but that I get to represent Belmont and the Ohio Valley Conference in its entirety on a stage like that."

Corprew and Nia Gibbs-Francis of Austin Peay State University were the two student-athletes from OVC member schools chosen this year.

The affable Bruin is a member of the leadership team helping coordinate Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) meetings at Belmont, as well as the vice president and treasurer of Belmont's chapter of the American Marketing Association.

A business management major who plans on continuing his education after graduation next spring, Corprew also volunteers as a basketball coach for elementary-aged girls during the winter.

"He just has that presence about him that people gravitate toward him and want to listen to him," said Belmont associate head track coach Cameron Harvey, his words as true of Corprew's pee-wee hoops roster as his collegiate teammates.

Belmont track and field program director Jeff Langdon has noticed Corprew's intrinsic leadership qualities as well. They've really blossomed recently, Langdon said, and the results on the track followed.

Corprew now owns the Belmont program records in the 60-meter hurdles (8.17 seconds) during indoor season and the 110 (14.10) and 400 hurdles (52.28) during outdoor. In February he was third at the OVC Indoor Championships in the 60 hurdles. He won the 400 hurdles title at the OVC Outdoor Championships in May to qualify for the ensuing NCAA East Region Championships, and he was second in the 110 hurdles at the OVC meet.

"I've seen a lot of spiritual and emotional growth in him the past 12 months," Langdon continued. "This last year was just physically a break-through season for him in the hurdles and I think that has everything to do with his positive outlook and great attitude."

Corprew's leadership presence is nothing new though. The eldest of six children in his family, Corprew has been setting the pace for his younger brothers and sisters for years.

"I definitely feel like I have a lot of eyes watching me," he said. "That's a little more important to me. I try to lead my team or my classmates and stuff like that, but definitely my siblings are the most important people for me to set a good example for."

Student-athletes are chosen for the NCAA Leadership Forum based on their diversity of background and positive influence on their campus and community. Attendance is at no cost to the participants or their schools.

The forum will take place Nov. 16-19.