Salute to Seniors: E. Smith, L. Bensky, & K. Norton

              Name: Evan Smith

              School: Chadwick High School

              What was your most memorable race/moment?

              My most memorable moment was winning the 1600 at state my junior year. I wasn't expected to win and it was my first state championship so it was a really great feeling.

                    What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?

                    This year at sectionals during the 1600 the race official told me to step off the track after the 3rd lap because he thought I had finished the race. I stopped and looked at him for probably 5 seconds, we joked about it afterwards.

                    Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

                    I have had a lot of really good competition over the last 4 years. I would say that Chase Ratliff, Titus Thompson and Easton Sabala were always great competition.

                          What was your greatest accomplishment?

                          I was blessed to be able to win 4 state championships in my time in high school as well as 12 all-state medals. They were things I worked really hard for so it was good to see it pay off. Also I got to race at festival of miles this year which was a big goal of mine as I knew it would be a hard race to get in to.

                          If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?

                          I would definitely have taken it more seriously when I was younger, I would just go through the motions at practice and not make the extra effort to really improve.

                          What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

                          Definitely injuries, I never had anything serious but I would always be a little banged up after basketball and it would take a little time for me to recover. Also, dealing with not improving very much from my sophomore to junior year. My times remained about the same and I wasn't performing very well in races and I was starting to feel really down about myself.

                          What will you miss the most?

                          I will miss all the friendships I have made. I will miss running with my teammates at every practice and competing with them. I will miss all the guys I competed with and the random people going up to tell me good luck or good job at meets.

                          What advice would you give to younger athletes?

                          I would tell them that no dream is too big. If you really want to do something you can achieve it. To be great you need to invest a lot of time, effort and really put your heart into it. If you do this you can do anything you want to.

                          What kind of an impact has your coach had on you and your team?

                          My coach has had a huge impact on me and my team. She goes above and beyond to make sure that we are all ready for race day. I definitely wouldn't be the runner I am today without her. I will definitely miss her and her words of "wisdom" everyday. I don't think there is another coach that genuinely cares for their athletes like she does.

                          What are your college plans?

                          I will be attending Southwest Baptist University where I will be running Track and Cross country.

                          Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

                          First I would like to say thank you to my lord and savior Jesus Christ for continuing to bless me everyday in my life. I want to thank my parents for always supporting me and motivating me. My coach for always doing whatever it takes to make sure that I was well prepared for a race. My teammates for helping me push myself everyday in practice. My competitors for always bringing out the best in me in every race. And to everyone that has cheered me on and wished me luck in my running career, I wouldn't be here without any of you!

                          Is there anything else you'd like to add?

                          I have been so very blessed to have a good running career in high school and I can't wait to see how I will do in college! Go bearcats!!