Student Association's Athlete of the Week - Matt Smith
This year, the Student Association and The Athletic Department thought it would be a good idea to recognize outstanding student athletes from the campus community for their personal athletic achievements, in a new forum we're calling "Athlete of the Week." The weekly selections will come from coach and captain feedback, and every sport will have a week to nominate a student athlete for the honor. If you'd like to nominate a student-athlete, contact Brian Healey at firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthew Smith, senior co-captain of the Men's Cross Country team, is off to a tremendous start in his last season at St. Michael's College. His recent accomplishments include a top 10 finish at the Vermont State Intercollegiate Championships that lead the to team to a 3rd place finish, a 6th place finish at the St. Michael's Invitational, and a 72 place finish leading the men's team in the NE-10 Championships October 22nd.
Smith has led team consistently throughout this season, with his best performances coming in the most important races. In Sunday's NE-10 Championships he posted a personal best 27:09 in the eight kilometer and led the men's team to an 11th place finish that included a win over Le Moyne College by a single point.
"The team is making huge improvements, and everybody is stepping up and having good performances in the races. Depth-wise we have really made some huge improvements over the years". With the top seven runners finishing within 36 seconds of each other, Smith's words couldn't be more accurate.
Smith, a biology major with a focus in ecology, transferred into St. Michael's College in the fall of his sophomore year after a semester of attending Muhlenberg College and running the one-kilometer for the indoor track team. He had spoken to Coach Joe Connelly the summer before attending St. Michael's College, and said, "I knew that there was a team, had sent and e-mail to the coach before, and that they competed at a level I wanted to run at".
The transition from running a one kilometer race to an eight kilometer was something that Coach Connelly had to work on with Smith, increasing the longer distance runs on Sundays to get more mileage in for Smith. Now Coach Connelly sees him, "rather than a middle-distance guy with some cross-country background, he is a cross-country guy with some serious speed".
The men's team will travel down to Franklin Park in Boston, Mass for the NCAA East Regional Championships Sunday, November 6. The winners of this race will go to Spokane, Washington for NCAA National Championships.
Written by Brian McDonnell '12-contact him at email@example.com