It took playing a completely different sport for Ithaca High School senior Tevin Smith to realize he had a special talent in track and field.
Smith had just moved back to Ithaca from North Carolina when he joined the football team in the eighth grade. While he was playing football, a coach noticed his speed on the field and suggested that he try out track.
“I tried football and they said I was really quick,” Smith said. “I didn’t know I was fast; I thought I was just average. I did track in eighth grade and realized I had kind of a knack for it.”
Smith went ahead and scrapped the helmet and shoulder pads in favor of a track uniform and it’s worked out pretty well for him. While he still plays football “every once in awhile,” he found his niche in track and stuck with it. He even plans to run track at SUNY Delhi, where was accepted into the Vet Tech program. If it all works out, he says he hopes to transfer to Cornell’s Vet School and run track there as well.
As Smith reaches the home stretch of his time in high school, he says he still has some unfinished business to take care of. I caught up with Smith for this week’s edition of “Five Questions” to ask him about his season, his last-minute goals, and his future.
With it now being your senior year, what kind of progress have you made over the years?
I think I’ve improved a lot over the last four years with the great coaching staff. The track team is like a family to me. I feel like we’re doing really well. I’m on the relay and as an individual I think I’m doing really well.
Have you played any football since you got involved with track?
I’ve played a little bit… mostly off and on. I haven’t really been playing football that much, but just every once in awhile.
Do you have any last-minute goals before graduation?
My goal is right now I want to break the 4 by 1 record, which I think is 43 flat. So far my best time is at 44.1. I’m going to try to beat the 200 record but right now I’m focusing on the 4 by 1.
What was your proudest moment in high school track?
I think the best moment was last year. We finally won the 4 by 1 at the Ithaca relays. We came in first place so I think that was one of my proudest moments
Has anybody been a big influence on you over the years?
Definitely Coach Parker and Coach Baker. Coach Baker was the one who got me into track back in eighth grade. They pushed me a lot and helped me out.