Athlete Spotlight: Runner Kiera Smith
Kiera Smith is a sophomore for the LCC women's cross country team. Courtesy photo
The Lookout Photo Editor Kaitlyn Delaney recently spoke with cross country runner Kiera Smith. Smith is a sophomore and graduated from Haslett High School.
When did you begin running cross country?
“I started running cross country completely when I was in kindergarten. I’ve been competing (since) kindergarten all the way through today.”
What made you want to run cross country?
“Actually, my brother was on his middle school cross country team, and my mom brought me to practices with us, because she was a single mom. There was nothing else to do, so we just hung around. I started running with the team, and coach let me be a part of the team.”
Who is someone who inspires you, in the sport or out of it?
“I think by biggest inspiration through the sport would have been my grandma, who passed away in 2020. She was one of my biggest cheerleaders and always encouraged me to continue on through the sport. And now my mom has really taken over and helps encourage the same way my grandma did.”
Is there one piece of advice you have been given that sticks with you?
“No matter what, keep trying, no matter how hard things get, continue to push through it.”
Do you have any personal or team goals for the rest of the season?
“Personally, I really just hope to get to the best I can be this season. I’ve had a lot of outside factors, including a knee surgery in 2020, and injuries last fall that kept me from running. I just want to be the best I can be this year. Team wise, I hope we can pull together enough as a team. We have a good chance, and it would be a good underdog story to try to win nationals for a third year in a row.”
Do you have any moments from running in high school or LCC, or earlier that stand
“I think my biggest standout moment was the moment when the scores popped up on the scoreboard last year. Me and a group of my teammates traveled down to Tallahassee to watch our team compete, and the second the scores popped up, 59-50, it was the biggest moment for me. Holy crap, we did that, it was a combination of everybody’s effort. Our runners did amazing, but also (we were) there to cheer them on. Coach’s work and everything really just helped push us.”
Do you have any pre-run routines?
“I go through the same warmups I’ve been going through since kindergarten. I have a specific set of race socks that I won’t warm up in. I also write myself a note, on my hand or my arm; or both sometimes, and when I look down at my watch, I think about that.”
What are your plans after LCC?
“I hope to transfer to another college where I can compete, but that’s going to be based on how much I can improve this season, and (also) improve through track season and get through cross country season as well.”