Timeout with… Sprinter Devin Smith ‘16

You were recently named the Patriot League Track Athlete of the Week, how does that feel? Have you ever won before?

Yeah, I won a few my freshman year and sophomore year, so it’s always exciting. It’s nice feeling to see your name get chosen.

You also just recently qualified for the ECAC championships – what does that mean?

It’s the East Coast Championships, so a bunch of schools from the East Coast – you’ll see Villanova and some of the bigger schools come there. It’s just a championships meet, similar to the Patriot League meet; it’s just a little bigger. If you had to put it on levels it would be Patriot League championship, then ECACs, then NCAA.

What would it take to qualify for NCAA?

Not a lot faster, but I’d have to drop about another second, which starts to be a lot at this level.

What are your main events?

My main event in the 400, but then I’m also part of the 4×400 relay, I run the 200, and then indoors I do the 60 as well.

Which is your favorite event?

Probably the 400, because it’s my best event, but I’m tempted to say the 60 because it’s short and doesn’t hurt as much. But if I had to run one event at the meet I think it’d still be the 4.

We also saw that you hold a lot of records currently – when did you break those?

I’ve honestly lost track. I think freshman year I came in as a pretty good runner and I broke a few, and with the coaches, I just kept getting better, so we’ve kind of re-broken some. The 4×400 relay – we did really well last year, and broke the record, so it has kind of been a progression over the years.

How has your senior season been? How does it feel to have track coming to an end?

It’s been going really well. It’s kind of scary that – I mean I’ve been running track now for eight years and this is the last year, so it’s really scary. And I still have so many goals that I want to accomplish before I graduate.

What goals?

I’d like to win the 400 indoor and outdoor Patriot Leagues. I tied for first freshman year and I’ve gotten second like four times since, so it’s kind of like a mental game with me right now. But yeah, I still just have so much I still want to do. So it’s scary.

What are you going to miss about you team and being a student athlete at Lafayette?

I think someone said it the best like last week. He said this is four years where you have 80 people that have your back. That’s going to be weird, and it’s not going to be the same once you graduate. I can still work out, I can still run, that’s something I can do forever, but it’s going to be weird not having a team. I’m going to miss that a lot. It’s emotional.

What’s it like having such a large team?

It’s really cool at like the Laf-Lehigh meet and Patriot Leagues because the whole team really comes together, and you can hear on every corner and stretch of the track people cheering for you, and that’s a really encouraging and amazing experience. But we also have like the sprinters and the distance people, so on a daily basis, it’s not like 80 people just huddle together. But it is really nice to have anywhere on the track you can hear people cheering for you and supporting you.

Have you had mostly the same relay team for the past four years? 

Some older people have graduated, and we brought on new people, so it does change. But this year we have three of the same people from our relay last year that broke the record. We brought back all three of us, so we’re just filling in one position with probably an underclassman. The freshmen look really good and they work really hard so it’s really encouraging to see the team growing.

Do you like indoor or outdoor better? What are the main differences?

So, there are a few things. The indoor track is 200 meters, where an outdoor track is 400 meters. So, I personally like outdoors better just because I like running outside and it’s just a little more upbeat in my mind, but there are a lot of benefits to indoors. Like you don’t have to deal with the crazy weather we have in the spring where it’s like rain and wind 24/7. And the events change a little bit, so there are a few more events that I run outdoors.

Favorite track memory?

It would probably be last year, indoor ECACs. I ran the 400 and the 4×400, and both races we did way better than we thought we would do, and it was a cool realization that we are good enough to be here running against these bigger schools. We didn’t think we were going to make it to finals, but we made it for both races. I really love the 4×400 relay. A lot of people think of track being more of an individual sport and when it comes to the relays it’s where it really comes together — like you’re not just running for yourself, you’re running for the other members of your team.

Favorite movie?

I just saw “Star Wars” and I really liked it. Over interim I watched all six and then I saw the new one. I had never seen them before and I thought they were really good.

Favorite food?

Chicken, that’s like all I eat.

Favorite class or professor?

 My favorite professor is Professor Averett – she does economics. She‘s my advisor for my thesis, so I got to know her really well and she’s really cool.

What’s your spirit animal?

A deer – I oddly have been asked that question before. They’re like quick and elusive.