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Oswego East Student Athlete of the Week: Chris Smith

Sep 17, 2016 07:18PM ● Published by Zac Sadek

Over the past decade, long distance running has grown exponentially in popularity.  From marathon running to 5K’s, people of all generations and sexes have been challenging themselves to push the limits of their physical abilities.  

Senior Chris Smith is someone who has consistently overcome obstacles and pushed the limits of his own boundaries, which is why he is this week's Oswego East Student Athlete of the Week.

Freshman year is a difficult transition year for most students, as they go from being a big fish in a small pond, to a small fish in a big pond.  Chris had an even larger obstacle to overcome than learning a new building and new teachers.  

Moving from Atwood, Tennessee the second semester of his freshman year, Chris not only had to navigate a new school, but also the cultural changes that come from moving to a different part of the country.  An avid basketball fan, Chris worked hard to lose weight and tryout for the basketball team.  Unfortunately, Chris did not make the team.

However, not making the basketball team allowed Chris to pursue other interests.  He joined the speech team, and won 1st place in the conference championship for original oratory.  Chris was able to find his passion for distance running during the second half of his sophomore year.  

It was then he decided to go out for the track team, and began running on the mid-distance team. Naturally, this led to him picking the sport up the next fall and going out for the cross country team.

Chris’ cross country coach, James Milner, has seen the positive impact Chris has had on the cross country team.  

“As a runner, Chris is an extremely hard worker who is disciplined and pays attention to every single detail,” says Milner.  

Joining the team as a junior meant Chris had some catching up to do, but his hard work and dedication gave him an opportunity to begin contributing towards the end of his junior year.  

“Chris’ awesome attitude kept him open to trying all things, including a mile race towards the end of his junior season,” says Milner. “He saw perhaps his most success of the season at that meet, and from that point on Chris has really dedicated himself to improving each and every day.”  

For his hard work, Chris received the Varsity Dedication Award for cross country at the season’s end.

Chris’ hard work and determination have led to even more successes this season.  He placed 2nd in the Yorkville invitational, and 9th in the Rich Dust invite.  More than athletic successes, Chris’ nomination is about his resolve, positive nature, and his good heart.  

His Aunt, Marcia Smith-Brown, glows when speaking about all the positive endeavors Chris has accomplished since moving to the Oswego area his freshman year.  

“Outside of school, Chris volunteers and helps children with recreational activities,” says Marcia.  

As a leader and someone who has seen success come from hard work, Chris took on the role of training his 10 year old cousin this summer, and helped him build endurance.  

“He sets a good example and his cousin James looks up to him.  Chris stresses to him the importance of hard work, which leads to success,” says Marcia.

 Chris finds success in the classroom the same way he finds it in running, through hard work.  Chris holds a 3.875 G.P.A., which is good enough to place him in the top 20% of the senior class.  Never one to rest on his laurels, Chris challenges himself by taking difficult course work such as advanced placement (AP) Chemistry.  

As far as his future, Chris is applying to universities all across the Midwest, and hopes to major in Chemistry/Biology. His ultimate collegiate goal is to obtains his masters degree in pharmacology. 

His Consumer Education teacher, Graham Brown, has seen how Chris can use his work ethic and good nature to help those around him.  

“Chris has a caring nature and willingness to help others, which will serve him well as a pharmacist,” says Brown.

Although a senior and in the midst of the fall cross country season, Chris still has plenty of goals he and his team would like to achieve.  The team is hoping to win the conference meet at the end of the season, and holding out hope they can make it to state as a team.  As far as Chris is concerned, he would like to earn all-conference honors, and be a state qualifier himself.

The transition from junior high to high school is always a challenging one for young people, and made more difficult when transitioning to a new state and community as well.  Chris’ positive attitude and determination has made this challenging task look easy, and he has shared his method of success with young people around him.  

For those 8th grade students who are eagerly anticipating their promotion to high school, Chris has a few words of advice.  

“Put yourself out there, and try new things,” says Chris.  He goes on to add, “Find out what interests you and it can carry you a long way.  Work hard and always believe in yourself.”  

This motto has helped Chris find personal success in both athletics and academics, and will no doubt help carry him to achieving his goals.


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