Valhalla runner contributes to team’s success, state meet hopeful

4
20
WEBTrack.jpg

Valhalla High School senior Curtis Smith is a standout on the track and field oval, and not because the fair-skinned blond mid-distance runner is the easiest to spot on the field. He has become a key contributor to the team’s success and is pushing for personal bests this season that could earn him a spot on the awards podium at next month’s San Diego Section finals.

Valhalla High School senior Curtis Smith is a standout on the track and field oval, and not because the fair-skinned blond mid-distance runner is the easiest to spot on the field. He has become a key contributor to the team’s success and is pushing for personal bests this season that could earn him a spot on the awards podium at next month’s San Diego Section finals.

Those in attendance at last Saturday’s 13th annual Mustang/Phair Co. Relays at Otay Ranch High School saw him put on quite a show. He earned two first-place medals by helping the Norsemen win the sprint medley and distance medley relays.

He also was involved in the team’s fourth-place finish in the 4×200 relay.

The sprint medley relay consists of consecutive legs of 100, 100, 200 and 400 meters. Smith anchored the Valhalla unit. He took the baton on the final 400-meter leg in third place but powered into the lead with 60 meters to go for a winning time of 1:36.92.

Conner Buckley, Jordan Ellis and Todd Franklin joined Smith as members of the victorious quartet.

The distance medley relay consists of legs of 1200, 400, 800 and 1600 meters. Kyle Gabrielson ran the first leg, followed by Smith, Alex Hernandez and Trent Sikute. The four runners combined for a winning time of 10:46.80 – nearly 10 seconds ahead of runner-up Steele Canyon.

Smith remains encouraged about what may lie ahead this season.

“I want to get to the state meet,” he said. “That’s my goal.”

Smith regularly competes in the 400-yard dash, 800-yard run and in the 4×100 and 4×400 relay events.

He placed seventh at last year’s section finals in the 400 dash with a personal best time of 50.53 seconds. He recorded a PR this year in the 800 run of 2:02.00 in an April 21 dual meet against Helix.

The two mid-distance events combine elements of shorter and longer distance events.

“It’s between the sprints and stamina events,” Smith explained. “You have to be really fast and you also have to have stamina. I’m starting to like the 800.” 

Smith has received lessons in the latter by competing in cross-country the past two seasons. He finished as the No. 2 runner on the boys’ squad this past fall.

“I like the team mentality (of the sport), and it also helps me get the stamina I need (for track),” he explained. 

He received the cross-country team’s Attitude-Academic-Athlete award as a senior. He considers that an honor.

Smith admits there is a challenge involved in qualifying for the state meet. He’ll likely have to lower his time below 50 seconds in the 400 by the time the section finals roll around. “I’ll probably have to get my time down to 48 or 49,” he said.

His season best is 52.14 but he’s already proven he can go faster. It’s just a matter of time, both figuratively and literally, before his 400 time falls this spring.

Regardless of how the season turns out, Smith feels his life has been enriched by his Valhalla teammates, who have helped foster a sense of pride and accomplishment besides friendly competition.

“Sports have helped me interact with people,” Smith explained. “Being a part of a team is like being on a family rather than by blood. My teammates have become good friends. They have helped push me past my limit.”

Hard work has clearly made the man.

“My freshman year I wasn’t that fast but my coach pushed my limit and showed me I had potential,” he said. “Since then, I’ve trimmed away my times. For college, I want to keep improving.”

Smith is currently leaning toward a two-year preparatory stint at Cuyamaca College before transferring to a four-year college. His goal is to become a physical trainer. 

4 COMMENTS

  1. I have been browsing online
    I have been browsing online more than 3 hours
    nowadays, yet I never found any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It’s lovely worth sufficient for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content as you did, the
    net will likely be much more useful than ever before. http://login.tiscali.cz/?url=http://www.wijipedia.net/index.php%3Ftitle=Talk_Making_Use_Of_Right_People_When_Selecting_A_Male_Enhancement_Supplement

  2. I have been browsing online
    I have been browsing online more than 3 hours nowadays, yet I
    never found any attention-grabbing article like yours.
    It’s lovely worth sufficient for me. In my view, if all webmasters
    and bloggers made just right content as you did, the net will likely be much
    more useful than ever before. http://login.tiscali.cz/?url=http://www.wijipedia.net/index.php%3Ftitle=Talk_Making_Use_Of_Right_People_When_Selecting_A_Male_Enhancement_Supplement

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here