Smith heads to the Retrievers
La Plata graduate signs with D-I UMBC for cross country, track
Whether it was studying or running miles, Miles Smith never let his focus get deterred.
Now the La Plata High School graduate will be continuing his cross country and track and field careers at the NCAA Division I level, recently signing to the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
He will join his former La Plata teammate James Oakley III, a sophomore sprinter with the Retrievers.
“I was thrilled to sign to just knowing that I am of a small percentage of people to be able to participate in Division I athletics,” said Smith, who officially signed in May.
Smith went on his official visit to the UMBC last November.
“When I went on my visit to the school I liked the strong focus on [STEM] and education that was combined with strong athletics,” said Smith, who will be majoring in mechanical engineering in the fall.
Smith, who graduated with the La Plata senior class on June 4, specialized in the distance events such as the 800- and 1,600-meter runs and most likely will run similar events at the collegiate level.
“I try to train six days out of the week , working to build the speed and strength necessary for the 800,” he said “My goals at the [college level] are to continue to improve and be able to compete with the best of the best. They will help push me and that will keep me motivated.”
Smith had a strong senior season in cross country as well as indoor and outdoor track.
At the Class 2A state outdoor championships at Morgan State University in Baltimore in late May, Smith claimed a state crown in the 800 in a time of 1 minute 58.91 seconds. He also took runner-up in the 1,600, coming across the finish line in 1:59.17 and helped lead the 3,200 relay team to a second-place finish at states with Ethan Olmsted, Jacob Cottle and Gage White.
“At states I was honestly just on scoring as many points for the team as possible, but to win the state title was phenomenal experience,” Smith said. “When running I usually think about race strategies and what I need to do in order to be my best.”
During the indoor season, Smith won a state championship in the 1,600 in a time of 4:32.52. He also was a 2A East Region champion and got second in the SMAC championships in the event. In cross country, Smith took eighth overall in the 2A state championships, finishing in 17:08.7.
“My accomplishments are a result of hard work and dedication,” said Smith, who maintained a 4.6 GPA and was ranked 10th in his senior class. “Balancing athletics and
academics was always tough, but I always kept focus of my goals.”
Richard Williams, who recently stepped down as head cross country and track and field head coach after coaching at La Plata for 36 years, said Smith will fit in well at UMBC.
“Miles is a hard worker in the classroom and on the track. He shows great consistency in his craft,” Williams said. “The runners on the team really looked up to him.”
Smith said, “I will miss coach Williams, has such a huge impact on my life, but also I will miss the fun experiences with the team.”
La Plata High School graduate Miles Smith recently signed to NCAA Division I University of Maryland Baltimore County for cross country and track and field.
La Plata High School graduate Miles Smith recently signed to NCAA Division I University of Maryland Baltimore County for cross country and track and field. Smith, sitting, is accompanied his mother Carrie and father Kendell.