Athlete of the week: Gavin Smith

Senior+Gavin+Smith+%28third+from+right%29+poses+with+his+team+after+MAC.
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Athlete of the week: Gavin Smith

Senior Gavin Smith (third from right) poses with his team after MAC.

Senior Gavin Smith (third from right) poses with his team after MAC.

Photo Credit to Nick Sacco

Senior Gavin Smith (third from right) poses with his team after MAC.

Photo Credit to Nick Sacco

Photo Credit to Nick Sacco

Senior Gavin Smith (third from right) poses with his team after MAC.

Christy Bishop, Staff Contributor

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This week’s featured Pleasant Valley athlete is senior cross country runner Gavin Smith. He has been running on the high school team all four years and was a state qualifier this year.

Smith was suggested to be featured by one of the coaches, Nick Sacco. When asked for a hardworking individual, Sacco replied, “Gavin Smith would be a great choice.” He is a strong member of the varsity team and honestly enjoys running.

This past cross country season has been a strange one for Smith. He recalled all of the cancelled meets and found it to be very unusual for the sport. Jane Wheeler, another coach, also commented on this saying that even the meets that were not cancelled had very slick courses due to the rain.

Regardless of these circumstances, Smith still looks back on a good season. He pays attention to his teammates and has gotten to see many of them excel in the past year. He said, “Max (Murphy) and Kent (Nichols)  have been a big impact because of their improvement from last year.”

This improvement was evident in the team’s success at their state-qualifying meet where Smith took fifth place right behind Max Murphy (fourth) and Kent Nichols (sixth). With these and more high finishes, the team closely overtook Hempstead for the victory. The qualifying boys continued on to run at the State Championships the following weekend.

Though his senior season is in the past, Smith is not quite ready to put his running shoes away. As he stated, “I will continue to run in college, but I’m not sure where yet.” Luckily, Smith still has time to figure out the rest of his plan.

Smith says his favorite memory of cross country actually came from last year’s season. At the 2017 state meet, Smith remembers seeing all of his teammates coming into the finish right after him. The Spartan runners are often near each other in races which is a tribute to their strength as a team. Smith and his fellow graduating runners were able to leave behind a legacy of a successful team.