Athlete of the Week: Brian Smith

Evan Willey, Staff Writer

Wilkes welcomes freshman cross-country runner Brian Smith to the team. Surprisingly, being a full-time pharmacy major doesn’t tire him out too much as he continues to provide his talents to the university and team. Brian comes from the small town of Sullivan County, Pa., where his skills stood out. In his senior year of high school, Brian qualified for PIAA Cross Country states and was named 1st team Heartland Athletic Conference All-Star. With Brian’s positive, corky attitude and his natural running ability, we cannot wait to see him lead our Colonels to a successful cross-country season.

What does running mean to you? How does it make you feel?
Running is important to me. I love running. I always have fun whether I’m out on a run or competing. It keeps me in good shape as well.

How does it feel to adjust from high school cross-country to being on a college team?
Having a new team was different, but my teammates are great so that wasn’t too hard to adjust to. There’s definitely a difference running a 5k compared to an 8k and I’m still getting use to that. I’m really enjoying my first year of college running, though.

What is your favorite thing about being on your new team?
The best thing about the new team is listening to each other’s stories on runs and having good times together. A lot of the guys on the team have things in common and the stories we share always make me laugh.

What is your main goal to accomplish this year for cross-country here at Wilkes?
My goal for this year is to run at Regionals and possibly break the school record.

What is a memory you will never forget?
The best memory I had would be last year at districts when I went from 21st place with a half mile to go and finished in 8th to qualify for States.

Do you have any special rituals you do before a meet?
I try and do everything the same every time before my race. I listen to music on the way and I picture myself running even if I’ve never seen the course. I always put my left sock and shoe on first, I slap my legs to get myself pumped up and put my left foot on the start line!

What are some of your favorite things to eat and drink before and after a run?
The night before I have a lot of pasta, bread and water. I have a bagel and water for breakfast and after the race I usually have Gatorade and Subway.

How do you like Wilkes University so far?
Wilkes is nice and I’ve met a lot of people already. The construction is annoying though, but everyone is friendly.

What are some of your other hobbies you do when you are not running?
I like to hunt, ride four-wheelers, go swimming and work on cars.

Why did you choice to major in pharmacy?
I chose pharmacy because I want to help people and by supplying them the right medication I can enable their wellness.

Who or what inspires you to keep running?
Being healthy inspires me to keep running. Also reaching goals, as well as my family’s love and support.

Do you look up to any professional athlete?
Jordan Burroughs, an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling. His determination and hard work pays off and proves it works.

What is your biggest strength you’ve added to the Wilkes cross-country team?
I feel like I add a little bit of leadership and I help push the guys to work harder.

Lastly, what is a major obstacle you had to overcome to reach you goal?
A major obstacle I had to overcome would be the district race because I haven’t had a lot of success there in previous years.