by Web on November 28, 2016
Sarah Smith took a year off as a member of the Millsaps College Cross Country Team due to an injury.
That year off motivated her to push herself even more when she returned to the team – and her determination paid off.
In November, Smith placed 32nd out of 213 runners and earned All-Region honors at the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Cross Country Championship in Rome, Ga. She ran with a time of 23:45 for the 6k, which is a 6:22 per mile pace.
“When I was coming back this year I knew I was capable of being All-Conference and made that my center of focus,” said Smith, a native of Franklin, Tenn., who will graduate in December.
“I simply made the decision that I was going to put everything I had into this last season and followed through. I never saw All-Region as a possibility until the last couple of weeks so that was more of a bonus.”
A runner since middle school, Smith said she finds running appealing because of its straightforward nature.
“There's no outside forces involved that you can blame a bad performance on that everyone else doesn't also have to go through in that race,” she said.
Smith said running has always been an outlet for her, one that allows her to think and organize her thoughts and cope with the stresses of life.
Millsaps Cross Country Coach Andy Till recruited Smith to join the team, she said, but there was more to her decision to attend Millsaps than just athletics.
“The Else School of Management at Millsaps was very highly regarded, and I knew Millsaps had great academics across the board,” said Smith, who is majoring in business administration and is a member of the Finance Club and the Louis Wilson Fund team.
A devoted equestrian, Smith has also managed to care for and show her Irish sport horse, Shady, in National Hunter Jumper competitions across the region. She also has another horse, Rio, who is a Royal Dutch Warmblood, but his stable is in Tennessee.
Smith competes in the amateur owner 3’3” division as well as some National Hunter Derbys.
“I’ve been riding since I was 6 and competing for about 14 years,” she said. “It has been my main passion in life.”As a Millsaps student, Smith had an internship at Providence Hill Farm, a hunter and jumper equestrian facility in Jackson.
“I interned there working mainly as a groom,” she said. “I helped take care of the horses, rode them when needed, and was able to learn a lot about the equine field by spending a lot of time with the vet, farrier, and head trainer.”
Smith is interested in the field of finance as a career and plans to pursue that in Nashville. “I've been looking into a lot of analyst positions and hope to build a career through that,” she said.