Student competes at state and national level

One of Williamsport Area High School’s very own, Lydia Smith, had a very successful fall sport season this year. As a junior, Smith is involved in several sports including cross country, swimming, and track.

This cross country season, Smith again qualified for districts as she has each of her three years of high school. At districts, Smith ran against 56 other girls in very wet, cold and windy conditions where she took first place with a time of 20:41. Williamsport has not had a girls cross country state champion in the last ten years.

Smith then advanced on to the state competition. Running in November is really tough; it’s not the same as running in the warm, dry conditions of early fall, and it’s often difficult for athletes to put up their best times. Smith found that to be true of this year’s state meet.

“Although states wasn’t my best race, I still had a lot of fun, and I got to meet a lot of really cool and fast runners. It got me excited for Nationals,” she stated.

A week after the state meet, Smith participated in her first multi-sport event. She and her mom traveled to Miami, Florida, where she competed in the USA Triathlon Multisport, National Championships. Smith had an impressive outing at the Championships where she took first place in her age group (15-19) in the Aquathlon.

“My mom has always done triathlons so I started to do them with her,” explained Smith. “I’m not the best at cycling, so we found this race which was just swimming and running.”

Despite running in cold weather for few weeks prior to the event, Smith was able to adjust to the Florida weather.

“It was really hot in Florida, but I had a lot of fun and it was so cool to meet people from all different states.”

As a first place finisher, Smith will advance to compete in the World Championships the last weekend of April. The competition will take place 3,000 miles away in Ponteverde, Spain, a town located close to Portugal.

“Most of my family is going with me to Spain. We will be there for about a week,” Smith explained.

There, Smith will swim and run against some of the best in the world. Even before qualifying for the World Championships, though, cross country and track coach Jeremy Steppe knew Smith was an elite athlete.

“Smith is a standout athlete and a teammate you want toeing the line with you for every race. Her positive vibes, focused leadership and humorous pre-race rituals ease all the anxious Lady Millionaires at her side. From the coaching perspective, Lyd is an athlete that demonstrates unwavering commitment to the process and delivers full effort in practice and during her races. I am anxious to watch her cap off an outstanding fall on the track this spring.”