PHOTO BY FELIX ADAMO
PHOTO BY CASEY CHRISTIE
ball, track is his favorite sport. “I always liked football,” Smith said. “It was the first sport I played when I was little, but I fell in love with track.” On top of winning the section 100meter title a year ago, Smith placed third in the section in 200. But he failed two weeks later at the state meet to qualify for the finals of either event. “It was a big transition going from my sophomore year to junior year, having a new coach and going to different kind of meets,” Smith said. “It was a pretty good season. It didn’t end like I wanted it to end. I didn’t have a good state meet but I thought I had a pretty good year overall.” Smith hopes to go even faster this year and win at least one medal at the state meet. “I’m more grown up now and probably more in shape this year,” Smith said. “I’ve just been struggling (so far) running better times. It’s a process I have to follow. I just want to peak at the right time … I want to get on the podium (at state) this year.” That would likely top Smith’s biggest track highlight of his career so far: winning last year’s 100-meter section championship. “It felt really good to know I won that race,” Smith said. “I worked really hard to get there. I just looked at my mom. She was going crazy in the stands.” Smith plans to continue running track in college. Several Pac-12 schools
• Born in Bakersfield on Dec. 31, 1997 • Parents are Ahmed Smith and Dina Padilla. Has six siblings (three brothers and three sisters) • First Team All-Area in track and field and football in 2015 • Hobbies include playing “Halo 5” and “Mortal Kombat X” and hanging out with friends • Has a 3.5 grade-point average and is currently enrolled in AP calculus and honors physics
and other NCAA Division I colleges have shown strong interest in him.