Catching up with Stacey-Ann Smith
May 15, 2009
Changing your specialty isn't the easiest thing for someone to do and to have success in your new event instantly is even harder. But for freshman Stacey-Ann Smith, making the move from the 100m dash to the 200m-400m events has been a seamless transition. Smith had mainly competed in the 55 and 100m events prior to arriving on the Forty Acres.
The newcomer, who owns the 55-meter high school record in Connecticut, currently has the fastest 400m time by a freshman in the nation. Her regional-qualifying mark of 52.90 also stands as the 10th-fastest on the NCAA Division I Outdoor Performance List. Along with being the Horns' top 400m sprinter, Smith is also part of UT's second-ranked 4x400m relay and it's 13th-ranked 4x100m relay.
Along with contributing to the relays, Smith has posted Texas' second-fastest 200m time, 23.05, which also qualified her for the NCAA regional meet. In Lubbock at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships this weekend, Smith will look to add another All-Big 12 honor to her resume as she will be competing in the 200m, 400m and of course taking part in UT's relays.
Smith sat down with TexasSports.com upon arriving in Lubbock to talk about her expectations heading into the meet.
On her expectations for the Big 12 Championships: To recap indoors, as a freshman I felt like coming in fourth was pretty good, maybe it wasn't as good as I was capable was, I know it wasn't. But it was pretty good being a freshman and placing fourth in the Big 12. But now, I'm just trying to win because we need the points and I'm not going to let my team down. I'm going in ranked third, so if I place anything below third I'm going to be very disappointed. If I come in third, I would be okay staying the same but I'm looking for the win. I want the 10 points for my team.
On what has been different between the indoor and outdoor seasons: A lot has changed. My race pattern, my technique, my consistency, everything has changed. Coming from indoor and not going to nationals, we worked so hard on everything little thing I need to work on with my race. Over time I was dropping half a second here and half a second here, so now I'm looking to drop another four-tenths of a second.
On what event she is most looking forward to: I'm looking forward to the 400 because that is my strongest event right now and I know I have a chance of winning it. I want to go 52.50 or lower. I'm not focusing on the time during the race, I'm just going to get out and go, I don't care about the time because if I get out and go I'm going to run a good time.
On the team's morale: Our team has been strong, but after the team meeting we had this week, we are so much stronger. We know talk is cheap and that we can all sit up here and say that we are ready and we're going to go out there and give 100 percent but now we just need to do it. Talking time is over, we just need to get out there and go. I feel like we are just so strong right now and I feel like we are going to do really well. This is just going to really help up leading into nationals and I want to do even better since I will be going to regionals.
On her favorite moment so far this year: Texas Relays was my favorite meet this year. I hate to lose and I've never gotten caught and left on the 4x400m relay. I've gotten caught and then I've fought my way back but listening to Coach Bev when they put pressure on me, putting pressure back on them and not letting try and go and outkick at the end. She showed me that I'm capable of running a 52-second 400m, which is what happened because I went 52.68.
On finishing up with classes: I'm done with classes, so it's all about track right now. Eat. Sleep. Breathe track. Just treatment, making sure I'm staying up on my water, making sure I'm hydrated, making sure my hamstrings are okay and going to the training room when I need to. I don't have to focus on school anymore so it is all about track right now.
On her first year of college: It went by honestly so fast, I swear we were just at freshman orientation. I knew it was going to be fast, just not this fast. It really caught me off guard. I wanted to end up with a 4.0 GPA, but I'm probably going to end up with a 3.8 GPA, which is okay but I know I can do better next year.