GETTING TO KNOW…..JACI SMITH

3/30/2020
 



High School you attended:
Edmond North High School (Oklahoma), 2015
 
College you attended:
US Air Force Academy, 2019
 
Major in College:
Astronautical Engineering
 
Current Occupation (or part time-job):
Air Force Second Lieutenant 
 
Tell us about your Olympic Trials experience in Atlanta:
Atlanta was an incredible. Not only was it my first Olympic Trials experience, but it was my first marathon! Because I still consider myself to be a 10k runner, I didn't feel an immense amount of pressure leading into the race. However, because I had never toed the line of such a long and high caliber race, there was an extreme amount of fear and uncertainty. The Atlanta course was a roller coaster of hills and emotions.  I was proud of myself for battling through the ups and downs, and enjoyed the support of family, friends, and an amazing crowd. I learned that the marathon lends itself well to many of my strengths as a runner, but also discovered areas where I will have to improve if I aspire to be a top marathon runner in the future. I'm so grateful for the race in Atlanta, but am excited to stick to the track for a while!
 
How did you start running?
My dad was a collegiate long sprinter and hurdler, so I developed an early admiration for track and field. After his college days, he began to run longer distances and train for the annual OKC Memorial Half-Marathon. When I was 11, I got it in my mind that I wanted to do the race with him (despite not being able to run a mile without stopping or having an emotional breakdown). I trained the entire school year and finished my first half-marathon in 2 hours, 20 minutes. Reaching this early running goal inspired me to join the middle school cross country team, and the rest is history!
 
What were your best track times in high school?
800m - 2:20
1600m - 5:16
3200m - 11:11  
5k - 18:32
 
#1 High School highlight?
Tennis was actually the sport I loved most in high school. I won two individual and three team state titles, which are by far the fondest memories I have of my high school athletic career. 
 
What were your best track times in college?
3000m - 9:01
5000m - 15:28  
10,000m - 32:28  
 
#1 College highlight?
Earning my first All-American honor at Hayward Field (2018 10,000m)
 
#1 professional highlight?
Finishing 19th in my debut marathon at the US Olympic Trials
 
Something unique about you that we might not know about you?
I'm a pretty big nerd... I've read the Harry Potter series 7 times and the Lord of the Rings series twice. Anything fantasy/sci-fi, I'm all over it.
 
Current Coach?
Ryan Cole
 
Favorite Workout?
Long runs!
 
Favorite Place to Train?
Greenland Open Space in Larkspur, CO
 
Favorite Food?
Muffins with homemade strawberry butter
 
Favorite Restaurant?
Cracker Barrel
 
Favorite music?
Martina McBride, George Strait 
 
Favorite TV Shows?
Downton Abbey
 
Favorite Author?
J.R.R. Tolkien
 
Favorite Book?
The Historian, A Tale of Two Cities, Lord of the Rings, A Gentleman in Moscow
 
What is your preferred social media? 
Instagram
 
If you could have lunch with one person who would it be? 
Queen Elizabeth I
 
How about dinner?
My mom. The best company and cuisine anyone could provide!
 
Over the years who would have you found to be the best training partner? 
I had  incredible teammates throughout my high school and college years who pushed me in different ways - sometimes as a runner, but often as a leader and person too. 
 
Your Role Model?
My father
 
Favorite Athlete?
Roger Federer. He's simply the greatest tennis player of all time and is cool as a cucumber on the court.
 
What do you foresee yourself doing in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
I want to continue running competitively for as long as I can. I hope to be able to make the US Olympic team one day, whether it's in the 10k or the marathon. I'll be serving as a astronautical engineer in the Space Force for my next military assignment!
 

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