Aubrey Smith poised to finish strong

Aubrey Smith is ready to jump into the pages of FIU’s track & field record books. But it has been no ordinary journey for the fifth year senior to reach this point.

Following a season where he was only able to compete in one meet, the last Sun Belt Conference Championship FIU competed in, Smith knows the stage is set for him to leave his legacy as a Panther.

“Everything is really coming together right now. I feel like my form is right on point, and it’s all setting up for me to have a huge meet,” Smith said.

The meet Smith is referring to would be FIU’s first ever participation in the newly formed Conference USA Track & Field Championships. Taking place this Thursday, May 15, at Rice University in Houston, Texas over the course of five days of competition.

The newly arranged conference brings in talented jumping schools such as Louisiana Tech, the University of Texas at El Paso, and Middle Tennessee State University. With FIU’s triple jump record in Smith’s sights, this meet will be a proving grounds full of worthy competition he will also see at Regionals.

Smith is confident for a reason though. After putting in hours watching tape he recently realized there was a “hiccup” in his jumps. A point in the air where his momentum could still be carrying him forward, but because of the natural instinct to want to kick out early he was eliminating time in the air.

Since last competing at the Florida Relays in early April he has altered and fine-tuned his form. This new form has reassured him that he is ready to breakthrough to a new personal best hopefully surpassing FIU’s record of 15.52 meters, which he currently only sits .04 meters behind.

“People always told me there was more hang time left in me, but honestly, it’s pretty hard to think about all those things while flying through the air. It wasn’t until I really took a hard look at the tape did I realize they were right and I just needed to focus more on my form; rather than just power and speed,” Smith said.

Smith has his eyes set on bigger achievements outside of NCAA competition as well. Born in Jamaica but raised in Toronto, Smith is a naturalized Canadian. He is intently focused on making the 2015 World University Games in South Korea. Having missed the 2013 Games by only 21 centimeters last year, representing Canada next year would be the ultimate redemption.

To understand the potential within him at this point you have to recognize his past performances. You see, Smith didn’t begin triple jumping until his final year of high school. That very same year he went on to win the Canadian National Championships as an 18 year old.

Following two very successful All-American years at Webber International, Smith transferred to FIU in the fall of 2012. Nagged by an osteochondritis injury in his ankle for the first two years limited his performances to the point where Smith is not yet satisfied with the mark he has left here at FIU.

“Aubrey is very eccentric and a great guy. He brings a lot of energy to the team and makes sure everyone competing is supported,” Head Coach Ryan Heberling said.

The triple jump has been his main event since arriving here at FIU, but it wasn’t always that way. Aubrey recognizes the long jump has his first love but his “affair” with the triple jump began when he won the Canadian Nationals in that event. He feels confident in both events for the first time in years and knows he has the chance to demonstrate that now.

What Smith does from here on out is completely on him. Lots of athletes can feel confident and say they’re prepared. But in the most individualized sport around, the biggest enemy is yourself, and Smith feels like he just figured out how to beat him.


Photo courtesy of Aubrey Smith


About the Author

Oscar Baldizon
: Radio Host for Panther Sports Talk Live. Majoring in Broadcast Media, Class of 2016. Enjoy long walks on the beach and dishing out savvy sports knowledge.

1 Comment on "Aubrey Smith poised to finish strong"

  1. Victor Baldizon | May 29, 2014 at 3:37 PM | Reply

    Excelente trabajo

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