Aubrey Smith jumps into the track and field record books

Oscar Baldizon/Staff Writer


Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal.

Those are the words underneath a picture of Aubrey Smith long jumping. A picture an old coach gave to Smith a long time ago. One that he carries around with him to constantly remind himself of the mentality one needs to realize their goals.

Words have never rang so true. When you sit down with Smith and have a conversation with him the first thing one notices is his confidence. Whether it is a game of pickup basketball, a PS4 video game, or the NCAA Regionals, Smith is always going to have that same sureness about himself.

Some might criticize and preach humility, but Smith has no time for them. He has his goals laid out before him and his mindset is that nothing will stop him from achieving them.

It hasn’t even been two weeks since Smith made it clear that he was ready to leave his mark here at FIU and had his sights set on the FIU triple jump record heading into the Conference USA championships. No one could have predicted the record breaking performance that followed.

Smith broke FIU’s long jump record his first attempt at the C-USA Championships. A record that belonged to Kevone Fair and had stood since 2000.

“I felt great heading into C-USA Championships. My form was on point and I knew I was set for a big jump. When I hit 7.80 meters it was more of a relief than excitement. I knew I had it in me and it felt amazing to finally put it down in a big meet,” Smith said.

Smith isn’t the only bright spot in FIU Track & Field this year though. For the first time in history, FIU Track & Field is sending eight athletes to compete at the NCAA Regionals this year; Phillicia Fluellen (Long Jump), Raqurra Ishmar (Shotput), Tiffani Hernandez (Javelin), Cam’Ree Jackson (100m), Oriel Anu (4×100), T’keyah Dumoy (4×100), and Khristian Campbell (100m).

“Aubrey is a great competitor, he loves to try and beat you in anything. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive and motivating teammate,” Campbell said.

Smith is currently seeded 7 in the East region heading into this week’s Regionals being held at the University of North Florida. Considering a top 12 finish in Regionals qualifies you for Nationals, Smith is in a great position to earn a bid to Oregon. He also recognizes the attention and exposure he could bring to FIU if he qualifies for Nationals.

“Coming out of high school I wanted to go somewhere I could mold and form my own legacy. FIU has given me so many opportunities and now I want to show everybody why they did. I want to qualify for Nationals and walk around Oregon from head to toe in FIU gear displaying my Panther Pride,” Smith said.

Smith recently met Canadian jumping legend, Edrick Floreal, at the Florida Relays in April. The owner of the Canadian national records for long and triple jump, and now the Head Coach of the Kentucky Wildcats as well, loved that Smith voices his expectations and fully supports him in his quest to one day be considered amongst Canada’s greatest jumpers.

Smith’s next goal is to break into the 8 meter club. No ordinary feat considering Jesse Owens mark of 8.06 meters stood as the World Record for 25 years. If all goes well at Regionals, Smith will have two chances to do so in the biggest meets the NCAA offers.

“I love the bright lights. Something about the pressure of being on the big stage is exhilarating and addicting. It’s an adrenaline rush and I love every second of it,” Smith said.

The Diamond League is Track & Field’s equivalent of the MLB in baseball or the NBA in basketball. A league Smith hopes to one day compete in and represent not only Canada, but FIU as well.

Coming out of high school Smith was as raw a talent as they come. But over time he has begun to learn the intricacies it takes to be full time competitive athlete.

A piece of coal placed under immense pressure is forged into a diamond. With the right mix of hard work, determination, and confidence this piece of coal could shine bright in the Diamond League someday soon.

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.

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