Local runner places fifth at nationals

Kristen Smith made ‘All-American? in the 5K event at the Nike Track National in North Carolina.
She took fifth place after running 17:43, 10 seconds faster than her time last year.
‘I was happy,? said Smith. ‘But I wasn’t satisfied with the time. I wanted to at least break 17:40. This year I expected to do better after all of the training.?
She competed against 25 runners from the Midwest, including three from Michigan.
Smith said she noticed there were a lot more girls competing last year.
‘The race was small, but still lots of good competition,? said Smith.
‘She has been third and fourth in the state,? said Clarkston Girls Track Coach John Yorke. ‘This puts her in lead in the state. It puts her on top for recruits now it puts on demand for division one schools.?
Track members Andrea Butler, Tiffany Kincaid, and Jenna Manilla joined Smith in the 3200 relay team in the Nike Nationals Emerging Elite division. This was the first year the relay team made an appearance at the competition.
They were also there to support and cheer for Smith.
‘It’s so much different when teammates are there. Even though it’s an individual event it was nice to have teammates there,? said Smith.
This was Smith’s third appearance at the competition.
Her freshmen year she competed in the freshman mile and last year she took 12th place in the 5K run.
Next year she might compete in the two mile even for something different or work to break 17:40.
‘I need to see what place and shape I am in,? said Smith.
Placing ahead of Smith in the 5K were Ashley Brasovan from Florida (16:18.91), Chelsea Ley from New Jersey (17:12.08), Tiffany Abrahamian from Rochester Hills, Mich. (17:20.07), and Sophia Ziemian from Pennsylvania (17:34.98).
‘She’s a very determined athlete and a great leader for younger athletes,? said Yorke.
Her goals for her upcoming senior year are to break 17:40 in cross country and for track she would like to break 10:40-10:45 in her 3200 meter event and five minutes in the mile run.
‘It’s hard to predict,? said Smith. ‘You can’t control what everyone else does.?