A short time after it began, the coronavirus pandemic forced the CIF to cancel the rest of the spring sports season, which meant an abrupt ending to the high school careers of spring sports seniors around the central valley. As a way of honoring some of these outstanding seniors, our Sports Central team will be presenting a series of stories called “Senior Standouts” each Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday through the end of June.
CLOVIS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Corie Smith’s senior year isn’t ending the way she hoped.
“I mean, I’m not going back to school. I don’t have prom. It’s just a whole bunch of stuff that I’m missing out on as a senior in general,” she said.
The Buchanan Bear would have been on the short list of favorites to win a state title in the 3,200-meter run at this year’s state track & field championships.
“She is crazy competitive,” says Buchanan head track & field coach Brian Weaver. “When it’s time to go, she will go.”
Smith has been one of the state’s best distance runners since she arrived at Buchanan as a freshman, and she was a key part of recent Buchanan team titles in both sports. But her only state individual title came in cross country as a sophomore.
“Coming into this track season, I felt good,” says Smith. “I knew I was doing great training-wise, and it was only March but I was like, ‘I think we’re doing great so far as a team, and individually.'”
We are not done seeing Corie Smith on some big stages. She’ll be running for the University of Arkansas next year, the defending college national champion in cross country and track & field.
“Obviously, when I first started running, and just high school in general, I never thought I’d have the opportunity to kind of pick where I wanted to go,” she said.
If you listen to her high school coach, the adjustment to the next level might not be much of an adjustment at all.
“She can handle a harder training pace than most people can even race at,” says Weaver. “She’s built for college and beyond, if that’s the choice she wants to make.”