SMC Track star: Genesis Smith
On Monday afternoon, Santa Monica College Track and Field athlete Genesis Smith sat at the top of the bleachers at Corsair Stadium and stared at the track below. “I wish I was on my game a little more,” Smith said heavily showing the wear and disappointment from his previous competitions.
As the only athlete from SMC’s Track and Field team to qualify for the State Track and Field Championship in the triple jump, Smith with the results of 13.81 meters, finished the competition in 9th place.
“Things happen and I know now,” Smith said. “I am glad that I went and saw it. I learned a lot, but everyone is good.”
Three weeks ago, the weight of the upcoming Southern California Regionals at Cerritos College was bearing its full brunt.
“I was really tired," said Smith.
Regretting his seasonal approach of not putting in “100% from the start” and instead using the “cramming like a test” method in the last two weeks, Smith continued to emphasize his underperformance due to the lack of “consistency”.
Smith was anxious, twitchy and alone as the majority of his teammates were under the injury tent.
He made it to the regional finals, barely, with a distance of 14.04 meters.
Now, back at Cerritos, he is much calmer.
This time he is alone by design. Smith is the only SMC athlete to have made it to finals.
He is buried under his brilliant red Beats headphones by Dre.
“I love music. I love acting. I love everything,” Smith said, the words falling out of his mouth. “I have been loving Frank Sinatra’s album “Where are you?” and in specifically the song “The Night We Called It a Day,” Smith said.
He listens to something different before every jump.
“There is this beat inside of me that never leaves. It is like riding a bike; you don't lose it,” Smith said.
After the regional finals, it took two days for the official word to come to Track and Field head coach Larry Silva that Smith had advanced to the State Finals.
Yet Smith retains a cool exterior despite the pressure of high achievement.
“I come here to charge my phone,” Smith said. As he starts to talk, he begins to relax, the weight of competition lifts. The bleachers are where he goes when he becomes tense. He can see everything and the first thing that comes to his mind is how he began.
Born in Fort Irwin, Calif. to a Seargent in the United States Army and shared running with him.
“I always ran with my dad,” Smith said. “I [run] to think. I always ran next father when we were thinking. You think a lot when you run,” Smith said.
Smith started cross-country in 6th grade and started track in 10th grade at Silver Valley High School, continuing later at Granite HIlls High School.
He may return to his cross country roots in the fall but his mind, immediately at least, is on his true love
“I like to song-write and play the drums,” Smith said. When asked about his upcoming plans, with no hesitation Smith said “music.”
And so, Smith will continue his career at SMC as a gemini athlete, lost in the rhythm of his sport and his beloved melodies.