Going the Distance

As the fall sports season comes to a close, accolades have begun to roll in. This year, one King’s cross country senior has received recognition not only in-state but nationally both in sports and in the classroom.

Naomi Smith finished her third and final season with the King’s Cross Country program earlier this month placing 2nd in the 1A State Girls Cross Country Championship meet. She ends her 3-year cross country career with a 7th, 1st, and 2nd place State Championship trophy, respectively.

Smith is also known for her smarts. Averaging a 4.0 while taking numerous AP courses, this past September, Naomi was recognized as one of 16,000 high school students in the country when she was named a Semifinalist in the 65th Annual National Merit Program. This places her in the top 1% nationally for PSAT test scores of all high school students. With this ranking, Smith has a chance to move towards earning a National Merit Scholarship, offered to only 7,500 students in the country.

Naomi began her freshman year at King’s as a junior-varsity volleyball player, never having been a part of a cross country program, however, Smith always knew she loved to run. After trying one of the Knights practices “for fun” after her volleyball season ended freshman year, Smith broke the school record in that day’s timed-trial.

The following year, Smith decided to turn out for the cross country program, and in just two years has made her way up the national polls as a high school runner.

This season, with a time of 17 minutes and 21.7 seconds, Smith held the second-fastest high school girls’ time in the entire state regardless of classification. This time ranked her at 47th-fastest in the nation.

Smith ended her high school cross country career running the 5k course at the State meet in 18 minutes and 24 seconds.

Smith plans to continue her distance-running career for the University of Washington Track and Field team next fall.