Athlete Spotlight: Jordan Smith


Emma North

Student athlete and Lambert High school senior, Jordan Smith, takes time out of her busy athletic schedule to pose on the bleachers.

As a student athlete myself, being responsible for both maintaining a decent GPA along with keeping your body conditioned can be a tough balance that takes time and practice to achieve. For instance, the majority of Lambert sport programs demand at least an hour of practice or more, following a schedule of 5 days a week: the same amount of days in a conventional school week.  Considering the workload of various AP classes on top of a full athletic schedule, anyone who has found the balance between the two has accomplished a feat. In this case, Lambert student and track athlete, Jordan Smith, has earned the student-athlete spotlight as a highly driven person both on and off the track.

In an interview with the athlete herself, Jordan Smith enlightened me that her track career started as a sprinter for her middle school track team in the seventh grade. “One of my best friends had the idea to try out for fun so I went along with it.” Given that Riverwatch Middle School is a rather smaller size, they do not have a real track on campus. Instead they use their school bus parking lot. She let me know she “never would have thought that running my first 100 meters in the parking lot of my middle school would turn into a passion for sprinting I would pursue for the next few years.”

Before she found her passion for running however, Jordan participated in a variety of sports such as soccer and basketball. “Soccer was a way for me to stay in shape in the fall but travel basketball was a huge part of my life for so many years. My basketball team won three national titles and earned a spot in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame,” she commented on her history of sports. Interested in how she came to balance three sports, I inquired about the amount of time management to maintain such an active lifestyle. The athlete detailed how “playing sports years around was difficult, but the spring was especially hard when track and travel basketball overlapped. I knew once I got to high school, I would have to choose between them.” She expands further by explaining that “even though my Dad was the coach of my travel basketball team, he could see that. There was no pressure on me to continue playing basketball and track was clearly my sport.”

The student athlete told me that she currently partakes in the “4 by 100m, 400m, 200m, and the 4 by 400m,” but since middle school had been “running the “100 and 200 meter.” It wasn’t until sophomore year that “my coach threw me into a 4 by 400 B team because someone was injured. After I ran, he told me I would be running the 400m next year and it ended up being my race.”

Despite the technique, timing, patience, and practice that running 400m takes, Jordan was able to get her time from a minute to 55 seconds in a couple of months. A feat like this coming from a junior in high school has not only made her one of the most recognizable athletes in Lambert’s track and field history, but her success landed her in some of the most prestigious meets across the state.

After the majority of spring sports were wrapping up, Jordan was still competing amongst Georgia’s fastest athletes at The State Championship and Georgia Meet of Champions. Her drive for glory, however, did not stop there; over the summer, the athlete ran in the New Balance Outdoor National Championships for the 400m which she insisted was “incredibly exciting.”

Curious about how the sport came to be a hobby turned career, I questioned the potency of her passion for the sport. She said that “track is important to me because I love to compete and run,” but she further details that “I have not only found some of my best friends by running track, but I have also built relationships with coaches and mentors that have been so crucial in my life.”

Under the influence of drive and dedication, Jordan Smith has clearly established her legacy as a noteworthy athlete. In her case of balancing a full workload while training to be the best, she has so far been granted access to opportunities that go far beyond Lambert High school.