Below is one in a series called Parker County Senior Spotlights, which highlights local spring-sport athletes whose final year of high school athletics has been affected by closures stemming from the COVID-19 virus.
Today’s Senior Spotlight is on Peaster High School track and cross country’s Natalie Smith.
Question: What has the opportunity to run track afforded you in life?
Answer: During my time running, I’ve gotten so much more than just [the chance] to compete. Through running cross country and track, I have met so many different people and made tons of friends who enjoy things that I do. I’ve also learned what it feels like to keep pushing myself after I have reached what I feel is my limit. I’ve been running cross country and track for the past five years and I wouldn’t change a thing. The results that I have gotten, and to see where I started and where I ended is shocking, and I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I did without my coach pushing me and encouraging me to go the extra mile.
Q: What are your thoughts on playing at the next level?
A: I’m excited to run at the college level with Tarleton State University. While I know that the races will be longer and the practices are going to be harder, I’m excited to see where I end up.
Q: As a student-athlete whose final high school season has been affected by COVID-19, what is your mentality in regard to getting through this experience?
A: I think the best mentality for everyone with or without the pandemic is that things happen, but God is in control and that he always has a plan, whether we agree with it or not. Although we may have not gotten to finish our track season, I’m grateful that I still got to compete in some of my favorite races and try a new race this year before I move on to bigger and faster races.