Whitney Smith was singularly focused as a track standout from Stew-Stras High School. She parlayed that focus into competing for at the NCAA Division I level at Eastern Illinois University.

The leaper started with the long jump in 6th grade. They don’t have triple jump in junior high. Smith was 24th in the state in the long jump in 7th grade (13-7.5) and improved to 10th in the state (15-1.5) as an 8th grader.

She started triple jumping in high school and took a 1st place at a meet as a sophomore, going 32 feet and by the time she was done she was a state finalist.

Smith, who placed 12th at the IHSA Class A Outdoor State Meet in the triple jump as a junior (35’, 2.25”), already had four individual school records for Stew-Stras High School track and a shares in two more.

She owns the school record in the 100 meter dash, the 200 meter dash, and in her specialties, the long jump and the triple jump. She also was part of the school record 4x200 relay team and the school record 4x400 relay team.

Smith was the NTC champion in the 200 meters as a junior. She earned all-NTC conference honors by placing 2nd in the 100 meter dash, 2nd in the long jump, and 2nd in the triple jump.

As a junior, Smith set a new meet record at the Pana Invite for the triple jump (33-10.75). She was 2nd in the long jump at Pana by 3/4 of an inch (16-2).

At the Indoor State Meet, Smith placed 4th in the long jump and 8th in the triple jump.

At the Mt. Zion Girls Meet, Smith took 1st in the 200 meters (28.84), 1st in the long jump (16-11) and 1st in the triple jump (34-5.5). She was 6th in the 60 meter dash (8.758)

At the Gene Armour Invite at Urbana as a junior, Smith was 5th in the triple jump (33-11.25) and 11th in the long jump (16-1).

At EIU high school indoor meet at the start of the season, Smith claimed 4th in the triple jump (32-4). Smith was Top 10 in the 200 (28.92). She scored all five points for the Hatchets at the meet.

Her senior season she competed in the 1A Sullivan Sectional in both jumps, the 100 meter and 200 meter sprints. She advanced to the IHSA Class 1A State Championships in both the long jump and triple jump. Her season best long jump was 16’10,” while her season best triple jump was 34’3.

At EIU, as a freshman, she competed in indoor and outdoor track during the She competed in three meets during the indoor season in the long jump and triple jump.

Her season best in long jump was 15-07.50 at the EIU Early Bird, placing 6th. Her season best triple jump mark was 34-00.75 at the EIU Early Bird, placing 2nd. At the Illini, she was 34th in the long jump (14-2.5).

In the outdoor season, she competed in five meets in the long jump and triple jump. Her season best in the long jump was 15-07 at the EIU Big Blue. Her season best triple jump was 33-02 at the Louisville Lyles/Wood Meet.

As a sophomore at EIU, Smith went 16-1 in the long jump to place 10th at the EIU Early Bird Meet. She went 32-10.5 in the triple jump, claiming another Top 10 spot (7th).

At the John Craft Meet, Smith went 15-3.24 for 22nd in the long jump. She upped her distance in the triple jump to 33-5.25 to claim 7th place.

At the big Illini Invite, Smith was 19th in the long jump 914-9.75 and went 33-4 in the triple for 13th. Smith competd again in the EIU Friday Night Meet and went 15-11 in the long jump, placing 17th.

COVID-19 put an end to the outdoor season.

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

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