Before Rebekah Smith became one of the ACC’s best sprinters, she was focusing her talents elsewhere … she focused on becoming a dancer.
“I started ballet when I was five years old. I kept dancing until my freshman year in high school, but then I started running track,” she said. “Now I have a new path that I’m taking.”
Dancer turned track star is not often heard of, but Smith makes it look like an ideal path to success. Her idea of success is simple … she wants to make it nationals.
“A goal for me is to get top sixteen so I can go to nationals,” she said. “I’m suppose to do that today, but it didn’t happen, but I have two more meets.”
Smith’s accomplishments show she made the right choice being a track athlete at Clemson. She ranks fourth all-time in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.26 and is second all-time in program history in the indoor 200-meter dash with a time of 23.30. She also achieved All-ACC status in five events between indoor and outdoor ACC Championships.
The sprinter qualified for finals on Friday at the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson in the 60-meters with a time of 7.29. Only three other runners qualified with times under 7.30.
Where does Smith’s motivation to accomplish so much come from?
It use to be mentor and teammate Torie Robinson, but since graduating Smith has been her own motivation.
“Now that I’m the oldest one, I have to find my motivation within myself,” she said. “I also have to be a leader for the other three girls who are on my team. I keep pushing myself and reminding myself of all the goals I have. ”
There is much for Smith to be proud of for what she has achieved on the track, but what she is most proud of off the track is her accomplishments in academics.
“Beside being and athlete, I’m a student first,” Smith said. “Being able to keep my grades and be ACC-All Academic is a great opportunity for me.”
During the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Smith received All-ACC academic honors for track.
–Photo by Kim Montuoro, Clemson University Athletic Communications
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