Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Smith discusses conference win

Junior Isaac Smith on the Augustana College Track.

The Observer sat down with junior Isaac Smith. Smith was a big contributor to the men’s track and field CCIW Indoor Conference meet win.
1. How did it feel to be a big part of the reason the team won its first ever indoor CCIW championship?
“I would have to say I am both incredibly proud and honored to be a part of this team. The guys are fantastic; the energy and support everyone shows is incredible and is a big reason everyone did as well as they did.”
2.Describe your favorite race to run and why?
“My favorite race is the 4x400m relay, without a doubt. With the number of talented athletes on our team, we generally run multiple relays. It’s awesome to get to compete with the guys on my team, because it’s generally the last event at a meet. There is nothing so inspiring than to run surrounded by my teammates cheering for me.”
3. What are some goals the team set for this season? 
“Some of the goals the team set for the rest of the season have included being in the hunt for the outdoor CCIW conference championship and sending multiple events to big meets such as the Drake Relays and NCAA outdoor nationals.”
4. What is one obstacle the the team has overcome so far?
“One obstacle the team has overcome is injuries. We have had multiple guys battling with injuries and going through great lengths to make sure they are ready to compete to their fullest.”
5.If you had to describe your team in one word, what would it be and why?
“If I were to describe the team in one word it would be ‘celebration.’ It’s sort of a philosophy that the team has: we celebrate life. We celebrate our achievements whether it be a good race or one of our members receiving an academic award. Our coaches and captains go above and beyond to recognize and acknowledge all aspects of our team, and it makes for a great environment.”
6. As a junior, what are some of your aspirations looking ahead to your senior season?
“Looking ahead to my senior season, I just want to do whatever I can to carry on the incredible legacy this team has. I have hopes of continuing to represent our team at national events as well as conference championships. I also hope to help in passing on the lessons and support I have received to the up-and-coming members of the team.”
7. What has been your all-time favorite racing moment?
“My all time favorite racing moment was my freshman year at the indoor conference meet. I was in the open 400 along with David Voland and two guys from North Central. I remember coming down the home stretch and being one and two with David, who ended up beating me by 0.01 seconds. Knowing who David is and what he has done, it made me feel incredibly accomplished just to be competing with him so closely.”
8. What are your feelings about former teammate David Voland raising money to attend the Olympic trials?
“David Voland is not only one of the greatest competitors I have known, but is one of the most humble and genuine friends I have had. He has been and continues to be a person I look up to not only as an athlete but as an individual. I hold him in very high regard, and if anyone deserves the support, it’s him. He has a real shot at doing incredible things at the Olympic Trials, and I wish him the best of luck.”
9. Who do you look up to most on the team and why?
“I look up to my coach Paul Olsen the most. Ols has been coaching for around 50 years. He genuinely loves what he does, and the amount of support and wisdom he offers is incredible. He is as equally invested in his athletes growing as individuals as he is in helping them become the best competitors they can be. He teaches every athlete he has that life is about the journey, not the destination. His guidance is one of many reasons so many great athletes have come out of his program.” 
10. What outdoor meet will be the toughest for the team and why?
“The outdoor meet that will be the toughest for our team will be the CCIW outdoor conference championship. Having just won the indoor title, we have high goals for outdoor and will have to continue with the energy and spirit we had with us there. That being said, we have a great outdoor team and will definitely be in the hunt to win it.”

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Smith discusses conference win