Entering the girls indoor track and field postseason, Law senior Kiara Smith was brimming with confidence and expected to finish the season strong in the 55-meter dash and long jump, her two main events.
Based on Smith’s work ethic and dedication to the sport, Law girls indoor track and field coach Joe Beler felt the same way.
Smith kicked off the season in impressive fashion with a win in the 55 in 7.25 seconds and a win in the long jump with a distance of 17 feet, 11.75 inches. She followed up that performance at the CIAC Class M meet with another pair of wins in the 55 (7.29) and the long jump (17-1.75). At the CIAC State Open, she was second in the long jump (17-6) and third in the 55 (7.29).
“Honestly, the success I had was expected,” Smith said. “I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work. I also treat my practices as if they were actually competitive meets. What that does is it mentally forces me to always do my best every single time I’m on the track or about to do the long jump.”
For her effort, Smith has been selected the Register Area girls indoor track and field MVP.
“My success hasn’t come easy, it’s taken a lot of hard work,” Smith said. “I always had the speed and I was always a good sprinter and long jumper. Another reason I improved and got better was I started eating healthier. I became more fit. That helped me get faster for the sprints and more competitive in the field events.”
Beler said Smith is a very special athlete.
“She is as good a person off the track as she is on it,” Beler said. “Kiara’s success is based on her strength and speed. Once she was able to combine her speed and strength she began to pop off the board in the long jump and pull away from competition on the track.
“As coaches, we only get the special athletes on occasions. I have been blessed to coach Kiara and have her be a part of the Law track family.”
Smith is a two-time first team All-State and All-SCC selection. She is currently competing in the outdoor track and field season.
Smith hopes to do both the 55 and long jump in college.
“Right now I’m looking at all my college options, my top three choices are St. John’s, Quinnipiac or Temple,” Smith said. “They are all Division I colleges and have very competitive programs. They have a lot of high-level athletes who can help me improve.”