Terrell is terrific
Published 12:11 am Sunday, May 25, 2014
Sprinter dominated in Class 5A
Following a recent interview with a reporter, Terrell Smith made a point to thank his family, coaches and community for their role in his success.
Fiercely loyal to Vicksburg, and Mississippi in general, he’s proud to fly a flag for the city and state. Someday, he might even fly it for all the world to see.
Smith, a senior sprinter for Vicksburg High, capped a stellar high school career this season by winning three gold medals the MHSAA Class 5A state meet. He set an overall state record with his time of 21.03 in the 200 meters and also won the 100 meters and long jump.
Smith’s long list of accolades includes seven individual state championships over the past four years, a top-four finish at the 2013 USATF Junior Olympics, and a track scholarship to Kansas State next season.
He’s also the boys Athlete of the Year on The Vicksburg Post’s first-ever All-County Track and Field team.
“It’s very much an accomplishment,” Smith said. “The first of anything is always good. The first person to break a record, the first to put a new time on a track. You’re the first. Can’t nobody take that from you.”
Smith excelled throughout his high school career. He won the state title in the 100 meter dash in 2013 and 2014 — with the fastest time in the state both years — and the long jump this season. His best event is the 200 meters, which he won four times.
Smith said the mental and physical challenge of the 200 made it his favorite event.
“I like short races. I like the 200. It’s about who can sustain it. It’s about strength, more. Can you sustain while other people are running beside you?” Smith said. “The 100 is just a quick race. Whoever has the most speed coming out.”
If there’s one thing Smith has, it’s speed to spare. His best 200 meter time this season, 20.79 seconds, would’ve put him in the top 10 of the Big 12 Conference that Kansas State competes in, and in the top 50 nationally.
“That’s not bad since I’m still in high school,” he said.
Smith, though, has far bigger goals in mind.
A few years down the road, a pro track career is a possibility. So are the 2020 Olympics, if he can continue to improve.
“To come from Mississippi and do that, it’s something big,” Smith said. “It’d put us on the map, because everybody overlooked us. Like we’re not even really here, we’re just a state. That is very irritating. It makes me feel like we’re just irrelevant. I hate that.”
Reaching that level, Smith said, would mean more than just proudly representing Mississippi and the United States on his sport’s biggest stage.
It would mean he’d made it, when so many others had fallen by the wayside.
A few days before the state meet, when he was still eyeing the four-year sweep in the 200 meters and the state record, Smith said it was important to him not to be just a flash in the pan.
“If I accomplish it, I feel like people will remember me as the best to ever come out of Mississippi,” he said, referring to the 200 meter record. “And if I sustain it in college, then they’ll remember my name until I’m long gone. Right now, people just hear about people for a couple of years and then they disappear and they forget about them and they’re looking for the next best thing. I don’t want that to be me.”