Being a student athlete at any university is no small task, but to set the standard for your program is entirely another. Muskingum senior and Maysville High School Alum Tyler Smith's career came to a close last Saturday at the Ohio Athletic Conference Championships, but he went out in style.
Smith set a Muskingum school record in the 10K with a time of 32:06. His hard work and dedication on the track parallels his efforts in the classroom, and he's finally being recognized for both. Smith was recently named the OAC Scholar-Athlete of the Month for May.
The pyschology and sociology major will graduate with honors next month, while lettering all four years in both cross country and track and field. His success on the track has inspired his teammates and turned Smith into a leader on and off the field of play.
"Distance wise, he's always going to be known as that guy, and it's going to be hard to see him go for the program, said senior distance runner Nick Kallas. "He will be remembered as one of the guys who started everything."
This fall, he led the Muskingum cross country men to a 10th place finish at the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional Championships. His performance made him the first Muskie since 2004 to be named All-Region, and he nearly missed a spot at Nationals.
During the indoor track season, Smith won the 5,000 meter run at the OAC Split Meet at Capital University. He followed that performance in outdoors by setting a new meet record at the Muskie Duals in the 3,000 meter run, while also setting the Muskingum school record in the 10K.
Muskingum Track and Field Head Coach Jake Gleason said Smith runs an average of 60 to 80 miles per week throughout the offseason to stay in shape. "We had an exceptional cross country season at the conference and regional level, said Gleason. "Our underclassmen want to live up to that standard that he's set, so the future looks pretty bright."