Middie Distance Running Superstar, Conant Smith, Reflects on the Competitive Road Ahead

09/22/2017

MIDDLETOWN – The 2017 OHSAA D-I boys cross country state championship could be held in Monroe, Ohio and the post-race podium probably wouldn’t look much different than it will in Hebron come November. You see, Monroe and 14 seconds happen to be the only two things that separate two of Ohio’s top cross country talents.

Lakota East senior Dustin Horter and Middletown High School junior Conant Smith is currently ranked the No. 1 and No. 2 runners in the Greater Miami Conference, and No. 2 and 4 in the State of Ohio according to Milesplit.com. Although both runners are well aware of each other, they have not faced off yet this season.

Smith, who has started the 2017 cross country campaign unblemished after five meets, is excited to see things tightening up this weekend when the Middies travel to Centerville for the annual Under the Lights meet where his competition will certainly be more difficult. “State is all that matters to me,” said MHS star Conant Smith.  “The regular season schedule is a process, but my focus is on winning a state championship.

“Coach (David Fultz) and I will have a plan for the course and a race strategy at Centerville. He may tell me to start the race faster and we will see some tougher runners there too, but my focus on November remains the same.

“I usually don’t get nervous pre-race, but tougher competition will change that. So, I may get a little unsettled. Centerville is a fairly flat course and those are my favorite because I don’t particularly like hills.”

Although Smith and Horter are not expected to compete Saturday night, they will find common ground at the GMC Championship and throughout the OHSAA postseason.  “When we finally meet on race day, I’m going to focus on me and not him. He will run his race and I will run mine. We’re both great competitors and we have a lot of respect for each other too.”

Article content and photo compliments of Middletown Assistant AD, Matt Louis