Murray State athlete crosses the Atlantic and finishes third in 10K
Story by Lily Harris, Assistant Sports Editor
Meagan Smith, sophomore at Murray State, found herself racing a 10K on the cobblestone streets of Paris during her last weekend of her study abroad trip to France this summer.
The “Foulees Dueme” race through the Bois de Vincennes section of Paris was Smith’s first international race. She finished third out of 224 women, first in her age group and 115th out of 807 total participants.
Smith crossed the finish line at 39 minutes, 38 seconds.
“That is not my best time, but I am very proud of my time,” Smith said. “This was the best road race I have ever run.”
Smith is one of the top runners on Murray State’s cross country team. She came in first for the Racers and placed 15th overall at the OVC championships. She also came in second for the Racers at regionals.
Smith is also one of the top distance runners for the track team. She participates on the 800-meter race. She wrapped up her track season with a seventh place at OVC and is now ninth in the Murray State All-Time Best list.
Running has always been a passion for Smith. She was a four-year member of the track and field team and two-year member of the cross-country team at Danville High School.
Among many accomplishments in high school, she was cross-country state champion in 2012 and 2013, was Danville High School Runner of the Year in 2013, Kentucky Track Cross Country Coaches Association Cross-Country Runner of the Year 2012 and 2013 and in Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2014.
“I had the pleasure of coaching Meagan throughout her high school career however, it is Meagan’s character that makes her a champion,” said Danville High School Head Coach, Chris Verhoven. “She is a fantastic student, a supportive teammate, and a sweetheart to everyone that is around her.”
Smith’s goals for the season are to help lead her team to a victory at OVC after the women’s team came in fifth last season. She also wants to beat her personal record in cross-country and track.
Running has already opened doors for Smith in France; she was determined to run a race while she was there. During the trip she learned to rely on her independent skills to be able to finish her race.
For Smith the culture of studying abroad was a shock and though she wasn’t sure what she would take away from it—she knew she would take away something.
She hopes to study abroad again.
“The study abroad program was an amazing opportunity,” Smith said. “Running in the 10K was the best experience of the whole trip; I look forward and hope I get another opportunity to do it again.”