XC Journal: Courtney Smith, Unionville - Entry #2 - Sept 30 - Pain is good. Run faster.

Unionville senior Courtney Smith entered her third year of XC with a resume that has been growing season-to-season. As a sophomore, she was 4th in AAA at Hershey. Then last year, she won her first state title, setting a meet and course record. In the winter, she broke the state record in the 3000 meter run, but had to settle for 2nd place. She more than made up for it by twice outsprinting the same competitor, first for 3rd place in the Girls 3000 Invitational at the Penn Relays, and then in the finals of the AAA 3200 meter run at the PIAA State Championships. Smith led her team to a qualifying spot and trip to NXN after winning the Northeast Regional. But in the first 1000 meters in Portland, she fell and was spiked. She recovered for 10th. Then during indoor, and despite an injury, Smith captured 3rd in an incredible 3000 at PTFCA Indoor States, and anchored her DMR to a state title. Two weeks later, she anchored that DMR to a 6th place finish in the New Balance Nationals Indoor champs in a time ten seconds better than their state title... and anchored the 4xmile the next day to a 3rd place finish - both earning all-American recognition. But the injury endured. She went through PT, and returned to racing at the Henderson Invitational on May 2nd. Beyond happy to be back.


Outdoor Track:

Entry #10 5/5  |

Indoor Track

Entry #9 3/26

Cross Country: 

Entry #1 9/2  |  Entry #2 9/30  |  Entry #3 10/7  |  Entry #4 10/14  |  Entry #5 10/28  |  Entry #6 11/10  |  Entry #7 12/5  |  Entry #8 12/10


Courtney Smith
SR. Unionville HS, PA


Journal Entry #2 (September 30, 2013)
U takes down US#1 Fay-Man in NY


Hi again!

Last Saturday the team ran in the Cherokee Invitational which is a two mile race by grade. It provides an opportunity for the younger runners to step up and the team did really well! We had ten runners under 12:10 and placed third/fifth in freshman race, first/fifth in sophomore race, first/third/tenth/eleventh in junior race and first/second in senior race.

This weekend, we left for McQuaid on Friday morning and continued our tradition of decorating the van with window markers. The van fits nine girls plus Coach Lac and we didn't hit much traffic so it took around 7 hours. We only stopped for the bathroom three times, which is pretty good for a van of nine hydrating girls. The ride was really fun and actually went by very quickly. We listened to music, talked, ate food, played Catch Phrase, and did some homework.


We arrived at the course to learn the route and did pre-meet around 3. After that, we checked into the hotel and got ready for dinner. We went to Carrabba's for dinner so we could all have pasta.


Then we went back to the hotel, had our pre-race meeting, and did some of our usual team pre-big race routines like elevating our legs before bed.

On Saturday we made sure everyone was up for a team breakfast at 8, even though our race wasn't until 4 in the afternoon. The hotel had a free buffet breakfast which was perfect for us. Before the race we were really excited to compete with the number one team in the nation! On paper, we knew we had a shot to win and we were going to give it everything we had, even though we realized that a lot of other people saw us as the underdogs since we weren't mentioned in the preview. We all attempted to do some homework, but mostly we just listened to music and started to get focused for the race. We had been talking about Fayetteville-Manlius so much that one of our new runners thought the entire van ride up that we were driving to a dual meet:).

Around 11 we left the hotel and grabbed lunch at Wegman's before heading to the course. When we arrived and saw how perfect the weather and course conditions were, we knew we were ready for some fast times. Coach Lac gave us goal paces and had to do some running today to be at the mile, mile and a half, and the two mile for all nine of us! We were very impressed.

Our race had some really great runners from all over. Katie Lembo took the lead and set the pace for the first half of the race. Around the mile I caught the lead pack that was a couple seconds behind her and I came through the mile in around 5:30. By the mile and a half I had worked my way up to second and came through in around 8:21. Since it was my first time on the course, it really helped having the Gator. I took the lead a little before the two mile (11:11) and then pushed it the rest of the way. I finished in 16:46 and the other eight Unionville girls were not far behind me!

Olivia and Emily came through in seventh and eighth respectively, then Kacie and Elizabeth rounded out our top five in fifteenth and sixteenth.



It was both of their first big meets and they really jumped right into competing! We were really proud of our team depth even though it wasn't everyone's best day and we know we all still have a lot of room to improve! This meet really got us psyched for the rest of the season and we are excited to see how good we can be! We ended up beating Fayetteville-Manlius 45-79 and it was great to represent PA against the NY teams! Next up for us is the Manhattan Invitational in two weeks.

After the meet we stopped at Subway and saw the Elmira girls there too. On the long ride home (where we didn't return to the school until almost 3 am... It was quite an adventure) we had a couple problems along the way, but it all worked out okay and we had lots of fun the whole time! During the ride, I asked the girls (and Coach Lac) for some quotes and this is what they said:

G dawg (Gretchen): "I feel like running gives me a purpose. It's the best thing to do because of the accomplishment but most importantly the team. They are the bestest, smartest, lovablest people in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These people are the most fun, hardworking teammates and I love all of them super uber much. We kicked booty today and we are #1! I did bad but I can only get better from here tehehehe"

Coach Lac: "A weekend away with a team is about sacrificing -- time, money, etc --- I cannot imagine our weekend turning out any better than it did. We have a terrific group of young women and I look forward to seeing where our season takes it."

Kacie: "We all take care of each other here on this team. On the course, I know everything will turn out okay because I know my teammates will push me and that I am not alone. My teammates are all amazing athletes, students, and friends. I am blessed to be a part of this team and so proud of everyone for their efforts at McQuaid! Way to go U! Also this weekend was the best one ever!"

Cami: "I had such a fun time this weekend. I absolutely love all these girls. They make me who I am. Their encouragement, sympathy, enthusiasm and so much more. I couldn't ask for a better team. Everyone ran a phenomenal 3 miles and I can't wait to see how well we do at Manhattan in two weeks." "The faster you run the sooner you're done!" "It would have hurt more if we didn't do well"

Elizabeth: "I had so much fun this weekend with all of the girls. This was my first big meet with the girls and also my first meet where I had to stay overnight. I absolutely love all of the girls on this team and I can't wait until our next meet! "If you can't deal with it, run from it!"

Bridgette: "I couldn't imagine this weekend turning out any better. Even though some of us didn't have the absolute best races, we were able to rely on the rest to get the job done. Cross country is such an amazing sport because we can all depend on each other in every single race. This team is my family and I'm so blessed to be a part of it!" "Pain is fun I will go faster!" (Quote Courtney told me my freshman year and I thought that she was insane )"

Molly- "It has been so exciting to be a part of this AMAZING team and this weekend was a chance to show everyone how bo$$ we actually are. I am very honored to be on a team with the best peeps eva!!"

Olive (Olivia)- "It's been inspiring to watch our team grow this year. All of the newbies have bought into the program and their additions have been so important for our success. Our strength comes from each other. All of our hard work this summer and fall is beginning to pay off, and this fantastic race is just more motivation for practice so together we can run well at the end of the season."

Emily- "Mcquaid was a great opening for our team, we all ran in groups and pushed each other. The younger runners did great in their first meet off the leadership of some of the juniors in their group who have really helped them this season."  --

So far I have been really enjoying senior year. Everything has been really exciting, but busy with college visits each weekend. I'm going to miss my team so much next year and there is no other high school team I'd rather have spent the last three years with! I was going to write about my college visits in this entry, but there ended up being so much to say about other things that I will save that for next week!

Good luck to all the PA runners! Courtney