Incoming freshman Connor Smith plans to join Asheville School's Cross Country team, and he will be a force to be reckoned with. At age 14, Smith is already a seasoned athlete. He has run Varsity Cross Country for Carolina Day School and regularly competes in local running races, cyclocross races, and triathlons.
This summer, Connor Smith has placed first in his age group in two triathlons, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
Connor Smith has been running with his father, Asheville School Director of Admission and Cross Country Coach John Smith, since he could run. "Connor has always expressed an interest in running," said John Smith. "Over the years, he has run with me and in family 5K runs—then in sixth and seventh grade he started taking running more seriously. He began to compete more consistently."
Last year, Connor Smith earned Carolina Athletics Association all-conference honors for his performance on Carolina Day School's boys cross country team.
This July, Connor Smith competed in the 2017 Hunter Subaru LPC Triathlon, where he finished first in his age group (men 19 and under) and ninth overall.
On July 23 Connor's mother and sister, Katie and Abby Smith, joined Connor and John Smith to compete in the 2017 Asheville Triathlon.
Connor Smith placed first in his age group and seventh overall, coming in at 1:04:28.7. John Smith placed third in his age group and 14th overall with a time of 1:09:08.7. Katie and Abby Smith joined forces on a team and finished the race with a time of 1:13:13.2.
Asheville School Coach and Director of Athletic Facilities Lecky Haller also competed in the triathlon, and he finished just after John Smith in 15th place overall and first in his age group with a time of 1:09:44.5.
John Smith is proud of his son, but he hasn't quite come to terms with Connor's competitive edge.
"It is odd as a parent to compete directly against your son," said John Smith. "I didn't know whether to cheer him on or tackle him," he joked. "Connor is an amazing athlete. I am excited to have the chance to coach him on our cross country team in the fall."
Both Smiths plan to continue their friendly rivalry in local races. Follow Asheville School on Facebook to cheer them on! Go Blues!