Story by Perry Cohen
National high school track phenom, James Smith, set a new personal record of 00:14.23 en route to a first place finish in the 110 meter hurdles at the 78th Chandler Rotary Invitational.
Despite earning first place, Smith, who runs for his father James Smith Sr. at Westwood high school, believes he didn’t run as well as he could.
“We kept the same game plan and focused on my first couple hurdles and staying tall,” Smith told Sports360AZ.com. “Today was a rough race but I had fun so I’m not disappointed with my performance.”
The five place-winners in the 110 meter hurdles all set personal records. However, Smith said the challenge of racing against the best in the state, or the nation for that matter, doesn’t play a role in his mind frame during events.
“I’m used to competition like this so it doesn’t bother me racing against people with the same kind of speed I have.”
Smith, who placed fourth at the USATF Hershey Junior Olympic Track and Field National Championships, is being recruited by some of the nations top college programs.
Although he has not committed yet, Smith said he has narrowed his list with Arizona State and Louisiana State near the top.