GULF SHORES, Ala. – Spring Arbor University's Joshua Smith put the finishing touches on a spectacular freshman season with a record-breaking performance in the 110 meter hurdles at the 2016 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships.
In what would be the final race of the season for the Sterling Heights, Michigan native, Smith not only posted a personal-best time of 14.62, but smashed a 34-year old school record – a mark that had previously belonged to his father, and SAU Athletics Hall of Famer, Darrow Smith. His time in Friday's prelims was 0.26 seconds faster than his previous PR and 0.22 seconds better than his father's all-time best, which had stood as the program's benchmark since 1982.
In search of his second All-American honor of the year, Smith needed a top-eight finish in Friday's race. He would also need to be one of the first eight runners to cross the finish line to qualify for tomorrow's event final. However, he would come up just short, landing in ninth place only 0.01 seconds behind the seventh and eighth place finishers.
"He entered the national championships ranked 23rd and, praisefully, walked away ninth in the nation, giving God, his team and his family his best," said head coach Jeremy Smith. "I'm super proud of how Josh does what he does, humbly giving his all, and giving God the glory before and after his race."
After just one full year with the Cougars, Smith owns program records in two events, the 60 meter hurdles and 110 meter hurdles, and ranks fifth in the 400 meter hurdles.