GREEENSBORO, N.C. – College students typically head home or visit popular vacation destinations over spring break, but Guilford College's Johnathan Smith is spending part of his respite in Grinnell, Iowa.
Smith, a sophomore sprinter, is in the Midwest as the Quakers' first competitor at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships. Grinnell College hosts this year's championships at the Charles Benson Bear Recreation and Athletic Center March 9-10. Smith is one of 13 men running in the preliminaries of the 60-meter dash Friday at 6:25. The finals are set for Saturday (3/10) at 4:35 p.m.
Smith qualified for the NCAA Championships with a school-record time of 6.84 seconds, which he ran in the preliminaries of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championships Feb. 24. His time was third-fastest in Division III this season, trailing only Colby College's Dominique Kone (6.80) and McMurry University's Kenneth Turner (6.81). Turner placed fourth in the 60 at last year's NCAA meet in 6.40 seconds and Kone was eighth in 9.45. The 2012 field also includes Nick Bee of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, who placed third in 2011.
The top-eight finishers garner All-America recognition from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Smith was a two-time All-American at the 2011 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships with a second-place finish in the 200 and a sixth-place time in the 100.
Full results of the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships can be found at www.ncaa.com.