Full interview with Jake Smith, formerly of Cibola HS and
now running for University of Texas San Antonio
Leo Daschbach is running later today in the Quarantine Clasico to try to break the 4-minute mile with a handful of other top high school runners from the western part of the United States. And like Leo, these other boys had a slew of athletic scholarship opportunities thrown their way from big time Division I programs because of how good they were in track and field. But what if you're not a top-ranked US track and field athlete, but want to run Division 1, what do you do? According to Jake Smith, who graduated from Cibola in 2018 and got a partial scholarship to run for The University of Texas San Antonio Road Runners, a Division I program in Conference USA, you need to reach out.
In our above interview with Jake we learned about his journey to being a able to run for a DI collegiate team after putting down good high school distance times (2:04, 4:25, 9:33, 15:53) while running for Cibola. He said that he wouldn't have been able to run DI if he didn't reach out and was persistent about the process.
How to compete in college
We have written previously this spring about how there are many ways to compete collegiately in track and field, if you truly want to. We would suggest looking at our "D-1 Not the Only One" series, where we highlight a few AZ athletes this year who are running at colleges other than Division I programs.
Also, we would have you look at our interview with Josh Thompson, who is a top professional middle-distance runner now in the US, but had a very circuitous route to being the runner he is today. If Central Arizona College hadn't reached out to Josh after his senior year in high school, he was not even planning on running in college, let alone think about being a professional track & field athlete.