"I’m excited to just put myself in it and be a part of it and give myself a chance. I think incredible things happen when you believe in yourself and stay in the here and now and give yourself the chance."
On June 11, 2022, Brigham Young University graduate Courtney Wayment Smith made NCAA history. Competing at NCAA Championships, she ran the 3000m steeplechase in 9:16 — not only taking a commanding win, but breaking the collegiate national record (previously held by now-Olympian Courtney Frerichs) in the process. That time also put her at #5 on the all-time U.S. women's steeplechase list, behind Frerichs, Emma Coburn, Colleen Quigley, and Jenny Simpson.
To celebrate, Courtney signed with an agent (Ray Flynn) and signed her first professional contract with On! The icing on the cake: Courtney competed at USATF Outdoor Championships this past weekend, where she finished second in the 3000m steeplechase, earning her a spot on Team USA heading into next month's World Athletics Championships. Needless to say, it's been an exciting summer for Courtney, who lives in Provo, UT, and will continue training with her BYU coach Diljeet Taylor.
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What you’ll get on this episode:
On getting used to saying “I’m a professional runner” (3:10) How the pandemic impacted Courtney’s college experience and her budding professional career (7:00) Why Courtney loves the steeplechase (9:00) On graduating from college, and celebrating accordingly (13:00) Recapping NCAAs, USAs, and the celebrations in between (14:20) What it felt like lining up at USATF Outdoor Championships, and all about the process of going pro (18:55) All about the 3000m steeplechase final at USAs (27:25) On navigating post-race interviews, mixed zones, media, and more (32:25) Courtney’s special bond with Coach Diljeet Taylor (41:00) All about Courtney’s signature hairstyle and those extra-long lashes (44:35) Where Courtney’s at mentally as she prepares for World Athletics Championships (46:50)
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