Smith adjusting to life at Indiana Tech
After spending the past two years competing at the junior college level, Bahamian jumper Alfredo Smith is facing elite competition at the next level, competing for the Indiana Institute of Technology Warriors.
Smith transitioned to Indiana Tech last summer after spending the past two seasons at Barton Community College (BCC), which is a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) school. For Smith, the road to National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I hasn’t been an easy one. He had to overcome a tough start at BCC, and then had to work his way up the junior college rankings in order to be recruited by a larger school.
The NAIA is a smaller version of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), with just over 60,000 students. It includes two divisions (division one and two). Division one in the NAIA is comparable to division two in the NCAA.
“My first year at Barton was a difficult year for me on the track,” Smith said. “I didn’t qualify for nationals, indoors and outdoors, and that was upsetting, especially leaving Nassau with a personal best that would have ranked in the top eight that year. The next year I bounced back and made some much-needed adjustments and competed in both nationals and finished top 10 in the nation. I came to Indiana in the fall to make a huge impact on the program and continue to have the same success that I had during my sophomore year.”
In a recent interview with The Nassau Guardian, Smith said that getting accustomed to life at Indiana Tech after coming from a smaller school is an ongoing process, but the Warriors’ coaching staff and his lecturers have helped him out greatly thus far.
“I like the program here a lot. It reminds me of a lot of the work I used to do with my coach from home, Jason Edwards,” Smith said. “Adjusting to the track program was really easy. As far as academics is concerned, I have a 3.8 cumulative grade point average at this point, so that’s working out for me as well.”
Smith made his debut with the Warriors last month at the Circle Logistics Warrior Invitational, where he finished fourth overall in the men’s long jump with a leap of 7.02 meters (m) – 23’ 0-1/2”, just .03m away from the NAIA Indoor Championships qualifying standard.
“This is the best shape I have been in,” Smith said. “This weekend I’ll be competing at the Doug Raymond Invitational and I’m looking to jump even further.”
The Doug Raymond Invitational is set for Saturday in Kent, Ohio, United States.
Smith currently has a personal best of 7.46m (24’ 5-1/2”) in the long jump and 12.76m (41’ 10-1/4”) in the triple jump. He finished 13th in the long jump at the NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships last year with a leap of 6.96m (22’ 10”), 10th at the NJCAA Indoor Championships with a leap of 6.99m (22’ 11-1/4”) and was fourth at the 2017 Region VI Outdoor Championships, where he set his personal best