By Emily Orthwein
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Most student-athletes’ first priority after graduation is to play professionally, but when you are as academically talented as TCU Junior, Megan Smith, holding and breaking school records is just a fun pastime.
Smith is from Olathe, Kan. and is a pre-pharmacy major at TCU.
Smith broke school records both in the discus and hammer throw her first year at TCU, making marks of 161-5 in the discus and set hammer throw standard of 152-1. Smith recently broke her discus record at the TCU invitational in March, marking almost 15 feet past her personal record.
“Breaking my freshman year record was unexpected but a pleasant surprise,” Smith said. “I’ve been doing really well in practice but breaking at a meet is a whole other feeling. A lot of joy was going through my mind right after it happened. I was just thinking, ‘I cant believe I did it.”
Smith came to TCU ranked as one of the nation’s top shot putters and a two-time all-state selection in both the shot put and discus, but premature success has not stopped Smith from moving forward and reaching even higher goals her last years at TCU.
“I am always working to improve my marks,” Smith said. “I work a lot on technique and it finally clicked and came together. I would like to get more consistent reaching the 180s in discuss. Reaching 190 would be an awesome mark to hit by the end of the season.”
Smith gives a lot of credit to her coaches and especially her throwing coach, John Kenneson.
“Coach Kenneson is really laid back and I respond well to that,” Smith said. “He has taught me to not concentrate on the marks I get, but to compete for myself and to not take things so seriously.”
Both Coach Kenneson and Smith have worked hard these past two years to restructure the technique she had coming out of high school.
“There are only two people in this world that will truly know what it has taken to get her technique where it is today– that is her and I,” Kenneson said. “She has reached a nice level of ‘throw fitness,’ so combing that along with her technique, we’ve taken a big step forward in her progress. It is a very exciting time for her and for all of us.”
TCU moving to the Big 12 Conference has made a major impact on the track and field program. The Big 12 is one of the top throwing conferences in the nation, and Smith made tremendous strides in the league, making TCU a strong participant.
Smith was a top recruit for Division I universities but she chose TCU. Smith committed to TCU because she was comforted by the family-like atmosphere TCU’s track and field program offered her.
“When visiting TCU, it seemed like a big family and I really liked that,” Smith said. “I didn’t get that feeling from other schools, like I did with TCU.”
Joining the track team in high school was never a thought in Smith’s mind until she wanted to get more in shape for basketball. Doing so, Smith found her love for throwing.
“I wasn’t very good at running so I picked shot put and figured out that I was pretty good at it, and that is when I decided to seriously pursue throwing on a collegiate level,” Smith said.
Smith has made her own on TCU’s track program. Head Coach Darryl Anderson has been with TCU for 10 seasons and thinks Smith is a “phenomenal young lady.”
“She has done great things for this program,” Anderson said. “She’s very bright in the classroom and she has blossomed into one of the better girls in the country right now for discuss. We are lucky to have her in our program.”
Smith comes from an athletic family as her little brother, Braden Smith, just committed to Auburn University for football.
Underneath making scholastic and athletic achievements for TCU, she is just your average college student who enjoys hanging out with her friends and watching movies. She calls herself a movie fanatic who has seen almost every movie made.
There are more achievements to come for Smith as she finishes off her throwing career at TCU.
“I hope to set more records that people will come and try to beat,” Smith said. “I just hope my teammates will remember me as one of the family, as a role model, and supporter.”Smith already plans to attend pharmacy school after graduation while still pursuing to throw in competitions.