June 25, 2016

Mostly clear

Medina’s Alexis Smith selects Ashland University

MEDINA — It was worth the wait for Medina’s Alexis Smith when it came to selecting a college.

Out of all the schools that expressed interest in the standout distance runner, it was the last one she visited that ended up catching her eye.

Alexis Smith

Smith liked what Ashland University had to offer on the track and in the classroom, so the senior signed her letter of intent to the Division II school earlier this month.

“I was in communication with over 80 schools over the last year and, believe it or not, Ashland was the last school that I spoke to in late December,” Smith said. “My mom gave me the idea to contact them because of their nursing program, so I did. After a month of contacting them and a visit, I knew it was a perfect fit.”

Everything from the nursing program to the small-school atmosphere to the nationally recognized track program was attractive to Smith.

“As I talked to the professors, coaches and girls, I couldn’t stop smiling,” she said. “Every factor I considered while going through my college search seemed to be answered perfectly while I was on campus. When I left, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of wanting to cry and jump because I had that feeling I was where I was supposed to be.”

Smith, who carries a 4.173 grade-point average, was also considering Akron, Dayton, Xavier, Ohio Wesleyan and Tiffin. She became a top prospect after helping Medina’s 4×800-meter relay to the D-I state championship in June.

The 5-foot-7 Smith is also a standout cross country runner and guard on the Bees basketball team that recently locked up its third straight Northeast Ohio Conference River Division title.

Smith, who will compete in the 800 to start, will join an Ashland program that competes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“I really enjoyed the time I spent with the team and the coaches (at Ashland) reminded me of what I have at Medina, which is a family-type atmosphere,” Smith said. “I also feel they will get every ounce of ability and potential out of me.

“One of the things I like most about Ashland’s track program is they believe in me as much as I believe in them. There’s no question I will work my butt off to reach both the team goals and my personal goals.”

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.