February - Dontavian Smith
Hometown: Roxboro, NC
High School: Person High School
Track Club: Bull City Express
College Choice: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
60m Dash: 6.89
100m Dash: 10.58
200m Dash: 21.44
What the Coaches Think:
“The first thing I will say about the uniqueness of Dontavian is his work-ethic. He is a very talented athlete but he doesn’t approach practice talented. He is one of the most humble kids and comes to practice to get better, taking nothing for granted. If you watched Dontavian from the stands, by the way he interacts with his teammates, parents, and coaches, you wouldn’t know he was a national championship caliber athlete.” --Coach Jaye Pratt (Hillside/NCCU)
What the Athlete Thinks:
When did you start running track and do you participate in any other sports?
I started running track in 7th grade and I also play football, wide receiver and kick returner.
Why did you end up choosing UNC?
I ultimately chose UNC because if I took track out of the equation that is where I would have wanted to go. Also, the coaches were very upfront and did everything they said they were going to do. It came down to UNC and University of Southern California. So next year I will be a Tar Heel.
Have you always been fast?
What are some of your goals for this year?
I want to win States again, but this year I want to do it in both the 100 and the 200. Also, in the 100 I wanna go 10.3X really bad and I wanna go 20.XX in the 200.
Because the state of North Carolina is and has been so good in the sprints in the last couple of years do you feel like you get overlooked a little bit?
Yeah, most definitely. I like that. I like being the underdog. It doesn’t matter to me where I’m ranked as long as I win. I can be ranked 5th in the state it doesn’t matter to me. I love track because the clock doesn’t lie. When I am working at practice everyday when it really starts to hurt I think about that stuff and it drives me.
I was at the indoor meet in Winston in January when you and Chantz Sawyers faced off against each other. You had you, the short sprinter, going up against him, the longer sprinter. What was that like?
I am always excited and motivated to run against people who everyone else thinks are better than me. I feel like I deserve to be placed up there with those elite guys. I’m not going to say anything about it, but I am just trying to prove myself on the track.
100 Meter Dash: Speed Round
1. What Shoe do you train in?
2. Short shorts or half tights?
3. Duke, UNC, NC State, NCCU?
4. 60m and 100m or 200m and 400m?
60 and 100
5. Biggest Motivation?
My family and my circumstances
6. Athlete you look up to?
7. Hardest thing to give up during track season?
8. Track event you have always wanted to try?
The 400 and I get to do that this year
9. One word that describes you as an athlete?
10. How big of a lead would you need to beat Bolt in the 100m?
Just give me 20 meters
What We Think:
Dontavian Exemplifies everything that we look for in an athlete of the month. Not only is Dontavian an Exceptional athlete but he is a great inspiration to young people in the communities of the triangle. His work ethic, underdog mentality, and humility will serve him extremely well at the next level as he competes for UNC-Chapel Hill. Dontavian has faced many challenges both personally and athletically in his life, but after interacting with him for only a short time it is easy to see why he continues to answer the call in all facets of his life. You can watch him compete this spring for Bull City Express and Person High School. Dontavian will be competing against the best track athletes in the country at New Balance Nationals Indoor at the world famous Armory. The meet begins on March 10th.