As reported by Oregon Live, Westview track star Alec Smith, who received approximately scholarship offers from 35 Division I track and programs, has chosen to enroll at the University of Oregon despite not receiving a scholarship from the Ducks.
“I didn’t get the attention of Oregon,” Smith said. “I had to get their attention.”
And it wasn’t middle of the pac programs offering Smith. He had offers from Notre Dame, Iowa State amongst others but ultimately chose to stay close to home. With in-state tuition, academic scholarships competing with the Ducks is still in the price range.
The Ducks have used up all of their available scholarships, but Smith will have the ability to come in and compete for one in the following years.
“I’m thinking long term here,” Smith said. “I know they’re going to give me an opportunity and it’s going to be the best fit for me.”
Essentially, Smith will be a greyshirt in the Oregon program. Unlike a redshirt where the athlete has a scholarship, a greyshirt athlete doesn’t receive a scholarship typically due to the team already using all of their available money.
Smith is an excellent runner with plenty of upside. His specialty is in the 800 meter where he ran a time of 1:50.43 in the 2013 USA Miler’s Club Meet on May 29th. He also ran a time of a time of 1:51.54 at the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa on June 20th.
“He never takes anything for granted,” Smith’s coach at Westview, Aaron Johnson, said. “He’s always pushing himself to get better and to reach the goals he sets for himself. That’s going help him with his adjustment to Oregon.”
Smith says he expects to be their No. 2 800 runner next season for the Ducks, lofty goals but nowhere out of the range of possibility.
“If you’re going to be a mid-distance runner in the Northwest,” Johnson said, “where else would you go than Oregon?”