GERMAIN SMITH-MATA TAKES A PEEK AT THE SCOREBOARD AS HE FINISHES HIS 60m PRELIM.
Four years ago this Thursday, Eric Smith watched his star sprinter-John Curtis' Corey Wren break the LSU Last Chance Qualifier and LSU Fieldhouse composite meet record in the 60m with a time of 6.76.
Saturday, Smit-Mata claimed the record out right with his win at the LSU Last Chance Qualifier. His 6.73 in the finals will now be the standard by which all other indoor sprinters in Louisiana will be measured.
Sunday, Smith reflected on Wren's record.
"I remember that he had signed with FSU and wanted to go out with a bang," Smith said. "He trained vigorously and accomplished the goal through dedication and hard work. No one had broken 6.8 and he wanted to break that barrier and he did it."
While Saturday ended well for father and son, there were some tense moments as Smith-Mata was late getting to meet. His father threatened to pull him from the event, afraid that he wasn't properly warmed up.
After running a 6.77 in the prelims, Smith-Mata looked up into the stands at the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse and held up both arms to say "now what?".
"He wanted to show me," Smith said with a bit of a laugh. "I was happy with the way it turned out, but I was just cautious and wanted to avoid an injury. He was injured all year last year. We are finally where we want to be health wise. But he is 18, and you know-if he is going to make a decision, he will have to live with it."
What did his son say after winning in the finals with a 6.73-and sole possession of the record?
"He was happy," Smith said. "He was glad to own the record outright."
With two weeks before the LHSAA State Indoor Meet, Smith said that the work Smith-Mata does between now and then will be focused on the first half.
"The technical aspects of the first 30 meters," Smith said, "is where we will focus most of the training. He is pretty good once he gets to the back half, but we have to work on the drive phase and the start. He did not react to the gun well."
Smith is also keeping an eye on the weather.
"With the bad weather, It has been hard to get much accomplished," Smith said. "We're actually behind schedule."
Smith said it is undecided whether Smith-Mata will attend national indoor meets. Instead, the focus is finding competitive outdoor meets to prepare him for running record-breaking times at the LHSAA State Outdoor Meet.