Interview: Kaila Smith sets records in Panama

How was the overall experience competing in Panama? 
Overall the experience was great. I definitely helped my to appreciate even more all of the thing I have readily available to me. It was eye opening to see what other kids endure to get even a small measure of success in track and field or sports in general.


1st - 100 vallas (hurdles) - PR and Central American Jr. record
1st - 400 vallas (hurdles)- Central American Jr. record
1st - 4x100 - Central American Jr. record
1st - 4x400
1st - Heptathlon - 1st time ever competing in this event
Girls 18-19 age group MVP

How was traveling to the meet? 
Traveling to the meet was another eye opener! We traveling drove 20 hours leaving at 10 a.m. in the morning and arriving 6 a.m. the next day by bus. Needless to say my body and legs were a little tired when we arrived.

What did you think of the competition? 
The competition was ok. It was great running with others who wanted to do good for their country, their team and themselves and running against competition with the same motivation.

What did it mean to go? 
It meant alot for me to be able to go and compete on a different and big stage. I really appreciate those who supported me to make my trip possible.

What was different in the meet/atmosphere from in state meets? 
I think the overall level of support from the teammates! Their was a high level of support, interest and excitement for every field and running event which was definitely a different experience for me.

What are you going to remember the most? 
My teammates! I made some wonderful friends who I hope to see and run with again in the future. I truly admire their desire to succeed and commitment to track and field. Hopefully I was as positive of an influence on them as they were on me.

What do you think of you how performed? 
I think I performed will considering the circumstances. I ran 100 hurdle races 10-minutes apart and PR'd in my second race. I also competed in 11 events throughout the weekend a posted pretty good times in most races. I didn't do so well in the javelin throw, but my distance was good enough to help me win the heptathlon by one point.

What did you experience when not at the meet? 
When not at the meet I was able to travel around Panama with some wonderful family friends. Got was able to experience the country and culture from many different views. While in Costa Rica there was alot of free time, but we did have the opportunity to visit a local market, museum and mall to take pictures and buy souvenirs.

Setting records and named MVP, what does that mean to you? 
Those things were great, but I was happier to be able to help the relays and my team be successful. It was such a great feeling to have their support and to be able to cheer for them.

How does this meet prepare you for the rest of the summer? 
I doubt if I will ever run that many events again, so it should help my overall fitness once I get some rest. I'm even more motivated to work hard to reduce my 400 and 400 hurdle times in preparation for New Balance Nationals.