Bonnie Smith is a junior from Omaha, Nebraska. Smith arrived at Nebraska in 2014, when she competed at all six meets for the Huskers as a freshman. She placed 15th at the Augustana Twilight (17:03.06), 16th at the Woody Greeno/Nebraska Invitational (23:07.2) and 83rd at the Big Ten Championships (22:04.3). Smith was named academic All-Big Ten and earned a place on the Nebraska-Scholar Athlete Honor Roll in the fall.
In 2015, Smith returned to compete in all six meets of her sophomore season. Smith completed the season as one of the Huskers' top three runners and earned Nebraska's Most Valuable Runner Award at the end of the season. She placed third at the Augustana Twilight (16:48.4), fifth at the Woody Greeno/Nebraska Invitational (22:29.3) and improved to an 81st-place finish at the Big Ten Championships (22:08.3). Smith claimed academic All-Big Ten honors, was named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, earned a prestigious Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award, earned a place on the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team and claimed spots on the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall and spring semesters.
Smith began her junior year finishing 15th at the Augustana Twilight (17:18.66) and has gone on to place 93rd at the Big Ten Championships (23:34.9).
Q&A With Bonnie Smith:
1. If not for cross country, is there another sport that you would have liked to play in college? If so, which one(s)?
I grew up playing a lot of volleyball and softball and I would have loved to continue playing. Of course, I gave them up when I got to high school and realized that I was a lot better at running.
2. Who has had the biggest impact on your college athletics career so far?
My high school coach, Coach Wilson. He has always been one of my biggest supporters and was there cheering for me through some really hard times in my life when other people thought that running in college wouldn't be a possibility. He trained me well in high school and prepared me for the transition to college, both mentally and physically. Because of his training, I was able to get significantly better once I got to college. Even today as I near the end of my college career, he keeps up with how I'm doing and comes to many of my competitions to continue supporting me.
3. Who is your biggest role model and why?
My biggest role model is Kate Middleton. I can't say that I actually know that much about her, but I deeply admire her elegance and classiness. She exudes kindness and joy, two qualities that I hope to emulate.
4. What motivates you to better yourself on a daily basis?
There is a woman that I picture in my head, a woman that I want to be in five years. I envision all the things that she is, does, and has done, and then I ask myself what I can do today to become that woman in five years. Of course, I never fully reach her because she is growing and changing as my hopes and goals grow and change. But she is always there, motivating me to be better every day.
5. What is your favorite movie?
A Walk to Remember is my go-to favorite movie. I don't cry often in movies, but it somehow manages to get me every time.
6. Before races, do you listen to music? If so, what kind of music do you like to jam to?
I don't listen to music often before a race, but when I do, I listen to soothing music. As a distance runner, I don't want to use up too much adrenaline, so before a race I usually try to keep it in check. A favorite song is Comes and Goes by Greg Laswell.
7. What is your favorite television show?
Definitely Gossip Girl. I've seen it all the way through three times now.
8. What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of school and cross country?
I read everything and spend a lot of time at libraries and bookstores. I have been known to craft or work on DIY projects. I love the outdoors and would climb mountains and go hiking or kayaking every weekend if I could. I volunteer frequently, usually anything to do with kids.
9. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would want to be able to walk through walls. It would be way easier to get around if I could do that.
10. If you could meet any one person, alive or not, who would it be and why?
I would definitely meet C.S. Lewis. He is my favorite author and his book, The Screwtape Letters, is my favorite book. I've never read another author who so understands and is able to articulate the human condition and man's relationship with God.