By Tim Miller
On a typical Tuesday morning in Chuck’s, you’ll find students scattered about having one-on-one’s, reading their Bibles and having a special meal with a few friends.
You may see sophomore Cedarville University student Lyndsey Smith making some pancakes with a few other tight friends. Everything may look normal to the average onlooker, but Smith’s closest friends know Smith’s fun start to her day will get a lot more busy soon enough.
Smith is a sophomore soccer and track athlete for the Yellow Jackets. With soccer taking up most of the fall, and indoor and outdoor track taking her entire spring semester, Smith would probably get a pass if she had an off night.
But she doesn’t have off nights.
Smith was a member of Cedarville’s All-American Indoor Track DMR team, won her first 200-meter race of the 2017 outdoor season and played in all 18 of Cedarville’s soccer games last fall.
Smith won the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes in her state championships at Eastern Christian High School in New Jersey. In soccer, Smith was a three-year letter winner and was an all-league selection twice.
Cedarville head track coach Jeff Bolender had a good feeling her success in high school would continue in college. He foreshadowed that Smith could be a part of a record-breaking distance medley relay team during her recruitment.
“I had even mentioned to her that we potentially could have a distance medley relay team that could be at nationals and could perform well,” Bolender said.
On top of that, Smith made the Dean’s List at Cedarville during her freshman year.
Bolender recruited Smith in her senior year of high school. Although Smith was more accomplished in track, she still had a longing to play soccer at the collegiate level.
“I was leaning more towards track just because that’s where I was getting more offers,” Smith said. “But I really wanted to do both because I absolutely love soccer and didn’t want to give it up.”
Smith earned a scholarship from the track team during her first two years, but will also be on scholarship for the soccer team starting next fall.
Sophomore soccer teammate Hannah Whicker met Smith at a team cookout to kick off their freshman year. Since then, the two have grown into great friends. Through this, Whicker sees how Smith attempts to juggle having so much to do.
“It can definitely be hard for her because she has so many friends on the team and wants to do so well in school and athletics,” Whicker said.
Whicker said Smith still makes time to see her friends, even with her loaded schedule. When in track season, Smith still finds time for her soccer friends, and vice-versa.
Both Bolender and Whicker feel Smith manages her time wisely and doesn’t show that she’s stressed often. Her work ethic seems unmatched, and she is able to put enough time into everything she needs to while still remaining sane.
“She’s very disciplined and puts her whole heart into everything she does,” Whicker said. “She sees every opportunity she has to glorify the Lord and to expand on the gifts she’s been given.”
Bolender praised Smith’s steady demeanor while still remaining ambitious on the track.
“She’s very competitive,” Bolender said. “She’s also very calm, so it’s a really good personality.”
Those around her seem to think Smith has it all together, and Smith went into how she’s stayed level-headed for the first two years of her college career. Although she’s still grasping how to work with everything, she still understands the pinnacle of accomplishing what she needs to comes from being smart with what she’s allotted throughout the day.
“It’s just a big time management skill which I’m still learning,” Smith said. “It’s a lot of making sure you spend enough time on each sport.”
Although Smith was a multi-sport athlete in high school, doing so in college is an entirely different story.
“It’s a little more challenging than I thought,” Smith said. “Here, classes are a little bit more challenging and teachers expect more out of you.”
Smith doesn’t often get discouraged. The New Jersey native said her fellow friends on both teams are helpful during the rare times she feels overwhelmed.
“There’s always good times and bad times,” Smith said. “My teammates encourage me so much to work hard in soccer or track and academics.”
Of course, both the soccer and track teams would love to have Smith at 100 percent of the functions, but that’s impossible given her participating in both sports. Bolender recognizes the struggle, but is lenient with letting Smith play soccer.
Bolender didn’t tell Smith he didn’t want her playing soccer at Cedarville. He knew there would be a learning curve for both himself and Smith, but he never steered her away from being a part of both programs.
Smith appreciates how the coaches have handled her unique situation, as she isn’t forced to go to offseason workouts while she’s playing on her active sport team. She’ll play her in-season sport for five days a week and go to each game or meet, and doesn’t attend offseason functions unless she’s able.
Even with the inevitable lack of time, Smith still finds time to be in the word and disciple others. Whicker said she stays humble and doesn’t boast about her vast accomplishments.
“She has a heart for worship and a heart to know God personally,” Whicker said. “She takes her personal Bible reading very seriously and that’s very encouraging to me.”
Smith values her gifts in athletics and gives the praise back to God.
“We know that this is the talent God has given us and we want to glorify him with that,” Smith said.
Smith is distinguished in both soccer and track, so choosing her favorite is a tall order. She never said which sport she likes doing more, but said track has grown on her even though soccer was her first love.
The life Smith is living is nothing short of astonishing. She’s in a sport for nearly the entire academic year, maintains solid relationships with friends, earns high grades and most notably disciples others and is a good example of what a Christian should look like.
Whether Smith knows it or not, her accomplishments with such a busy life are nothing to scoff at. In Smith’s eyes however, she conveyed she feels like any other busy college student.
“Everyone is busy, but I’m just busy with sports.”
Tim Miller is a freshman journalism student at Cedarville University. Tim loves anything that has to do with sports, and hopes to write about sports for a career after graduating from Cedarville.