Harvey Smith spent his first spring of high school playing on the Salmon River boys lacrosse team and he almost joined Malones baseball team as a sophomore.
Fortunately, for Smith, he was talked into trying out for the track and field team instead after he moved to Malone.
Smith took to the sport immediately, has medaled two straight years at the state meet and recently signed a letter of intent to compete at the NCAA Division I level for Notre Dame next season.
Im pretty pumped about it, Smith said of college. Its like a big family at Notre Dame. Im looking forward to being part of that family.
Smith started winning sprint races immediately as a sophomore at Malone, but he had no clue just how good he was becoming until he went to the state meet and placed fourth in the Division I boys 400-meter run. He also placed fourth in the Federation race.
Last year, Smith placed fifth in Division I and again was fourth in the Federation 400.
Im going to see if I can win states, Smith said.
According to Smith, Notre Dame plans to use him in the 200 and 400. Last year, Smith won Section 10 titles in the 100 and 400 and he broke Brian Leonards Section 10 record in the 200 in a heat with a time of 22.15 seconds.
Leonard, a Gouverneur native who plays for the National Football Leagues Tampa Bay Buccaneers, heard about Smith breaking his record on Twitter and the following day had someone deliver an autographed mini-football helmet to Smith. The two then had a few conversations over the telephone.
He helped me a little, Smith said of Leonard. He said to make the (college) decision for me and not to let other people say what I should do. He also said, Hard work beats talent, when talent doesnt work hard. Thats a very nice quote.
Smith has taken Leonards quote to heart and taken steps to improve his speed heading into this season.
I run a lot of hills and I do polymerics, Smith said. I have a box at my house and I do squats. My dad and I made a thing where I strap a tire onto my back and I run with a tire for resistance.
Malone was the dominant boys team in Section 10 track last year, winning the Northern Athletic Conference title with a 10-0 record in dual meets and then claiming the Section 10 championship meet by 74 points.
(Smith) is a great influence, Malone coach Jim Heden said. He leads by example. Hes a quiet guy, kind of reserved. Hes got great character and the kids all look up to him. His work ethic is fantastic.
Becoming a team leader and mentor to the younger athletes is something Smith enjoys. He already sees himself someday taking on the same role Leonard played with him with a future Section 10 standout.
That would be awesome, Smith said. If some guy ever breaks my records, Ill contact him.
Making it to Notre Dame has also had an impact on the program according to Heden.
We had 55 or 60 kids sign up for track, Heden said. Its one of the bigger teams weve had in a long time. Hes well-publicized in our area. Everybody knows about Harvey.
Smith has already planned ahead to reach his goal of winning a state title in the 400. In order to assure that hell have a fast enough time to make the final heat, he has signed up to compete in the Glenn D. Loucks games from May 9-11 in White Plains.
I have to have a good time, Smith said.
Smith also has begun to plan ahead for his future. An honor student, he said he wants to major in science or business at Notre Dame so he can either become a doctor or go into business.
Expect to see a lot of the same in Section 10 this season. Both champions, the Malone boys and Canton girls were undefeated last year and return almost all of their key athletes.
Almost all of last years individual champions have returned as well.
Returning boys champions include: Malones Harvey Smith (100, 400), Corey Lamere (steeplechase), Conor Gordon (1,600 and 3,200) and Aaron Sharlow (long jump); OFAs Christian Lesperance (200), Nick Crawford (110 hurdles, 400 hurdles, high jump), Alex Wood (800) and Zach Petell (triple jump) and Clifton-Fines David Dobronsky (discus).
Returning girls champions include; Cantons Gemma DelRossi (400), Laura Pierce (1,500 and 3,000), Rebecca DelRossi (800) and Lindsay Proulx (pentathlon); Clifton-Fines Hunter Hitchman (400 hurdles, steeplechase) and Lindsay Johnson (discus); Madrid-Waddingtons Katie Marcellus (shot put) and Tupper Lakes Hannah Klossner (high jump).
The Smith file
Parents: William and Katherine.
Other: Member of National Honor Society, Spanish Club, Epsilon, Rotary and in the school musical.