Name: Zoe Smith
Sport: Women’s Cross Country / Track & Field
Hometown: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Majors: Mathematics and Physics
Why did you choose UChicago?
My older sister went here and really enjoyed it. I also wanted to stay in the Midwest!
Favorite moment of your UChicago athletic career?
I really loved racing cross country regionals last year, when everyone running finished all-region. It was really fun to have so many teammates around to run with and cheer for.
Favorite team tradition/activity?
Cheering for the 4×4 at the end of track meets. Our team gets really loud and it is always a great way to end the night.
What made you fall in love with your sport originally?
Probably the conversations you have while you run. Some of my best friends in high school were on the team so practice became the perfect chance to talk each day.
What lessons have you learned through competing in your sport that have stuck with you?
You can’t control how other people run, so your goals should not be centered on competitiveness. Instead it works best to just have fun and roll with it.
What advice would you give to your first-year teammates?
Don’t overanalyze your races, just have fun. Also remember that off-days, sleep, and ice cream are just as important to your training as thresholds, long runs and strides!
Favorite UChicago class that you learned the most from and why?
Experimental physics (Phys 211) was a blast. There was a really good atmosphere in the class, and it was a really fun chance to work out how the experiments worked.
Which UChicago faculty or staff member made the greatest impact on you and why?
Coach Hall has really been a great presence. He has consistently helped me gain confidence in running and move through bad days.
Favorite place on campus?
Definitely Hallowed Grounds. Pre-COVID, it was where I did almost all my studying.
What are your post-graduation plans?
Hopefully physics grad school.
Favorite Chicago restaurant?
Salonica’s (don’t forget to get the York peppermint patties).
Favorite place you’ve visited?
I really liked going to Pittsburgh for conference in track and cross country. I was not prepared for the sheer number of bridges they have.
Strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
My sister once convinced me to eat brownie crumbs and mayonnaise for lunch. I would not recommend.