Bulldogs’ Smarr going to UC

New high jumper for the school

File Photo Doddridge County’s Mista Smarr, seen competing in the high jump, signed her National Letter of Intent to the University of Charleston to continue her academic track and field career.

WEST UNION –Mista Smarr had a unique challenge in the way during her college-selection process.

While keeping family in mind was important, being a triplet added a whole other hurdle to the mix. Seeing and interacting with someone every day, even at school when you can get a break from your parents, can really play heavily on someone’s comfort level.

“I didn’t want to leave my sister (Darian),” said Smarr. “I was always thinking ‘Should I go here or go there to be with her … Should I go for myself or what?

“We are never apart. We do everything together.”

Despite the pressure and stress, the Doddridge County senior high jumper was finally able to make a decision. Knowing the siblings would have to part paths eventually, Smarr signed on the dotted line for track and field at the University of Charleston.

“I am really excited and I think it will do us some good,” said Smarr, who wouldn’t be completely out of contact with her sister. Darian is staying in-state at Davis and Elkins. Every day face-to-face human interactions might be out of the picture, but social media and the internet don’t mean the two won’t see each other every day.

Familiarty isn’t just for her sister, Smarr should feel very much at home where she will high jump the next four years as UC’s Laidley Field annually hosts the high school state championships. The new Golden Eagle has recorded a podium finish in the event all four seaons as a Bulldog (5th in 2015, 3rd in 2016, 6th in 2017 and 3rd in 2018).

She also was part of several successful relay teams and a long jumper.

“I saw they looked at my Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) profile then I messaged JP (UC’s head coach),” said Smarr of how contact with the university first started between the parties. “He invited me to come down to the campus and personally gave me my tour instead a student. It was pretty nice. I got to meet a few of the girl team members too.”

The clincher however was the availability of a pre-veterinarian program offered nowhere else in the state. If she stays with the program, she is guaranteed a slot in a veterinarian school outside of West Virginia upon her completion of the requirements.

Her course of study was an easy choice given her love of animals. Smarr currently works for a labrador breeder and witnesses or takes part in many of the procedures at her job. “It has always been animals,” said Smarr.

Back on the turf and asphalt, Smarr expects to contribute immediately to a program on the rise. Her best high jump attempt right now would qualify her for nationals at the Division II level. Bulldog fans can expect to see her in the long jump and 400 also.

“JP is really excited about my high jumping and I hope I can put out what I have in the past at the next level.”

Other schools interested were Davis and Elkins as well as the University of Tennessee. D&E wasn’t in the conversation very long and while Tennessee has one of only 30 veterinarian colleges in the country, Smarr already knew she was going to be out of state four years after her undergraduate degree was completed.

“I wanted to stay as close to my family as long as I could,” said Smarr.