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Over 50 students from Jennings High School and Riverview Gardens High School in St. Louis attended Tuesday's press conference.
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Confident Miles Smith Prepares For World Championships

June 28, 2005

Cape Girardeau, Mo. - Miles Smith, Southeast Missouri State All-American, and a member of the United States track team that will compete in the World Championships, August 6-14 in Helsinki, Finland, told a packed press conference that he never lacked confidence in his ability to make Team USA.

"I never lacked confidence because I knew I could run with the fastest runners in the world, but I was a little anxious before Saturday's finals that determined who would make the team for the World Championships," Smith told a press conference crowd that included 57 students from Jennings High School and Riverview Gardens High School in St. Louis. "It was great to have the young people at the press conference. I lived in Jennings and went to school at Riverview Gardens, so they were all from my neighborhood."

The students were on campus as a part of the Talent Search program at the University.

Southeast track coach Joey Haines said Smith had accomplished more than any of his previous great athletes at Southeast. "We've had some runners make U.S. teams that ran in Europe, but no one has ever been on a World Championship team," he said. "It is special for me, our track program and the University to have someone like Miles to represent us on the international stage."

Smith said his workouts over the next month will be like the workouts he has gone through all spring. "I say that if it isn't broke, don't fix it. I will work on increasing my strength and just getting faster. I plan to compete in a meet at Azusa Pacific in California on July 16 and 17 and then be ready to leave for Helsinki on July 31."

Haines said he felt Smith would be a special athlete, but he was a bit surprised that he had developed so quickly. "Miles has shown great improvement, but he can still get better," Haines said. "He is on schedule to be at his peak for the 2008 Olympic games in China. His goal is to win and NCAA championships during his final two seasons at Southeast."



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