Savannah Abshire | Reporter
In February of 2019, Dameion Smith, a teacher and coach at Avon High School, was inducted into the Hall of Fame of University of Indianapolis for his achievements in Track and Field. Smith had many achievements throughout his high school and college career including being the 2004 Brooker Male Athlete of the Year, 2004 D-II National Champion in hammer throw, six time NCAA D-II All-American, and an Olympic Trial competitor.
“The criteria is pretty tough. There is a Hall of Fame committee and fortunately for me, my throwing coach was on the committee and he really pushed for me to be in the Hall of Fame,” Smith said.
Smith has been doing Track and Field since middle school. Being a student athlete for many years, Smith has learned many lessons throughout his college career. Through the good times and the bad times, Smith said he learned how to have patience and persevere even if it seemed like things weren’t going his way.
“My last four national championships I was ranked number one going into them. Three out of the four I ended up not finishing at the top,” Smith said. “I could have quit. I could have lost focus. I could have made bad choices or not trained as hard but I just kept pushing and then I won in my seventh national championships. It was very special.”
With the training came the competitions and experiences Smith was able to have. He was able to go to several states including Texas, California, and Florida. He even traveled to Canada, but despite this, track and field was not his greatest accomplishment in college.
“I would say at the top of my list [of greatest accomplishments] would be earning my degree with the University of Indianapolis. I was academically ineligible because of my grades in high school. I originally went [to Ball State] to play football but during my sophomore year I dropped out and went home,” said Smith. “I knew that is not what I wanted to do. I wanted to go back to school and be a college athlete. I contacted the University of Indianapolis and let them know that I was interested in throwing.”
Smith had never picked up a hammer or weight in his life since it is not a high school event, but he says he fell in love with it when he did.
“I competed in seven national championships – indoor and outdoor – and I won my national championship on the seventh attempt and broke the national record. My senior year of college I qualified for the Olympic Trials which was in 2004 and I went to Sacramento to compete. That was a pretty big year,” Smith said.
One requirement to be inducted into the University of Indianapolis Hall of Fame is that you must have been graduated for 10 years. Smith waited 15 years for his day to come and when it did, he was in shock.
“It was kind of odd. It really didn’t hit me until the day of the event. I think that day a lot of memories and a lot of emotions started to come back,” Smith said. “I had a lot of family and friends there. They were just really happy for me. I think I had over twenty people that had supported me and had come to my meets in college. I had my two kids there so that was special. It was nice to see a lot of old faces. It was a great night.”