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Prep Track and Field: McDonell's Smiskey signs to throw at the University of Mary
Prep Track and Field | McDonell Macks

Prep Track and Field: McDonell's Smiskey signs to throw at the University of Mary

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Division 3 track and field sectionals at Cameron 5-23-19

McDonell's Rachel Smiskey makes a shot put toss attempt at Division 3 sectionals last year in Cameron.

Rachel Smiskey had an idea where she wanted to go.

But an added incentive helped her close the deal.

The McDonell senior has signed to compete in college for the University of Mary track and field team.

The University of Mary is a Division II college based in Bismarck, North Dakota that competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Smiskey will join former McDonell standout Isaac Bohaty as members of the Marauder track and field team.

Smiskey had interest from a number of schools and was contemplating going to the University of Mary strictly for academics before the track and field program reached out about the possibility of throwing for the Marauders.

“I kind of already had known that’s where I wanted to be academically," Smiskey said of the University of Mary, "and then being able to throw for their track and field team was just an added bonus now. I’m just really excited to compete with them.”

Smiskey toured the school a few times and enjoyed the atmosphere and received a glowing recommendation on it from her former teammate Bohaty.

"I could already tell my personality works well there," Smiskey said. "I fit in pretty well."

Smiskey's spring senior season with the track and field team was wiped out following the cancellation of the season due to COVID-19. She was a team captain the past two years and was selected as a Cloverbelt Conference Scholar-Athlete in 2020.

But Smiskey made a big impression during a junior campaign that led her to a podium finish at the Division 3 state track and field championships when she was fifth in the shot put with a top toss of 37-feet, 9.75-inches. She advanced to state by taking third at sectionals.

"Rachel worked and prepared to reach the highest level of high school track and field, which is the state finals in her event," McDonell track and field throwing coach Bob Brodt said in a press release. "Her hard work ethic, determination to improve in the technical aspects of the event and with the attitude to become better, she made every practice count.

"This allowed her to obtain the goal of state finals."

Smiskey admitted she hadn't given much thought to competing in college until after she finished on the podium at state, a performance and the culmination of a season that helped her get on the radar of many colleges and she started to receive interest soon after.

Smiskey was also a multi-year starter for the McDonell volleyball team, earning All-Chippewa County first team and All-Western Cloverbelt Conference second team honors last fall for the Macks after tallying 298 kills and 56 blocks as a middle hitter as the Macks won a Division 4 regional championship.

She credited her coaches from both track and field and volleyball for helping her be in the condition it takes to thrive in both and ultimately be able to take her game to the college level.

"I've had really good coaches and they were able to make the foundation my first two years," Smiskey said. "Between track and volleyball I was able to stay in shape, get stronger and then it finally came and I was doing really well."

Smiskey is looking forward to college, saying it's a rare certainty for her during the uncertain time of the last few months throwing a wrench into the normally concrete conclusion to high school for students.

Smiskey said she's planning on majoring in business administration and said the academics were most important thing in her decision. The spring sports season was wiped out but Smiskey is hopeful she may still get a few more throws in for the Macks during the summer in an exhibition-style schedule if that develops in the coming weeks.

Her throw of 37-9.75 at state last year is within striking distance of Christy Bohl's school record of 40-11 from 2005 and Smiskey would like one more chance at it.

"We're hoping to have a mini-season in July," Smiskey said. "I really want to break the school record. So we're hoping I'll be able to do that in the summer since we can't have state this year."

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