Altha senior is this week’s Walborsky, Bradley and Fleming Student Athlete of the Week

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 10:46 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -’97 Michael Jordan... ‘99 Derek Jeter... ‘23 Braeden Smith. What do these 3 athletes have in common? They we all coming off their second straight championship and sprinting towards a 3rd. But success like that doesn’t come unless you fully love the process.

“Well my dad’s the coach, so he got me started.” Braden tells us. “And then I just really started enjoying it, so I just kept doing it and liking it more and more. And now I love it.” But the love hasn’t only been rooted in the medals for Braeden, she says she’s loved who this sport has helped her become. “I like how it’s individual so I can better myself for each meet. Like maturing I would say. Just to motivate myself to work harder, to like do extra stuff, to like help me get to where I am now.” And where she is now is a back to back state champ, knocking at the door of a third, while sporting a 3.5 GPA. “I take pride in that too” Braeden says “because I can take my strength and my school smarts with me through college and my life. So, I feel like it’s good to work hard in both.” Working hard seems to be the mantra for Smith. She says it’s what makes her so successful. “Really just hard work and having like a good mentality, like going into all your meets. You just want to be positive no matter what and if you have a bad lift it’s okay, just move on and just work really hard.” With this being Braeden’s last year weightlifting, a sport she’s done since 6th grade, she has a few life lessons that she’s planning on taking with her. “Definitely taking the work ethic I’ve gained from weightlifting. I have so much motivation to like workout and just do better in everything. So, I’m hoping I can take that with me through the rest of my life.” Last weekend, Smith placed first at Regionals in both the Olympic and Traditional categories in the 129 weight class with a 125 pound snatch, a 170 clean and a 185 bench. But the medal she’s most excited to lift, is the state one that’ll hang around her neck. Newschannel7′s Student Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Walborsky, Bradley and Fleming.