Payton Smith, a track and cross-country athlete from West High, will be attending Oregon State University and competing as a distance runner on the Beavers’ Division I track and field team.
Smith is just one of several athletes of the graduating class of 2022 in Alaska that have made commitments to compete at the collegiate level.
“I’m super excited,” Smith said. “It’ll be fun. It’s legit so I’ve got to put the work in and results will come but I’m excited and couldn’t have done it without my coaches.”
Smith is one of the top distance runners in the state. She helped the Eagles cross-country team to a fourth-place finish in the 2021 Division I state championships, where she placed seventh individually. Smith also nabbed second-place finishes in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters at the 2021 Cook Inlet Conference track and field meet, and finished fourth and fifth in those races, respectively, at last year’s state meet.
“She is an amazing young lady,” West track and field coach Antonio Wyche said. “It shows to other kids that hard work pays off, that if you put in the work, put in the time, good things happen to those that do that.”
The Anchorage Daily News asked coaches, parents and student-athletes to report individual college commitments. The following list is a compilation of those responses along with reporting from the ADN’s Josh Reed.
• Aubre Adams will be playing volleyball at Kean University in Union, New Jersey.
• Logan Simpson will be playing football at Southwestern Assemblies of God University at Waxahachie, Texas.
• Dreamer Kowatch signed her National Letter of Intent to swim at Division I New Mexico State University.
• Tayson McKenzie will be playing soccer at Warner Pacific University in Portland, Oregon.
• Sabrina Warren signed an official National Letter of Intent to play soccer at Mount Marty University in Yankton, South Dakota, as a goalkeeper.
• Katey Houser will be competing in Nordic skiing at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana.
• Rosie Whittington-Evans will be competing in Nordic skiing at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
• Aaron Baufor will be playing soccer at D’Youville University in Buffalo, New York.
• Kaimen Cutway will be playing football at Dickinson State University in Dickinson, North Dakota.
• Justin Cooper will be playing football at Arizona Christian University in Glendale, Arizona.
• Everett Manning will be playing soccer at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana.
• Sebastian O’Farrell will be playing football at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.
• Gabriela Zych will be joining the riflery team at the University of Memphis in Tennessee.
• Simon Carricaburu will be playing soccer at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon.
• Dylan Dahlgren will be a two-sport athlete at Dickinson State in Dickinson, North Dakota, where he will play football and throw for the track and field team.
• Isaac Johnson will be playing baseball at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, on an athletic/academic scholarship.
• Oliver Brown will be playing baseball at the Division I College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, as a right-handed pitcher and infielder.
• Cole Evanoff will be playing football at Arizona Christian University in Glendale, Arizona.
• Daytona Jordan will be playing football at Lewis & Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho.
• Slade Schuster will be playing football at Carroll College in Helena, Montana.
• Sean Giffen will be playing baseball at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.
• Curtis Hebert will be playing Division I baseball at University of Portland in Oregon.
• Luke Ivanoff will be playing baseball at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California.
• William Plowman will be playing baseball at Alexandria College in Alexandria, Minnesota.
• Dayton Greer will be playing baseball at Grace Christian University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
• Frida Vargas will be playing soccer at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon.
• Payton Smith signed to run track at Division I Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.
If you know of any local athletes who have committed to compete at the collegiate level, contact Josh Reed at email@example.com.