By Brad Spencer
OPRF High School graduate Brittany Smith (Class of 2009) was named Illinois State University Athlete of the Year.
Smith claimed two runner-up performances at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, scoring 16 points for the Redbirds en route to the team's highest finish at the championships in school history. The six-time All-American claimed three runner-up performances at the Valley Championships, after earning the Tony Wilson Award at the Sea Ray Relays for the Most Outstanding Female Field Athlete of the meet. She holds every Illinois State throwing record, except for the discus throw, in which she ranks No. 2.
Also this year, Smith qualified for the Olympic Trials, finishing 11th in the hammer and 10th in the shot put.