Courtney Wayment Smith is an elite collegiate runner. She is part of the Brigham Young University women’s team that placed second in the 2019 DI Women’s NCAA Cross Country Championship. She placed in the top ten, placing fifth in the women’s 6K race with a time of 20:16.1.
Earlier in the month during the NCAA Mountain Region Championships, All-American Wayment finished fourth in the 6K with a time of 20:03.5. The women’s team placed first at the competition; the first time since 2003.
Courtney ran for Davis High School and was nominated as Gatorade Player of the Year for the Utah Women’s Cross Country. As a child she played soccer and loved it so much, she played for ten years. In a junior high, P.E. class, she ran the mile in 5:48, a pace that would make her competitive with girls in high school. Her father—himself a collegiate All-American steeplechaser—said, “You’re in seventh grade; you didn’t run that fast.” From there she began competing in cross-country and track races, but she also continued to focus on soccer. Her coaches told her she was not allowed to train for track races.
- For 2 1/2 years, Wayment followed the coach’s order and didn’t participate in any training sessions for cross-country or track, but then she placed a disappointing 12th at the state cross-country meet the fall of her junior year. “That was when I realized that talent can only take you so far,” she says. Forced to choose sports, she reluctantly quit soccer entirely and transferred to Davis High, a track and cross-country powerhouse (her family sold their house and bought a new place within Davis boundaries to accommodate her running pursuits).
Her senior year, she won the state cross-country championships and set a state record, running the first sub-17-minute three-mile race in the history of the event. She received a scholarship offer from BYU.
During the 2021 college indoor season she produced the fastest times in the nation in the mile and 3,000, and for the first time in her career qualified for the NCAA indoor championships, where she won the 3,000 and anchored BYU’s winning distance medley relay team.
In April 2021, she ran in the steeplechase for the first time in four years and broke the BYU school record by more than 11 seconds with a time of 9:31.37. It was the fastest time in the nation this year by six seconds and the fifth fastest time ever by a collegian.
She ran the anchor leg in the distance medley relay during the 2021 Indoor Track and Field Championships this spring helping her relay team win the event.
She ran the steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in June 2021, narrowly missing a chance to represent the U.S. in the Olympic Games. At the outset of the week, Wayment’s best time was 9:31.37, which made her the fifth fastest collegian of all time. In the first round of the Olympic trials last Sunday, she clocked 9:27.17 more than three seconds under her previous best. In Thursday’s finals she clocked 9:23.09, hacking another four seconds off her best time. That time makes her the ninth fastest American in history.
She volunteers with her family’s nonprofit organizations “Anything for a Friend” and “F2TF.”