Young athlete proves to be leader for Lions

by Student Writer Macie Pigg

Emilee Hudsmith is only a sophomore at UNA, but she has already made a name for herself on the cross-country team.  

Cross-county head coach Ronnie White said she has an impact on the Lions’ team.

“It’s always great to have a freshman join the team and be an immediate standout,” White said. “She is a leader, a tough runner and a fierce competitor.”  

During her freshman year, Hudsmith achieved many accomplishments, including Gulf South Conference Academic Honor Roll, All-Conference, All-Region and GSC Freshman Runner of the Week.  

Hudsmith finished first for the women’s team four out of six races, including the GSC Championship. In the two races she did not finish first, Hudsmith came in second.  

Hudsmith graduated from White Station High School in Memphis, Tennessee. She chose the Lions because of UNA’s former cross-country coach Scott Trimble. Hudsmith said she is happy with her decision to attend UNA.

“I really bonded with Coach Trimble, who recruited me,” Hudsmith said. “He was an awesome coach and was awesome for the team. On my recruiting visit, I fell in love with Florence and McFarland, where we do a lot of our runs.”  

So far, Hudsmith has not encountered any physical or mental obstacles in her journey at UNA, but she said she knows if she does, she has a team to help her through it.

“The awesome thing about being on a team is that the older runners, who have experience, can tell you what classes to take and answer any questions you have,” Hudsmith said.  

In her free time, Hudsmith loves to be outdoors and spend time with friends and family. As far as running goes, Hudsmith said she has her reasons for loving such a grueling sport.

“The competitive atmosphere and my team are awesome, so that makes running even better,” Hudsmith said.

White gives Hudsmith high praise for her work ethic during practice and races, even when the pressure is on.  

“When a race begins she is determined to do well,” White said. “At practice, she pushes herself through the pain that some athletes will only push through for a race.”   

Hudsmith is currently majoring in nutrition. Her plan after college is to be a registered dietitian and work with children at a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

Sophomore teammate Shelby Clemmons said she has helped the team stay focused since her arrival last year.

“She has a huge heart for not only her friends but for the entire team,” Clemmons said. “You can always count on her to do her absolute best.”