Benton Harbor’s Smith joins Roadrunners

DOWAGIAC — Benton Harbor High School’s India Smith signed a letter of intent to run cross country at Southwestern Michigan College last Saturday.

Smith, 19, joins Elkhart Concord’s Abby Lee, Union’s Raegan Del Guanto, Mishawaka’s Bailee Shambaugh and Coloma’s Vanessa Crisenbery committed to the Roadrunners for fall 2021, along with nine men, Thomas Lorenz, of Hillsdale, Ethan Saylor, of Dowagiac, Levi Hall, of Mishawaka, Alex Blanton, of Plainwell, Robert “Buster” Ward, William Westphal and Ben Gillesby, of Cassopolis, Gavin Smith, of Decatur, and Samuel Reed-Loomis, of Otsego.

Makayle Weedon of Paw Paw will help manage Head Coach Zac Sartori’s team.

Smith ran track through middle school in Louisiana.

“My mom ran track in school,” Smith said. “It’s like a family thing. I tried out for cheer and one day I ran with them and the coach came to me and said, ‘You’ve got pretty good speed. Have you ever run track?’ The only other sport I get into is volleyball. I’m little and skinny, just a normal girl, and I think I can take advantage of that.”

“[Running] is peace of mind to me,” Smith said. “Me, I’m an overthinker and worry too much. When I run, I don’t think about anything. There’s a big field down the street from me that I jog around in the morning before work” at Harbor Graphics, a screen printer and embroiderer which has been producing custom apparel, signs, banners and promotional items since 1993.

Smith’s grade-point average qualified her for Beta Club, which promotes academic achievement, character, service and leadership.

She plans to study nursing.

‘I have a soft spot for kids. That’s what I want to do as I get older is help people and to travel around the world to places I’ve never been. I want to explore,” she said. “I look everything up on the internet and read up on it, so I read about travel nursing to see what I would have to do to reach my goals.”

Asked how she connected with SMC, Smith replied, “It’s funny because I wasn’t really thinking about college until my parents brought it up to me my junior year of high school. My cousin told me about SMC, so I looked it up. It seemed like it could be good for me. When I visited, I really liked it. [Cross country] is something I want to do, even though I’m nervous.”

She is the only girl of five children and lives in Benton Harbor with her mother.

“I’m the second-oldest,” she said. Her father lives in South Bend.

Her exposure to her teammates so far amounts to participating in a group chat online the day before, but “they seem pretty cool.”

“A lot of people ask me about my name,” Smith said, “but I don’t have a story.”

Cass County

Van Buren/Cass District Health Department confirms COVID-19 associated death of a student in Van Buren County

Cass County

Cassopolis man gets probation for drunk driving

Cass County

South Bend man resentenced in 1997 Union murder case

Dowagiac

Army veteran talks his experience in Afghanistan

Business

Local farm markets ready for fall season

Business

Mason’s Pumpkins preparing for second-annual Harvest Festival

Dowagiac

DUS, teachers continue contract talks

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Area History Museum fundraiser raises $40,000

Giving

Wolverine Pipeline, area organizations partner to lend veteran a helping hand

Business

Cassopolis woman opens vintage, antique store downtown

Brandywine Education

Tickets on sale for Brandywine Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Education

New tech students race marbles to raise money for essential workers

Berrien County

MGCF awards $121,182 in grants to Berrien, Cass counties

Berrien County

Berrien County reports lower COVID-19 cases in schools following mask mandate

Berrien County

Berrien County amends transportation funding requests

Cassopolis

Dowagiac man found guilty of drunk driving

Cass County

Underground Railroad Society of Cass County wins Michigan Humanities Council 2021 Outstanding Humanities Organization Award

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Sept. 17-22

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township/Edwardsburg Police Log: Sept. 13-20

Business

Boutique yoga, wellness studio opens in Edwardsburg

Berrien County

Berrien County Health Department hosts educational event in recognition of Infant Mortality Awareness Month

Business

Apple Festival Grande Parade is back, looking for participants

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 995,910 cases, 20,700 deaths

Education

Parents protest masks at Niles Community Schools Board of Education meeting