Southeast Missouri St. track star Miles Smith was named the Ohio Valley Conference Male Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year on Thursday. He specializes in the 400 meters, and his time of 45.74 seconds is the fastest in the Ohio Valley Conference this season and is the third-fastest in the nation.

Last year, Smith finished sixth in the NCAA Championships in the 400-meters and earned a spot on the U.S. 400-meters relay team at the World Championships in Helsinki. He won a gold medal, though he didn’t compete in the championship race.

Smith, who is a junior, looks to win his third straight conference championship in the 400-meters when the OVC Championships get underway Friday in Cape Girardeau. But he’ll be a little rusty. Smith suffered a hamstring strain earlier this season and hasn’t competed in the last two weeks. He’ll also compete in the 200-meters and the SEMO relay team. The SEMO men and women are the Ohio Valley Conference champions.