School, Personal Records Fall at Meet
Vidal, Cripe have team's fastest averages
Men and women will compete in the FGCU Invitational
Huerta is member of the US Triathlon team
FAU grad will assist distance runners
Alex M. Smolka is starting his 7th year at the helm of the Florida Atlantic University cross country and track and field programs. He has been part of the program from almost the very beginning. The cross-country program started in 1991 and Smolka joined it as an assistant coach in February 1992. He took over as head cross-country coach in August 2001 and became the head coach of the entire program in July 2002. During the 2005-2006 academic year, indoor track & field was added as a women's intercollegiate sport at Florida Atlantic.
While at Florida Atlantic, Smolka has mentored 71 All-Conference outdoor track athletes, 25 All-Conference indoor track athletes, nine cross country All-Conference runners, a outdoor track & field Outstanding Freshman, a indoor track & field Outstanding Freshman, and an Outstanding Indoor track & field athlete of the year. Smolka has also had 119 student-athletes make the conference All-Academic Team. In addition, all of the individual records for the programs have been set under his supervision.
38 individual Owls have qualified for the NCAA Track and Field Regionals under Smolka. One athlete has provisional qualified for the NCAA Indoor National Championships and the women's cross-country team has been ranked as high as 13th in the South Region.
The Owls never placed lower than fourth at the Atlantic Sun Outdoor Track and Field Championships, finishing third four times. In the school's first season of indoor competition, Smolka's squad placed second at the A-Sun Indoor Track and Field Championships. In FAU's first year in the Sun Belt Conference, the women finished third at the cross country championships and eighth in both the indoor and outdoor track championships.
Smolka grew up in Vienna, Austria, and London, England, and was a three-sport athlete (skiing, soccer and track) competing numerous times in the International School Sports' Tournament (ISST) in various European countries. He then served as the captain for the Hampshire College soccer team while training and competing with the University of Massachusetts track and field team, where he set personal bests in the 400m (48.36 sec.) and 800m (1:53.88).
Following college, he competed in triathlons, twice becoming a USA National Team member for the Maccabbiah Games in Israel in 1993 and 2001.
Smolka holds a bachelor's degree in history from Hampshire College (1988), a master's degree in sports and business management from Northeastern University (1992) and a master of arts degree in history from FAU (1996). He is a certified R.A.D (Rape, Aggression Defense) instructor, a certified professional rescuer / life guard, and a USATF Level I and II certified coach.
Smolka resides in Boca Raton, FL, with his wife, Caroline, and their five children: Tevya, Avi, Michaela, Johanna and David.