AJ Smith
Senior, Key West

“AJ works extremely hard every day. He takes his role as captain seriously and leads by example.” Lori Bosco, Conchs head swimming coach.

For the first time in school history, a Conch swimmer is a state champion, and that swimmer is Key West’s AJ Smith. Chosen as our Athlete of the Week a little over a month ago for breaking the school record in his best event, the 50 free, Smith managed to re-break the record twice more since his previous honor. In addition, he returned from regionals with a gold medal and the top seed in the 50 at states. Smith balanced the pressure with his usual relentless work ethic and did what he was predicted to do: claim a state title for the southernmost swim team and earn a spot on the Conch Wall of Fame in the school’s gymnasium. 

For his unwavering commitment to his team and sport and for putting Key West swimming on the map, AJ Smith is the Keys Weekly Athlete of the Week.

Tracy McDonald fled to the Keys from the frozen mountains of Pennsylvania hours after graduating from college and never looked back. She is a second generation coach and educator, and has taught in the public school system for over 25 years. She and her husband met at a beginning teacher meeting in 1997 and have three children born and raised in Monroe County. In her free time, McDonald loves flea markets, historical fiction and long runs in the heat.