Leaders of Tomorrow Award Given to Evaluna Smith ’19 and Julia Check ’20


Issabella Huynh

Evaluna Smithgartner ’20 (left) and Julia Check ’21 (right) proudly hold up their awards.

“On your mark, get set, go!” yelled the starter firing the pistol. The twenty-fourth annual U.S. Hispanic Games were held at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center in Washington Heights on January 6, 2018. Being one of the most renowned meets of the PSAL Indoor Track & Field season with thousands of high school athletes in attendance, it was an incredible feat for two of the eleven competing Bronx Science students, Julia Check ’20 and Evaluna Smithgartner ’19, to receive the Leader of Tomorrow Award for demonstrating academic excellence in school and leading their community.

“When I got this award, I was beyond excited.”

As a junior, Smithgartner has been part of the Outdoor Track and Field Team for a year and the Indoor Track Team for the past three years. Being a recipient for this award motivated her to strive harder and to lead her community.

“When I got this award, I was beyond excited. I knew that my coach had nominated me, but I wasn’t expecting to receive it,” she said. “I was especially happy because my teammate Julia also received the award, and we were both so happy to have an opportunity to be recognized by the Armory track,” Smithgartner said.

Check has always been an active member in both her community and in athletics. She is constantly practicing and running both inside and outside of school to improve her times as well as spreading positivity throughout her team.

“I felt very honored to receive this award, and I think it is very important to recognize those who are always positively contributing to their teams,” Check said. After being recognized by her coach and the armory, Check wants to maintain her positive outlook for the team.

Both Check and Smithgartner believe that being on the track team has been one of the most unforgettable experiences in their time at Bronx Science. The recognition that they gained from receiving this award proved that all the work and effort they put into attending practice every day and endless competitions was worth it.

“I come to practice basically every time we have it, and I have made friends with people in many different grades on the team, so track has been a very positive experience for me,” Check said. The team always has had a familial bond that encourages them to cheer each other on and motivate one another to work harder in order to improve their individual times.

Both athletes have high expectations for themselves for the current Spring 2018 Track & Field season. They wish to continue to work hard both in school and for their community.

“I hope to continue to lead my community and be successful in my future endeavors,” said Smithgartner.