Carter races to stardom

Published 4:29 pm Saturday, March 10, 2018

Kori Carter was voted Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week after earning two state championships in the 55-meter dash and 55-meter hurdles.

Nansemond River High School track and field team earned itself another indoor state championship this year partly on the strength of Carter’s accomplishments. Nicknamed “Team WAR,” the team holds true to the name when its athletes step on the track. Carter is a rising star, if she isn’t already one, in the track field metrics throughout the state and nation.

Carter put on a show this year, taking the state title in the 55-meter hurdles and the 55-meter dash. Her 55-meter dash time of 7.05 was a personal record. She also placed second in the 300-meter dash, which was also a personal record for her with a time of 38.74. It didn’t stop there, as she placed second in the high jump with yet another personal record of 18-08.25.

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“I felt great about what I accomplished at the state meet,” Carter said, “not only for my team but also personal goals I had set for myself. Helping my team to another state title is unreal.”

Carter came into her junior season wanting to break the eight-second barrier in the 55-meter hurdles while perfecting her form. She also wanted to break the 40-second barrier in the 300-meter dash. She has done both and currently holds the nation’s fifth-fastest 55-meter hurdle time with 7.9. After she performs at the Nationals meet, she is hoping to return as an All-American.

Knowing what she is capable of motivates Carter when she is out on the track. Her teammates are also significant factors in helping her before she races. They get each other mentally and physically ready before each of their races.

She is inspired by the professional hurdler Kori Carter, with whom she coincidentally shares a name. She has been following the elder Carter since she was 13 years old and had a chance to meet her in California last summer. Her coach, Justin Byron, inspires her in many ways as well.

“He invests so much time and effort into our program and each athlete,” Carter said of Byron. “He inspires me to be great on and off the track, and he is always telling me to trust the process.”

The junior standout knows each time she steps on the track, she is gaining more and more attention, which could create pressure. She doesn’t think about all of the critics, though she admits it can be nerve-wracking at times. For what she has done so far this year, she feels she is setting herself up for an incredible senior year.

She has heard from her fair share of colleges but won’t narrow down her list or make a decision until her senior season. While she is going through the recruiting process, she wants to make sure she is making the best decision athletically and academically.

When she is away from the track, she likes to hang out with her teammates. She relaxes before she attacks the track and is looking to have a big outdoor season as she did indoors.