Kori Carter Has Big Goals And That Starts With Crushing Championship Season

Watch out for Suffolk Nansemond River (Va.) High's Kori Carter. The Virginia hurdler is fast becoming one of the best in the nation and already owns the state's No. 1 times in both the 100m and 300m hurdles. Two weeks ago, Carter set sophomore state records in both races at the Dogwood Track Classic and over the course of the next three weeks will be competing in the VHSL conference, regional and state competition. Don't be surprised if Carter sneaks up even higher on the national rankings, where she currently sits US No. 24 in the 100mH (13.91) and US No. 15 in the 300mH (41.93). Carter took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for MileSplit. 

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How would you describe your season so far? What kind of goals did you set for yourself as a sophomore? 

So far my season has been very productive. I have pretty simple goals and that was just to run faster times than I did when I was a freshman.

What have been your breakthrough races or meets? 

If I had to pick a breakthrough meet or race of the season, I would choose four: my 200m at the University of Kentucky HS Indoor Invitational, VHSL 5A Indoor States, my 100m outdoor hurdles at the Pepsi Florida Relays and the Dogwood Track Classic.

How does it feel to be ranked No. 1 in Virginia in the 100m and 300m hurdles and within the top 25 in those events nationally? Did you expect that in 2017? 

It feels rewarding because it was an individual effort compared to being No. 1 in a relay. It was somewhat expected because of my extensive training with my coach, Justin Byron.

How would you describe the moment when you produced two sophomore state records in the 100m and 300m hurdles at the Dogwood Track Classic? Did you feel like this was your biggest meet of the season so far? What did you do to celebrate afterward? 

I was excited and also thinking about how I could break those records again. I celebrated afterwards by eating dinner with my mom and teammate, Syaira Richardson, at a restaurant that's not usually acceptable by a track athlete.

You dropped under 14 seconds in the 100m hurdles for the first time. And you went under 42 seconds in the 300m hurdles. Those are huge times. Can you describe those races? Why do you think you were able to hit those efforts at Dogwood? 

Well I think everyone knows now that Coach B sets up our training to peak later in the season. Those races gave me a boost of confidence, especially racing a huge competitor, Lauren Hoffman, from Battlefield -- who's US No. 2 in the 400m hurdles. 

You won the Emerging Elite Division in the 100m hurdles last year at New Balance Nationals Outdoor, but are still searching for your first VHSL Championship. What are your goals this year? Moving up to the Championship races at NBNO? Any big races or events in the future? 

Of course my main goal is to win a VHSL Championship, but to also do it by achieving my many smaller goals with executing certain parts of my race.

What are your time goals? 

To consistently run under 14 seconds in the 100m hurdles and under 42 seconds in the 300m hurdles.

Do you find inspiration from anyone. What motivates you? 

I find inspiration and motivation with the success I've had training with Coach B and also by watching my former teammates competing at the collegiate level.

What's an interesting thing you are involved with or have a hobby in off the track? 

I really don't have much free time outside of track, but I do enjoy following collegiate athletics, especially college football. 

What meets are coming up on your calendar and where can we expect to see you? Are you competing in any other races outside the 100m and 300m hurdles? 

Well we're heading into Championship season so you can expect to see me competing at conference, regionals, states, and New Balance Outdoor Nationals. I've qualified in the 100m, 200m, and 400m, so I'm ready to compete in any races Coach B decides to put me in.

What is it about Virginia's penchant for producing really great hurdlers? Nansemond River has done a good job, and there's also Western Branch and Grassfield. Does the area know something the rest of the country doesn't? 

Virginia alone is a very competitive state, especially in the Southeastern District in the Hampton roads area. The close proximity challenges us on a competitive level to produce really fast times.

Do we see you win a state championship this year? 

I guess we'll have to wait and see!

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