Kori Carter, Claremont CA, rolled to fast times at Arcadia and Mt. SAC, winning both hurdle events at both meets. She has goals for fast times and a World Junior team berth. Scroll down to read more about Kori's swift running...
MileSplit.us: 13.55 & 42.52 at Arcadia, great way to start the season, plus winning both the next week at Mt. SAC. How are you feeling about your races and your fitness at this point of the season?
Kori Carter: Right now I'm happy I've been able to pull off wins, but by no means satisfied. Technically my 300h are a little off. I expected to be running in the 41's by this time of year, like my previous season. My 100h are coming together well; I finally have a good start! Overall, I'm feeling healthy which is a blessing. I've been putting in work at practice and really been hitting it hard, so I feel confident that I can put together some good races soon.
MileSplit.us: What time goals have you set for the 100 and 300 hurdles for this year? Any competition goals?
Kori Carter: Of course I want to get the 300h national record, so 39.98 is plastered everywhere around my house. I also want to get into the low 13's in the 100h on a regular basis. As far competition goals, I intend on defending my state titles this year and I'm hoping to make the US World Junior team.
MileSplit.us: What type of workouts and training do you do to prepare for the hurdles?
Kori Carter: My coach hates writing workouts for me, since he has to incorporate 300h strength work and 100h speed work. So usually I'll do a two part workout. I'll focus on 100h technique/speed then move on speed endurance.
MileSplit.us: Do you have a favorite workout that stands out from the rest? The workout that lets you know that you are ready to go?
Kori Carter: Definitely up-hill hurdling (since my coach won't let me try downhill hurdling like Renaldo Nehemiah yet) ; it is the funniest thing ever. It makes running the 300h on a flat surface seem like a breeze. And the sense of accomplishment you have after the workout is like nothing else. I know I'm ready to go when during a workout I get to a point that hurdling gets scary. That means I'm moving at a speed my body isn't used to, which is good because I think last year I was a little too complacent with my race. This year I'm trying to push myself to a new level, which means I sometimes have to get to an uncomfortable place so my body can adjust to what I'm asking it to do.
MileSplit.us: You and Trinity were both at 13.55 at Arcadia. What gives you that extra edge at the end of the race, that allows you to outlast your competitors in a close race?
Kori Carter: I've always been a closer. For some reason I'm able to find another gear at the end of the race and usually make a move by the 7th hurdle. I'm used to having to catch up to people in the hurdles, so luckily I don't press and run my competitors' races. Instead I revert back to technique so I can push through the last hurdles.
MileSplit.us: What has been your most memorable race to date? Why does this one stand out?
Kori Carter: Last year at Arcadia in the 300h I went up against Turquoise Thompson and was able to catch her on the home stretch. This race stands out to me because I've always looked up to TQ (and at 5'4" I mean that figuratively and literally). When I started track in middle school she was a super star and I've always seen her in that light. So to actually beat her head to head was out of this world to me. That race also gave me a lot of confidence which carried me through last season.
MileSplit.us: What do you like to do with your time when you aren't competing or practicing? Hobbies? Activities with friends?
Kori Carter: Life outside of track?! Like there is one! However I do happen to pull myself away from my hurdles every now and then. I love going to CHS games and supporting the wolfpack; getting into all types of mischief with my friends, whether its just sitting for hours on end talking, dancing in public or playing some fugitive; oh and like every normal teenager I make sure to stay on facebook.
MileSplit.us: What role models do you have in T&F? Why?
Kori Carter: Angela Williams and Joanna Hayes are two women that have impacted me greatly and I hope to follow their footsteps to success. Angie's dad Johnny was my first coach and she's never hesitated to give me an inspirational talk or help me with my block work. I met Joanna last year at CIF Masters and am so glad I've had the opportunity to meet her. She is such an inspiration and a good person. She and I gave speeches this year at a track banquet and she verbalized everything that I felt about track and hurdling. Joanna has been extremely supportive of me and whenever I see her she is there with advice. Both of these women have such a positive energy about them and I'm just blessed to know them personally because they're amazing on and off the track.
MileSplit.us: Who do you look up to outside of T&F? Why?
Kori Carter: My sisters Kai and Kelly. Ever since I was little I've always wanted to be like my big sisters. Kai, though she always seems too many miles away, traveling the world, has always believed in me no matter what and has always been someone I could turn to. She went to Brown and is now at Harvard, and she's shown me how many opportunities can come from hard work and an education. Kelly on the other hand played D1 soccer for San Diego State. I remember talking to the coaches on recruiting visits (though my parents like to say I was interrogating them) and thinking I want to have this experience, I want to go to college on a scholarship. Now Kelly is getting her doctorate in Physical Therapy and I'm always asking about her rounds because I want to go into the medical field too. I guess I'll always be the little girl who wants nothing more to be like her big sisters. But with siblings like that who wouldn't want to be like Kai and Kelly?
MileSplit.us: Are you running in college and have you decided on a college yet? If so, what excites you most about collegiate running and collegiate life?
Kori Carter: Next year I'll be running for Stanford University and I think I'm excited about everything. I can't wait to take my game to the next level and run against girls who are heads above me. If there's one thing I love its competition, so I'm ready for the challenge that college presents. I'm also really excited to be coming in with such a strong recruiting class. My friends from the World Youth Team this summer Colin Hepburn, Erik Olsen, and Bronson Duran are going too, along with Ms. Katie Nelms, who always puts a smile on my face. I can't wait to be these people's teammate again.