“I didn’t know I was capable of getting a time like this,” said Kaylee Carter while she was explaining one of her most memorable moments in track thus far into her running career.
Competing at the 2016 BYU Invitational this last spring, Carter ran her fastest 300 hurdle ever landing her 1st Place in the meet, as well as the Desert Hills High School new record holder in the 300 hurdles.
Being the youngest of 5 kids, Kaylee grew up attending her siblings’ sporting events and always enjoyed the rush she saw her siblings experience through sports. Janeal Carter, Kaylee’s mother, explained, “I always knew Kaylee was going to be a runner. She’s always been very fast and extremely athletic from the time she was very little.” Being the baby of the family, she has a lot of people to look up to. Her older brother Nate is especially close to her, and she looks forward to regular texts, phone calls, and visits from him. Nate sends her texts before competitions and inspires her to do her best. Nate was a former BYU Football player and graduated in personal fitness from BYU as well. Nate has inspired Kaylee to also pursue a degree in Personal Fitness and Nutrition. “There have been several times Nate has texted me and given me ideas on what to eat and how to get more energy through food before my events,” Kaylee said. This helped Kaylee realized just how fascinated she is with health and fitness and how nutrition can benefit the body in so many ways, especially for athletes. Through her Health Science and Biology classes, she is even more convinced that Personal Fitness is definitely an option for her future career.
As a freshman in high school, Kaylee experienced shin splints for the first time. She was in pain for most of her track season due to the strain that hurdles put on the shins. After learning how to properly stretch and warm up her muscles with consistency, she no longer experiences pain from shin splints. Kaylee also realized how important it is to take care of herself by actually taking the time to stretch consistently. By doing so, she is able to avoid injury and pain.
As a sophomore in high school, Kaylee suffered injury due to a car accident a while out with friends on New Year’s Eve in 2014. The car was struck on Kaylee’s side by another car, which means Kaylee took the brunt of the accident. She suffered a concussion and then suffered from double-vision for quite a while after the accident. She had to let her body rest by not straining the eye’s on TV, video games, and computer so that her eyes could heal completely. It was rough because she could not participate in her pre-season track conditioning, which she knew would affect her track season. By listening to her body and giving it time to heal, she recovered completely from her double-vision problems and was enthralled once again by how the body can heal if you properly take care of it. These experiences have encouraged her future career choice as well.
Summer is a very busy time for Kaylee. She recalls her track coach telling her on the last day of school, “Enjoy these couple of days off because we start training this coming Monday.” On top of High School Track, Kaylee is a member of the Desert Hills High School Volleyball team where she has done very well. She is also a member of Quick Feet Track Club and has been since the 4th grade. This summer entails lots of early morning practices, volleyball camps, and hopefully a little family time.
Kaylee is most looking forward to the Jr. Olympics this summer for Track and Field. She’ll compete at State where she plans on qualifying for Regionals, and from there, she plans on qualifying for Nationals. It will keep her extremely busy, but she loves to push herself to places she didn’t know she could go.
As busy as these events will keep her, she knows the importance of down time. Kaylee and her family and look forward to trips to Lake Powell every summer. Kaylee has improved on her surfing behind a boat and wakeboarding skills and will continue to do so this summer.
“Kaylee has a beautiful voice,” says Janeal. “She has sung the National Anthem at some of her own varsity Volleyball Games and sang it acapella.” She’s had a few voice lessons, but a lot of her singing talent is natural. “She sounds amazing,” Janeal continues.
Kaylee was upfront about her competitiveness. “I’m afraid of losing, especially when I know I can win. I just always want to do my very best.” Most of her family is pretty competitive and this helps push her to try harder. Sports have helped drive her to accomplish many of her goals. She loves the feeling she gets when she accomplishes them. Her brother Nate, once sent her a motivational video about Muhammad Ali, which quoted, “I’m gonna show you how great I am.” He told her to watch it before her meet and remember to “remember how great you are.”
“I always knew Kaylee was going to be a runner. She’s always been very fast and extremely athletic from the time she was very little.“ – Janeal Carter
Family support has been the greatest blessing. Kaylee’s father has spent endless hours playing volleyball with her, her siblings inspire her beyond belief, and her mother is her greatest role model. “After high school, I am looking forward to serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and then, I really hope to attend college on scholarship for either Track and Field or Volleyball,” Kaylee stated.
Kaylee is a great example to her family and peers, and she is going to be one to watch and look out for this next year. Good luck to you Kaylee. We look forward to seeing you jump any ‘hurdle’ that comes your way on and off the track. • HSSI