FREDERICKTOWN — She was hoping to be in more than one event, but Fredericktown junior Tayler Carpenter is just happy to be going to the 2010 Division III Track and Field Championships. The meet will be held at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus this weekend.
Carpenter qualified in the long jump, finishing third at the Division III Regional meet.
“It was a goal of mine to go to state, definitely,” said Carpenter. “I didn’t know in that event it was going to be in. I had hopes to go in three or four, but to go at all, was just my goal. I never really set a goal to win everything, just to go to state.”
Now that she has gained a berth at the state meet, new goals have supplanted old ones.
“I always like to know what the other people’s jumps are, but my first goal is going to be to get to the finals,” said Carpenter. “The top nine go to finals and then, they go from there. I’m just going to try to take one step at a time and that’s my goal right now.”
Carpenter, who likes the high jump, still has to work on her height in the long jump if she expects to stand on the podium.
“Definitely height on my takeoff and, also, keeping my speed up at the end of my approach,” said Carpenter. “I’ve got to bring my knees up. The problem I’ve been dealing with all year is to get height. That’s so weird, because, I’m a high jumper, too. You’d think I’d be fine but, for some reason, I can never get that height when I take off. That’s what I’m really trying to work on.”
Carpenter thinks her coaches found a way to get her to increase her height on her jumps that works.
“We started off trying to use a box but, it was too big,” said Carpenter. “Now, they put a chair on one side and hold a bungee cord (across the sand pit) so I have to jump over the bungee cord and I don’t hurt myself.”
What happens when they can’t put a bungee cord there?
“I guess I will just have to envision it there,” she said.
For Carpenter, a junior, the time is now.
“I never want to keep making the excuse that I have another year, because you never know what’s going to happen in that time,” said Carpenter. “Just concentrating on doing my best in that moment is what I try to do because, you can make excuses until the end of forever. Before you know it, you don’t have anymore chances.”