FREDERICKTOWN — It’s the biggest race of his young cross country career — and one of the biggest in the history of the program at Fredericktown.
At age 14, Caleb Carter is already a state medalist who led his teammates on the Fredericktown Junior High cross country team this past fall season. This Saturday, Carter is setting the bar higher for himself as he will participate in the national finals of the Junior Olympics. The race, which will take place at Whispering Pines Golf Course at Myrtle Beach, S.C., will be split into six different age groups. The 13 to 14-year-olds will run on Saturday at 12:30 pm.
The Fredericktown track program has a bountiful string of accomplishments over the years, but Carter is the first runner in the history of the program to make the Junior Olympics Nationals.
“I’m blessed beyond belief,” said Carter who ran the 4K Michigan regional in 15:16 to qualify. “I didn’t think that I would make it beyond state level. I was 11th at the state meet and then I still had to get through the state qualifier to get to the regionals in Michigan. Then, I got to the nationals.”
When Carter takes his spot on the starting line at Myrtle Beach, he will become the only junior high school runner to ever be issued — and wear — a Fredericktown High School varsity uniform in competition.
“If it wasn’t for the coaches that I have, I could not have done this,” said Carter. “There are also the guys that have influenced me like (Fredericktown varsity runner) Nick Gaumer. He was my friend through church first. Then, we started to run together.”