Hurdling toward the state meet?

Folsom High's Austin Carter hopes to race against the best in Clovis
By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Most people have heard the phrase, ‘everything’s bigger in Texas,’ but is everything faster in Texas?

Austin Carter, 17, is doing his best to answer that question with a resounding yes. The junior at Folsom High, who moved to Folsom from Austin, Texas, in December when his mom got a new job, has quickly become one of the top hurdlers in the Sacramento area. With the track season about half over, Carter has already set the Folsom High school record in the 300-meter and 400-meter hurdles, finishing in 39.8 seconds and 56.4, respectively. He’s only run the 110-meter high hurdles three times this season and is three-tenths of a second off of another school record, as his time of 14.95 is a bit slower than Eugene Williams’ time of 14.6 run in 1982.

“I feel good about my season so far, and I think my times will get much better as the season progresses,” Carter said.

Carter is battling what he calls minor injuries, including a pulled hamstring and some shin splints. When they heal, he believes his times will improve.

His coach, Nick Vogt, is impressed with his unexpected addition to the team.

“Austin is exceptionally gifted and he works and trains very hard,” Vogt said. “He’s got exceptional fast-twitch (muscle) fibers. With his injuries, he hasn’t even had his top workouts yet that will help him get even faster.”

Vogt said if Carter gets healthy and continues to improve, he’s got an excellent chance to qualify for the state meet in the 300 hurdles and a possibly the 110 hurdles. That’s good news for Carter, whose goal this year is to make the state meet.

“I want to qualify for state and do well,” Carter said. “I’d like to run in the 38s in the 300 hurdles and 14.5 in the 110s.”

Last year in Texas, Carter just missed out on qualifying for the state meet in the 300 hurdles, finishing in fourth place at regionals, one spot from advancing.

Making his track experience even better this year is that he’s adjusting well to his new surroundings in Folsom.

“It’s great here,” Carter said. “It’s not humid at all like it is in Texas. It’s hard to move during the school year, but there are a lot of nice people at the school.”