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Olympic Trials Spotlight - Chris Carter

5/18/2012
 
Chris Carter had to pause for a moment when he was asked what it would mean for him to make his first Olympic team.

“Wow,” the triple jumper said. “I couldn’t describe it.”

Being mesmerized with the prospect of wearing a Team USA uniform in London will become more common as the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field, scheduled for June 21-July 1 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., approach.

“It only comes once every four years and only three people get a spot of all the triple jumpers in the nation,” Carter said. “If I get the chance to go that would be something hardly anybody gets to do. It’s more motivation.”

And a spot on a plane bound for London will be Carter’s top focus this outdoor season.

But the path to get there will be a difficult one for American men in the triple jump. Carter estimates six or seven men have the chance of securing one of the three spots on Team USA.

“It’s going to be challenging. Nobody will get lucky with a jump of 56-feet,” he said of the mark he thinks it will take to make Team USA. “If you get the (Olympic) ‘A’ Standard (17.20m/56-5.25) I think you will be going. My goal is to hit 17.37m and if I hit that I think I will go. But I can’t control with everyone else does. I can only control myself. Anything can happen.”

Carter has put himself into a good position to be one of those competing for a chance to go to London. He placed fourth at the USA Outdoor Championships last year with a personal best jump of 16.89m/55-3.75 and finished the year ranked #4 in the country according to Track & Field News.

As the Olympic Games approach, the competition to make the team is indicative of the recent success of American men in the horizontal jumps. Team USA claimed gold medals from Dwight Phillips and Christian Taylor in the long jump and triple jump, respectively, at the 2011 World Outdoor Championships. That was followed up by Will Claye winning gold and Taylor silver in the triple jump at the recent World Indoor Championships. They all hope for more in 2012.

Carter has even changed his event focus as the Olympic Trials approach. Typically competing in both the long and triple jump, he has chosen to focus solely on the triple jump as it presents his best chance of making the Olympic team. He has also dropped his number of competitions with the hopes of keeping his legs fresh.

“It’s a lot different. Right now I would have ten competitions in already in the triple right and right now I have three or four,” he said. “I have been trying to stay light so when I compete I will do it at a high level. I try to keep the same adrenaline. In my training I have been doing a lot more technique and I did a lot of strength and conditioning in the fall.”

Carter finished competing for the University of Houston after the 2011 season, but remains in the area preparing for the Olympic Trials. In his final season with the Cougars he was selected as both the Conference USA Male Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Year along with reaching All-American status. He made his first international squad as a member of Team USA at the 2011 Pan American Games.

And his goal remains to make the Olympic Games his second international team.

“It would be very big,” he said. “I don’t want to wait four more years to get another shot.”

Follow Chris on Twitter @cartercutz.

Jared Slinde
Communications Manager
USA Track & Field
317.713.4690
e-mail

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