Olivia Carter’s passion may be on the soccer field, but she’s found her place on the track.
The junior is Kent-Meridian High School’s top sprinter and anchors the girls 4×200-meter relay team.
“Athletics is just my life,’ she said. “That is all I do. I play soccer. I’m always training. I just love to be a runner. It is one of my favorite things.”
Athleticism runs in Carter’s family. Her older brother Quincy was a two-sport star at Kent-Meridian, playing football and running track for the Royals. He is a running back at Central Washington University in Ellensburg.
“We all do sports,” Olivia Carter said. “We all have to do something. My mom was a big track star. I wanted to be like her, so I decided to pursue it.”
Carter’s father played basketball but enjoys watching track.
“They come to every meet,” Carter said of her parents. “I don’t remember a meet they’ve missed.”
When it comes to running, Carter’s favorite race is the 200.
“The way you run the curve just feels great,” she said.
She also enjoys relays.
“I love running with my teammates,” she said. “It is a lot of fun being out here, especially when we are winning. I love running the fourth leg – anchor – in the 4-by-200, because you always get to catch the people in the curve. It’s just an exciting feeling.”
Carter hopes to get her time in the 100 down to the low 12-second range. Her season best is 12.99 seconds.
“I want to make it to state, of course,” she said of her season goals. “I want to place in an individual event. I’ve placed all my years of high school track for relays, but I want to make it in my own individual race.”
Carter started her track career at Renton High and transferred to Kent-Meridian as a sophomore.
Kent-Meridian coach Michael Christiansen said Carter has been a nice addition to the team.
“When she was here last year, she was just a soccer player who was doing track,” he said. “She is still a soccer player doing track, but she has been much more diligent with her craft. She’s been a different person in practice. The cool thing is that she has really stepped up to be a leader, really helping to mentor some of our younger kids and build that track tradition that we have.”
Christiansen knew Carter from his days coaching her brother.
“They are very different,” he said. “Quincy was very boisterous and outgoing. Olivia, last year, was pretty quiet, and this year you have kind of seen some of her personality come out a bit. It is kind of fun to see her joke around with people. It is track, so it is not the most serious of sports. We want the kids to have fun and enjoy it.”
Carter is also known for her speed on the soccer field.
“I’m being committed to Portland State (University) for my speed for the outside back,” she said.
She plays for the Pacific Northwest Soccer Club and has been with most of her teammates since she was 4 years old.
“We just keep pursuing it together,” she said. “It is great to play on a team where you are comfortable and know the girls.”