2011-12 Girls Swimmer/Diver of the Year

It’s hard for competition to catch Carter

by Andrew Stark

Covenant Day’s Kate Carter was the only Matthews-Mint Hill swimmer to win a state title this winter. Andrew Stark/MMHW photo

Covenant Day junior Kate Carter said that one of her flaws as a swimmer is that sometimes she gets too nervous and overwhelmed with everything happening around her.

At the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A championships, Carter overwhelmed her competition. She took first place in the 500-yard freestyle (5 minutes, 11.79 seconds), finished third in the 100 butterfly (59.13 seconds) and teamed with Julia Kempf, Jaclyn Kempf and Lauren Jones to help the 200 medley relay team finish 13th.

With her strong performance, Carter is Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group’s 2011-12 Matthews-Mint Hill Girls Swimmer/Diver of the Year.

“I think it was a good season, overall, and I am happy with how it turned out,” Carter said. “I tried to stay focused on my training (and) get my times down all year, and it was great that I won a state championship. It helps me to know that all of my hard work is paying off.”

In addition to Covenant Day, Carter also swims year-round on the club circuit, which she said helps her stay in shape. That’s especially important since she swims a variety of events for the Lions.

She said her favorite events are the 500 freestyle and 100 butterfly but adds that she is fine with swimming any event her Covenant Day team needs her to do.
“I really just want to be sure I stay ready for anything and stay in good shape,” Carter said. “It is too easy to fall off if you don’t keep working at it. I would say that I am pretty focused and know what I need to do to improve.”

Although she would love to repeat as a state champion next year during her senior season, Carter said she is not too worried about the pressure that comes with defending her title. She said she would take things on a day-to-day basis and simply focus on trying to get better and shaving valuable seconds off her times.

The Lions were a young team this season. Carter said she thinks that, with another year of swimming together, they can improve on their 12th-place team finish at the state championships this season.

“I think we have some strong swimmers,” Carter said. “Hopefully, our relays can get a little faster and place higher, and the same for me. I want to win the 500 (freestyle) again, but I will do whatever I can to help us.”

Carter also excels in the classroom; after the first quarter at Covenant Day, she sported a 4.99 GPA, and she’s interested in possibly pursuing a career in bio-medical sciences. She also would like to swim in college one day.

Carter’s club coach, SwimMac Carolina’s James Wike, was a nine-time all-American at Auburn University and believes she can fulfill her goal.

“Her day-to-day effort is at a pretty high level,” Wike said. “She works appropriately, doesn’t waste time during training and is a very focused athlete.

“She will be a highly recruited athlete during the next several months.”

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