Carter's homecoming is victorious -- twice

Mervo grad and Olympian shines in Morgan meet

Track and Field

April 21, 2002|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The first Morgan State University Track Invitational yesterday gave the school a chance to show off its new facilities, but it was an old neighborhood friend who stole all the attention at Hughes Stadium.

James Carter, a Mervo High graduate and Olympian, won the 400-meter hurdles (49.18 seconds) and ran the anchor leg on the winning 4-by-100-meter relay (3:08.72) team in the meet that featured 25 college and club teams.

Other multiple winners included Morgan's Ashley Horn, who won the shot put (13.27 meters) and the javelin (36.60 meters), and Kwesi Sarabo, competing as an unattached runner, who won the 100-meter dash (10.49) as well as the 200 (20.79).

Mike Sye, the track coach and athletic director at Woodlawn High, won the javelin with a throw of 57.11 meters.

Although team scores were not kept, Essex County College of New Jersey won the most events with 10.

Carter's visit was his first to Baltimore since he competed in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. He just missed the bronze medal, finishing fourth in the 400-meter hurdles.

"It's nice to come back home," said Carter, who is attending Hampton University. "I like to compete and have fun, so it's great to be able to do it here."

Carter, who runs for the Nike Track Club, says his schedule keeps him busy.

"My agent and I pick where I can go, and where I want to go," he said. "Sometimes it's a matter of what meets I can get into."

Carter also said that the attention he received in Baltimore when he qualified for the Olympics was surprising, but pleasant.

"It was pretty strange, but I enjoyed it. When you compete at a high level, it's something that you have to deal with, and it helped me learn how to do that," he said.

Carter said his goals are to graduate from Hampton and perhaps try for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

"I have two more years to think about that," he said. "As long as I continue to stay healthy and work hard, I should be able to go back."

Running for Nike presents its own challenges -- and pressure.

"I feel like I have to produce," Carter said. "I can't be one of the best in the world one day, then have an off day the next. I have to keep a good name for myself."

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