Atascocita vault coach Chris Carter competes in Olympic trials with lots of support

HOUSTON – The night before, Chris Carter was scheduled to compete for one of three spots on the United States Olympic Track and Field team in the triple jump, his phone ringing.

It was a text from Jaden Patterson.

“He texted me the day before that said, ‘Hey coach, go out there and run your business, be confident make sure you have fun and I’m proud of you no matter what. blessed to have you as a coach, ”Carter said.

“It really touched me because he looked like me. That’s something I would tell him.”

Patterson, who is a signatory from the University of Kansas, is one of Carter’s athletes he coaches at Atascocita High School in Humble, Texas. In fact, just a month ago, Carter was at the University of Texas watching Patterson win the Class 6A State Championship in the triple jump.

On Monday night, the tables were turned as an athlete watched a trainer on an online stream at the University of Oregon compete in the Olympic trials for a spot in Tokyo.

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“Having that connection with your athlete and being able to motivate them so much so that they can feel what you are doing and feed off your energy, that’s special.”

Carter, who attended college at the University of Houston, made the final of the men’s triple jump competition in what was his third Olympic trials.

Carter, 32, after his second 54-foot-10 jump, took second place. His score kept him in the top three until the fourth attempt.

On his fifth attempt, Carter felt like he had made a monster jump that would have won the competition but was called up for a foul, and in the end, after everyone had six attempts, he finished fourth. to the general. A place far from Tokyo.

“This year was different, obviously with COVID, so I already had to wait five years,” Carter said. “I was hungry. I really wanted to go, and I knew I had a really good chance to go. In the fifth round, I did a jump that would have won the competition, but I was done. [the board] less than a centimeter.

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“So knowing that I missed the Olympics by something so small isn’t the easiest thing in the world.”

Carter, who started coaching at Atascocita High School in 2013 and is now an assistant cross-country and track coach, hosted a little night standby for his jumps.

On the team’s Twitter account, photos were posted of the reunited team at Atascocita’s head track coach Todd Symons watching him compete.

“The fact that my athletes come together, watch and receive this support through texts, calls and social media posts, it means a lot,” Carter said. “It makes me feel like I’m doing it for something.”

Symons told KPRC2: “He does a lot for school. He does a lot for these kids behind me and he represents the world to all of us. He finished fourth and did a great job. We’re so proud of him, it’s incredible.”

With his athletes watching their coach make their way to the Olympics, Carter hopes they learn a few different life lessons.

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“I hope they understand that you can do everything right, work as hard as you can and still fail, but you have to be able to bounce back and learn from it,” Carter said. “You have to take advantage of the experiences because you don’t always win, you don’t always succeed. But if you enjoy the journey and learn from it, you will become stronger and apply it to other avenues in your life.”

Carter continued, “Sometimes they put me on a pedestal, but sometimes they see I’m getting nervous, just like them. I’m at the top and I get nervous. I struggle for the workouts sometimes. But you guys. just have to keep going, keep believing in yourself and stay consistent.

“When they see me doing it, it makes my job a lot easier because they mostly believe in it.”

So what’s next for Carter?

The next Olympic trials won’t resume until 2024 when the Summer Games head to Paris and if Carter decides to make another jump for the Olympics he will be ready.

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“It’s a long time off, I’m just going to take it day to day,” he said. “I’m 32 now, so it was perfect for me. But with the technology, the right treatment and the right diet, I could make it to the next Olympics. If I decide to go, I’ll be hungry. . I will be motivated. ”

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