Tim Carter didn't join Lakewood's track team to break school records (as he did the first meet of the year), win conference titles (as he did at last Thursday's PCAC meet) or enter his team's district meet as a favorite (as he will Thursday).
The speedy senior just wanted to keep in shape for football (he has a scholarship to Auburn), have a little fun (even though he used to hate running track) and prove to any doubters that his knee, which he injured during Week 3 of the Spartans' football season, had healed quite nicely
"I came in just wanting to go under 11 seconds," he said, referring to his main event, the 100-yard dash. Now, he smiles sheepishly at the prospect of running under a 10.3, which he will aim for during Thursday's Class 5A, District 10 meet at Boca Ciega.
"Whew, I don't know about that," he said, his eyes brightening like a toddler in a candy store. "Everybody's telling me that's next I don't know if I can do it, but I'll give it a try."
While the 6-foot-1, 180-pound defensive back trained with the track team as a sophomore, he never competed on the oval until March 3, Lakewood's first meet of this year. He lost to Dixie's DeAndrew Rubin in his first start out of the blocks, but easily posted a school record (10.8), much to his surprise and giddiness. No one has beaten him since.
"Suddenly, Coach started saying 10.6, 10.6, and then 10.4, 10.4," Carter said. "And suddenly, I just did it."
He ran under a 10.4 for the first time last Thursday, at the PCAC meet. He heard his time (10.34, the fastest in the county) over the Seminole loudspeaker, he said, but didn't believe it until he watched the videotape the next day.
"I felt good," he said. "But I didn't think I felt that good."
He feels good enough now that he'll likely run track for Auburn, too. Not bad for a kid who entered this season not even knowing what events he'd run.