From terrible twos, to two-time national qualifier

Freshman Carter makes leap from HS standout to college star


Photo by Robert Berger

Rising Sophomore Tyler Carter

Written By Dara Collins, Staff Writer

Freshman Tyler Carter remembers his terrible twos, ripping his diaper off and running away from his parents. Looking for a way to release this energy, Carter’s parents pushed him to run track.

Years later, Carter is now a versatile, talented athlete on the men’s track and field team and a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national qualifier.

After receiving a gold medal in his junior year and silver medal his senior year for the triple jump event at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Outdoor Track and Field Championship, Carter set his sights on a Division I school. Unfortunately, Carter fell just short of the required SAT score.

Although Point Park was Carter’s last choice, he appreciates the program’s progression in just three years, the talent of his teammates and the persistence of the coach.

“[The coach] wasn’t just trying to sell me on the track program like, ‘here I’ll give you this much money,’” Carter said. “It seemed like he actually believed in me, unlike my high school coach who stressed me out or other coaches who just wanted to stack their team with talent.”

Carter played basketball for four years, soccer for one year and has stuck with track and field since the age of five.

He competed in multiple events in high school. He ran the 110 meter hurdles, 300 meter hurdles, 400 meter dash, 4×400-meter relay, long jump and triple jump. Carter now only competes in the long jump and triple jump.

“I don’t really like [hurdling] anymore,” Carter said. “I just think they’re too tall for me at the college level. Mainly, I just want to jump.”

Head coach Kelly Parsley believes otherwise.

“I wish he had the confidence in himself that I have in him because I think he could be a special decathlete even,” Parsley said. “He can really do anything.”

Prior to track meets, Carter claims he does not get nervous. He’s incredibly quiet and secretly competitive, according to Parsley.

“Because he is so quiet, you probably think, ‘oh, he’s not that good of an athlete,’ but then you see him out on the track, and you’re like, ‘wow this kid is special,’” Parsley said.

Parsley remembers watching Carter compete during his childhood.

“I always told him, ‘when you were a kid and you did all those events, you weren’t that good,’” Parsley said. “And then I moved away and came back years later, and he was amazing at everything, and I couldn’t believe the amount of growth. I mean kids do that, but he just grew into an amazing athlete.”

Carter qualified for nationals during the first indoor and outdoor meets. Fellow teammate and sports, arts and entertainment management junior Jryi Davis joined Carter at the NAIA National Indoor Track and Field Championship.

“Our competition is definitely a friendly competition,” Davis said. “I love to pick on him as much as I can mostly because I’m an upperclassman. I have to. He’s a freshman. But I know he’s a great athlete, so I know he can handle everything I’m saying to him or how I put pressure on him.”

Although the teammates joke around, they respect each other’s talent. Carter enjoys the friendly rivalry to become the best athlete he can be and destroy the competition.

“He’s a great athlete to go off of,” Davis said. “If he does really well, I want to do better. If I do well, he wants to do better, so it’s a great combination with both of us especially since we’re doing the same exact event.”

Away from the track, Carter enjoys being around friends and playing basketball. He can also be found in the classroom studying history.

“Throughout school, it was always my favorite subject and came easy to me,” Carter said. “In high school, my teacher was my assistant track coach. Just going into class and seeing how excited he was to teach just inspired me.”

With an additional minor in education, Carter believes becoming a history teacher may not be so bad.