Hamstring woes hit Carter again

When he’s healthy, South Kitsap senior Cedric Carter arguably is one of the top sprinters in the state.

Carter hoped to remove that qualifier about his performance this year, but after another injury to his left hamstring Saturday at the 4A West Central District track meet at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma, it might be too late.

“He’s got a physical therapist in (Poulsbo) that he goes to and is really good with him,” South coach Joanne Warren said. “He’ll look and see what the damage is and what we can do.”

Carter said he originally injured the hamstring as a sophomore and aggravated it in the 200 at last year’s Narrows League meet.

“One leg is shorter and I found that out not too long ago — like a month ago,” he said. “We put extra padding in my right leg because it’s the leg that’s shorter. So when I’m coming out of that curve, the left leg is being strained because it’s taking all the shock.”

Carter, who won the 100-meter dash in 11.26 seconds, almost certainly would’ve qualified in the 200. A repeat of his 22.62 time from the preliminary would’ve placed him second behind Decatur’s Ezra John Griffey, who won the final in 22.48. But Carter began limping shortly after the start and finished seventh when one sprinter was disqualified. The top six finishers in each event qualify for Friday and Saturday’s Star Track at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco.

Carter said he couldn’t estimate how healthy the hamstring will be if he’s able to run the 100, but Warren is optimistic about his chances to compete because of the event.

“It’s to his advantage that it’s just the 100 on a straightaway, which he does much better with,” she said. “We’re planning on him running.”

Three boys teammate join Carter in four events at state. Sophomore Jon Phillips became the other South track competitor to advance to state when he finished third in the 800 at 1:58.06. They are joined by two-event field qualifier Renard Williams and Sean Allison, who placed second in the javelin throw at 165 feet, 11 inches.

“I’m pretty excited to be going in as a sophomore,” Allison said. “My goal for state is to hit 170 and I’ve just really got to work at it.”

Williams placed first in the discus (167-3) and third in the shot (54-4) to advance to Star Track for the third time. The Eastern Washington University recruit couldn’t avoid controversy again, though. At the May 11-12 Narrows League meet, the Lincoln coaching staff contested that he illegally entered and left the shot-put circle. But Williams didn’t have his shot put at the time and the meet’s jury of appeals ruled in his favor.

At districts, the Wilson staff said Williams should have been disqualified because his socks, which have a Michael Jordan logo on them, weren’t part of his uniform.

“I’m really frustrated,” Williams said. “I’m tired of coaches trying to get me disqualified. We don’t say anything about any other athletes.”

Williams said the protest affected his performance at Narrows, but it didn’t impact his effort at districts because “I didn’t hear about it until after they had contested it.” Ironically, he placed behind Lincoln’s Sam Washington (61-5.5) and Wilson’s Richard Anderson (55-11) — both from the schools that contested his throws. But that didn’t lead to Williams’ dissatisfaction with his own performance in the shot put.

“It wasn’t even technical,” he said. “It was just line drives.

“I tip my cap to Sam. Sixty-one feet is a big mark. I can’t wait to see him next week.”

Warren said she doesn’t expect any more protests at state.

“I know word of it got out to officials at the state meet and ... it will not be tolerated,” she said. “Hopefully that will give him a little confidence to know they won’t try anything with him at that point.”

Williams said he was happy to win the discus, but thought his throw Friday was closer to 170 feet. Williams didn’t place in either event at state last year.

“I’m hungry,” he said. “I want this more than anything. I want to go back there and show everybody I’m not some guy who comes in and doesn’t do anything every year.”

South finished fifth among 25 participating 4A boys teams with 45 points, while Kentwood won the competition with 70 points. Gig Harbor won the 4A girls classification with 95.5 points, while the Wolves finished tied for 19th among 25 teams with 19 points.

First-year competitor Bridgette Gray, who placed fifth in the javelin (108-8), is one of two female competitors for South. The other is Lindsey Porter, who placed third in the pole vault at 10-6, a foot shorter than Gig Harbor’s Melissa Peaslee, the event winner.

“It was an off day,” Gray said. “I feel I could do a lot better. I was just happy to get one good throw in.”

Including Jose Andrino, who will compete in the 100, 400 and 800-wheelchair events, the Wolves have seven competitors this year at state. South only sent two competitors to Star Track in each of the last two years.

“I’m pretty thrilled with the seven I’m taking,” Warren said. “We had the kids think more long term. These kids would get to league and they would be like, ‘Oh, I’m done. I don’t want to do it anymore.’ This year we really emphasized that the season doesn’t end at league, it ends at state and let’s all work at getting there.”

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