Q&A with Brandon Carter
In his first season of competing in the long jump, junior Brandon Carter scored in the event at the 2010 ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships. Primarily a sprinter before this season, Carter recently checked in with VirginiaSports.com to talk about how the transition to becoming a jumper has gone, his expectations for the upcoming outdoor season and why he came to Virginia.
The Cavaliers will open the outdoor season this weekend, traveling to George Mason for a meet on Saturday, March 20.
Question: You scored at ACCs in the long jump a couple weekends ago. How excited were you to do so?
Carter: It was truly a blessing to finally score individually at ACCs. I was very excited to accomplish something not only for myself, but for the team. Coach Eskind has done a wonderful job coaching me each and every week. I have only competed in long jump in three meets prior to the championship. I just thank God that I have great coaches and teammates that have helped me along the way.
Question: You haven’t primarily been a jumper before, why have you gotten more involved with it this year?
Carter: I started off mainly as a sprinter. Unfortunately, during my collegiate career, I have been plagued with injuries, primarily with the hamstring. I have always had an interest in long jump and this year the coaches believed that it was in my, and the teams, best interest if I made long jump my primary focus. The coaching and training staff has done a wonderful job constantly monitoring my health and helping me become better each day.
Question: How has training been going?
Carter: Training is great. I look forward to training every single day because of my coaches and my great teammates – which I consider family. As of late, I have been taking it easy. We are transitioning from indoor to outdoor season, so coach has allowed us to recover from injuries. This will allow us to make a great run for outdoor season.
On a typical day, Coach Eskind does an amazing job assessing each athlete individually in great detail. I honestly do not know how he keeps up with so much at once, but he gets it done. What I like most about training is that my teammates also give their input to help each other. That is very comforting especially when I transitioned to the jumps group.
Question: How different is it to compete as a jumper rather than a sprinter?
Carter: Jumpers still have the opportunity to shine in front of spectators due to how the meet schedules are set up. However, the crowd is more active during the running events. I am still a sprinter. Outdoor will allow me to be involved in more of the sprinting events such as the 4x100m relay and the open 100m. As far as the difference in outcome, long jump can be more stressful because I have to wait until every competitor jumps. During ACCs, I was in the first of three flights, so you can only imagine how I was feeling. In fact, Coach Vigilante had told me to go sit down somewhere just so I wouldn’t stress so much.
Question: Have you enjoyed the transition to primarily jumping?
Carter: Yes, I have enjoyed the transition. As a long jumper, I have been healthier and I have been able to compete to help out my teammates. I just pray that I am fortunate enough to continue to improve at the rate I was improving during indoor season.
Question: How did you get into track and field?
Carter: My first actual experience running on the track started when I was five years old. I started running track and field competitively in the 10th grade at Wheeler High School and I have been doing it since.
Question: Outdoor starts this weekend, what are you most excited about this upcoming season?
Carter: I am mostly excited about the warm weather. I think all of my teammates would agree. In Atlanta, we never had an indoor track season. In fact, my first time seeing an indoor track was my first track meet in college.
Question: Being from Atlanta, what made you decide to come to Virginia?
Carter: Virginia had much to offer to me both academically and athletically. The track and field program was on the rise for change and I was fortunate and blessed to be apart of it, thanks to the support of my family, friends and coaching staff.
Question: Have you decided on a major or what you want to do later in life?
Carter: I am a psychology major and after college I plan to attend graduate school to study clinical psychology.