Carlson an All-American after allWhitney Carlson did not need All-American honors to cement the fact that she’s had a great season. Anyone who pays attention already knows that. The Buchanan native set record after record for the NDSU track and field team, leading the Bison to their third straight Summit League championship. In the process, she won three individual titles and qualified for the NCAA championship.
Whitney Carlson did not need All-American honors to cement the fact that she’s had a great season.
Anyone who pays attention already knows that.
The Buchanan native set record after record for the NDSU track and field team, leading the Bison to their third straight Summit League championship. In the process, she won three individual titles and qualified for the NCAA championship.
“There’s nothing better than winning a team championship at the conference level,” she said. “That’s something we all take a lot of pride in as a team. Everything else is just kind of a bonus.”
Last weekend in Eugene, Ore., Carlson placed 11th in the long jump with a leap of 20-3 3/4, which in her typically modest tone she called, “OK I suppose. I was hoping for farther.”
The mark was the 11th-best of any Division I long-jumper in the country, but was one place short of earning All-American honors, or so everyone thought.
Then came the official list Monday night with Carlson included. The top eight in each event earned All-American status, plus the top eight finishers in individual events that are American citizens also earned the sport’s top award. The winner of the long jump — Blessing Okagbare of Texas-El Paso — is a native of Nigeria, who won bronze in the long jump at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and also has her own Wikipedia page.
Carlson was not expecting the award, but was obviously happy to be recognized.
“It was pretty sweet, definitely a big surprise,” she said.
Carlson became just the third All-American at NDSU since the school went D-I.
It just added to her laundry list of accomplishments, which already included holding the school records in the 100, 100 hurdles, 400 hurdles, long jump and sprint medley relay — and those are just outdoor records.
The highlight of the year — before Monday anyway — came at the prestigious Drake Relays, when she won the long jump in one of the deepest fields in the country.
“That was a special thing,” Carlson said. “I didn’t know what to expect going there. You know the level of competition is going to be very high.”
Carlson will be going back to Des Moines, Iowa, next week for the 2010 USA Outdoor Championships June 23-27, featuring over 1,000 of the best athletes in the country.
She isn’t one for lofty goals or expectations, instead focusing on what she can control.
“I never really expect anything. I do hope to do well, and whatever happens from there is fine,” she said. “It’s exciting to be in the mix. It’s definitely an amazing feeling to be able to compete with elite athletes at the highest level. I’m definitely going to soak it all in.”
Just don’t expect her to take much down time.
On top of the required constant training, she also is busy studying for the Dental Admission Test — or DAT — July 1. The 4.0 student has dental school in her future after wrapping up her senior season at NDSU.
“It’s definitely busy right now, but that’s OK,” Carlson said. “I feel fortunate to be involved in all of these things so I want to work hard and not waste it. I’ll have plenty of time down the road to take it easy, I’m sure.”
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com