Before the Carbon High School Track Team made it to 101st BYU Invitational this weekend, their teammate, Karissa Nelson had competed in seven events.
Nelson, one of the top 3A female track and field athletes in the state, has been preparing since the beginning of the year– running cross country, practicing hard every day in track practice and competing in varied events at meets, despite possibly losing races because being of being limited to four events at each– to compete in heptathlon.
She took advantage of the work to place third in the Invitational on the Clarence F. Robison Track, which brings together athletes from 1A to 5A classes to compete, and to warm up for their state tournaments.
The heptathlon challenges the athletes to compete in 100-meter hurdles, 200-meter dash, 800-meter run, high jump, long jump, javelin and shotput.
The first event was the 100-meter hurdles, a strong event for Nelson. She ran the race in 16:43. After a disappointing high jump, she rebounded to throw the shot put 23 feet, two feet further than her best. The final event of the day was the 200 meters. Nelson secured fifth place by running a new personal best of 27:11.
The second day began with the long jump. After jumping 13 feet in one of her weaker events, Nelson was in sixth place, but according to Head Coach Jimmy Jewkes, she felt confident about still reaching the top three. Nelson did just that, throwing the javelin over 100 feet and running the lone distance event, the 800 meters, in 2:28:00.
Jewkes revealed that Nelson’sВ hard work brought her more than just the third place finish at a huge event, she was also invited to travel with the Utah Track and Field All-Star Team to the Great Southwest Invitational, which will be held in New Mexico this June.В He explained that only the top athletes in the state are invited, and that the invitation was a “huge honor” for Nelson.