Going fast in the water has always come naturally for Corinth Holders swimmer Michaela Carter.
Swimming since she was in elementary school, she has gotten used to others coming up to her after races commenting on how fast she can swim.
In 2014, there was no one in the 3A ranks in the state faster than Carter in the 50-yard freestyle, as Carter took home first place having been the only one to break the 25-second mark in the finals in 24.9 seconds.
As natural as Carter is in the water, she was on the hunt for a state title since her freshman year as she has qualified for the postseason every year.
“It was amazing and it was a great feeling,” Carter said of her experience last year at the N.C. High School Athletic Association swimming finals. “I had been trying to (win) titles since freshman year. When I hit the wall with one I was amazed.”
It’s a feeling the senior wants to experience again twofold this time around as the recent multi-event winner at the Two Rivers 3A Conference Championships will attempt to defend her 50 free title and add the 100 backstroke as well.
A change in Carter’s preparation will hopefully send her back to where she likes to be: touching the wall first.
Focusing more on sprinting in the off-season has led to Carter obtaining some of her fastest times this season early on.
“This year she’s already done some of her best times in December that she hadn’t done in a year or two,” said Corinth Holders coach Maureen Blandford. “Her outlook is positive because of that. In general, she’s looking to have a good end of the season for her senior year.”
Carter will look to draw upon the experience of getting over the hump last year en route to her championship win not only for her success this year, but also for her team.
As a team, the Corinth Holders boys’ team finished in seventh place last year and the girls also posted a top-10 finish in ninth position.
Helping to build the Pirates into a consistent winner is something that Carter doesn’t take lightly and she points to the future being bright even after she graduates this year.
“The more successful your team is, the more successful you’ll be,” Carter said. “That’s what I want to spread around and I want to help them as much as I can, especially the freshmen who are really young and have a lot of potential.
“Success for someone else comes first before your own.”
To be successful this year, Carter knows the target will be on her back as the other swimmers in the state will aim at dethroning her. But no mind as Carter is more than used to being used as a measuring stick for other swimmers.
“After races, they’ll say, ‘Wow, you’re really fast!’” Carter said. “I’ve been swimming since I was eight years old so it’s kind of natural.
“I’ve definitely been working as hard as I can lately for my times to drop.”