A year ago Carrie Sanders was trying to decide whether to play basketball in Arizona, or try track and field in Texas.
This fall she’ll attend school in Utah.
Sanders spurned the track offer at Texas A&M and chose basketball at Javapai Community College in Prescott, Ariz.
Texas A&M, which recruited her to throw the javelin after a 141-6 third-place state performance, continued to express interest.
But it is Brigham Young University that has won Sanders’ heart.
“Ever since I was little and we’d visit, I always wanted to go there,” she said. “Here comes the perfect opportunity. It’s like a childhood dream.”
Sanders will foresake basketball and walk-on to the track team.
“I guess towards the end of the basketball season I was getting tired of it and needed a change,” she said.
Her father, Tom, is a BYU alumnus. He said that in February he received word that Texas A&M still wanted her to throw the javelin.
An inquiry to his alma mater to see if there was room on the Cougar track team elicited a positive response. Although there would be no financial aid, Sanders was invited to turn out.
“The track coach said they want me as a heptathlete,” Sanders said. “Of course I took it. BYU is always where I wanted to go and that’s where I went.”
She said she loved the atmosphere at the school ever since attending a summer basketball camp as a high school student at Central Valley.
Women heptathletes compete in seven events: the long jump, high jump, shot put, javelin, hurdles, 200 and 800 meters.
“I always liked change,” said Sanders. “The heptathlon is perfect for me. Luckily, I’ve got one of the hardest events (the javelin) down.”
Last summer at this time Sanders decided to honor her initial choice and play basketball at Javapai. The team went 21-8 and was ranked among the top-25 community colleges.
She started or was first off the bench, playing either guard or inside. Tom Sanders said she averaged about 6 points per game and had a season high of 16.
“Basketball was great and the team got along great, but I wasn’t used to the college level and wasn’t big enough to play down low,” Carrie said. “I just didn’t enjoy it as much and found myself not playing as hard as I could.”
She told her dad she thought she wanted to switch to track. He told her to stick out the basketball season.
Sanders ran the 400 meters, dabbled in the hurdles, shot put and some jumping as a freshman on CV’s track team. She admitted that laziness was the reason she later concentrated on the javelin.
Now a new opportunity has arisen at BYU.
“It’s going to be tough, I can’t take anything for granted,” she said, knowing hard work lies ahead if she is going to make BYU’s team.
“It’ll be hard, but something I’ll enjoy, too.”
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.