BOZEMAN — At the beginning of this year’s high school track and field season, competing at the college level didn’t seem like a possibility for Belgrade’s Gracey Carter. Her marks in javelin weren’t far enough at the time for an NCAA Division I offer, but all it took was one meet in the middle of May to get the attention of Montana State.
“What I’ve been doing is practice my 13-step, which is a longer approach," Carter said. "My coach is like, 'Just go for it. You’re on a good mark.' So I did. I threw around a 120. That was a new PR. Then it went out to a 130-something, and so it was actually one of the Skyview girls who was like, 'Just throw a 145.'”
That’s exactly what she did.
Carter marked a throw of 144 feet, 5 inches, which not only broke a school record but was also a mark far enough to grow interest from the Bobcats.
“The week after Skyview, which was the week of divisionals, my throws coach Lisa Palmer was like, 'With that throw, you know that’s a really good mark? I’ll text the coach,'" Carter said. "Then she got back to me, and she’s like, 'How about coffee?'”
Carter was ultimately offered a spot on Montana State’s track team, but before committing she wanted to talk it over with Belgrade’s athletic director Toby Robinson.
“During that time the more she talked about it the more her eyes lit up, and I just remember the conversation we had in seventh grade," Robinson chuckled. "She told me, 'I’m going to be a track and field athlete, and I’m going to go play in college.'”
It was the reminder that made Carter’s decision an easy one.
“She was like, 'Give it a couple days, then get back to us.' And I’m like, 'How’s a couple hours?'" Carter said with a smile.
Two days after verbally committing to Montana State, Carter put pen to paper Friday morning making her seventh-grade goal a reality.
“I don’t think MSU knows quite the caliber of human being they’re getting, let alone an athlete in Gracey Carter," Robinson added.
While throwing javelin at Montana State, she’ll also be working on a degree in Asian Studies.