VIDEO: Former LSU Tiger, Palm Bay Pirate Xavier Carter Greatest Prep Sprinter In Florida History
By SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME // March 12, 2016
won state titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters
ABOVE VIDEO: Xavier Carter, thought by many to be the greatest sprinter in Florida high school history, won state titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters in both his junior (2003) and senior (2004) years at Palm Bay High School, a feat that no other Florida runner had ever achieved. Carter was named the Athlete of the year by USA Track and Field, Nike, Gatorade and the National High School Coaches Association for both his junior and senior seasons.
XAVIER CARTER – 2013 INDUCTEE
• Most Sprint Titles In Prep History
• NCAA Track Athlete of the Year
• 4 Masters World Records
GREATEST PREP SPRINTER IN FLORIDA HISTORY
Xavier Carter, thought by many to be the greatest sprinter in Florida high school history, won state titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters in both his junior (2003) and senior (2004) years at Palm Bay High School, a feat that no other Florida runner had ever achieved.
Carter was named the Athlete of the year by USA Track and Field, Nike, Gatorade and the National High School Coaches Association for both his junior and senior seasons.
His times of 10.38 second for 100 meters, 20.69 seconds for 200 meters and 45.88 seconds for 400 meters were the best in the nation during his junior year. He followed that with scintillating times of 10.29 seconds, 20.49 seconds for 200 meters and 45.44 for 400 meters as a senior.
In four years for the Pirates, Carter won 10 regional, district and county titles, earned nine Cape Coast Conference titles, and totaled nine gold medals in state track and field competition.
The 6-foot-3, 170-pound Carter also was a standout football player for Palm Bay. As a wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner on special teams, he helped the Pirates win state titles in both 2000 and 2002, also played in the 2004 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and was named to USA Today’s All-USA Team.
COLLEGIATE TRACK PHENOM AT LSU
After graduation, Carter accepted a scholarship to run track and play football for Louisiana State University (LSU).
In his freshman year at LSU, Carter was the NCAA Outdoor runner-up in the 200 meters with a time of 20.08 seconds and helped LSU win the NCAA Outdoor 1,600-meter relay in 2:59.59.
He played football for the Tigers in the 2004 and 2005 seasons, catching a total of nine passes for 204 yards and three TDs, returning 10 kicks for 203 yards and rushing 36 yards for one TD. A fractured clavicle prematurely ended his sophomore season, and after healing, he turned his attention to the track.
As a sophomore in 2006, Carter had perhaps one of the greatest collegiate track and field seasons in history.
He won the 400 meters during the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships with a time of 45.58 seconds and was a member of the winning 1,600-meter relay team with a time of 3:04.01. He also placed second in the 200 meters with a time of 20.39 seconds. That earned him the honor of 2006 NCAA Men’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.
Comparisons to the legendary Jesse Owens came out when Carter won the 100 meters in 10.09 seconds and the 400 meters in 44.53 seconds in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He also was a member of two winning relay teams. LSU’s 400-meter relay team won in 38.44 seconds and the 1,600-meter relay team won in 3:01.58.
With his success at the NCAA championships he decided to forego his remaining two years of college eligibility in both track and football to join the professional track and field circuit.
At the Grand Prix in Lausanne, Switzerland in July 2006, Carter ran the second-fastest 200 meters ever with a time of 19.63 seconds. At that time, only Olympic champion Michael Johnson had run a better time for that distance. Since then, Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Walter Dix and Tyson Gay have surpassed his scintillating time.
AMONG THE FASTEST SPRINTERS IN THE WORLD
With his world-class talent, Carter’s dream was to compete in the 2008 Olympics. Unfortunately, during competition he aggravated a knee injury that he had sustained in 2007, and the strain of trying to execute a fast start out of the blocks in the 100 meters not only hurt his knee, but exacerbated a weak Achilles’ tendon resulting in disappointing finishes in both the 100 and 200 meters finals at the 2008 Olympic Trials.
Xavier Carter’s fastest career times of 6.74 for 60 meters, 10.00 for 100 meters, 19.63 for 200 meters and 44.53 seconds for 400 meters, and his extraordinary performance on the track at the prep, college and professional levels put him on the short list of the fastest men in the world and squarely into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
For information about the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com