by Kayla Shore
Breaking both regional and personal records with a 42 ft. 1.5 in. triple jump, junior Carla Forbes jumped the farthest of any female high school athlete in New England history, while participating in the U.S. World Youth Qualifiers this summer.
At the competition, held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on June 28, Forbes also placed fourth in the long jump.
“I kind of just flipped a switch, there was no point in being nervous any more,” she said of her performance in the triple jump. Forbes felt good about her jump, but initially had no idea she had set a personal record, she said. “The measurement is given in meters, and I didn’t know what the conversion was,” said Forbes.
Thrilled after she found out that she had made a personal record, Forbes began to anticipate a potential invitation to the World Youth Championships. ”I talked to my coach after the jump, and we talked ourselves into thinking I made it.”
“We were still unsure because there were a lot of people who won their events but still didn’t make the team,” she said.
Two days later, however, Forbes found herself competing with world-class athletes in Lille, France when competing in the International Association of Athletics Federations’ World Youth Championships from July 6 to 10.
Forbes, participating in her first competition of this scale, was intimidated going into the experience, she said. “I was expecting the competition to be difficult, but not as hard as what I saw when I got there,” said Forbes. “The talent that all these kids from overseas have was ridiculous to me,” she said.
Placing 13th in the triple jump, Forbes was disappointed with the results. “Going into it, it kind of got into my head,” she said. “Track is 80 percent mental, 20 percent physical,” said added, “and I wasn’t really prepared for that amount of shock. I would have done better if I had been completely there mentally and confident in my jump.”
There was even more pressure for Forbes because she was entering the competition off of a personal record, she said. “I hadn’t been consistent in my jumps,” she added.
Still, Forbes acknowledged that the competition was “a great experience. I’m definitely grateful that I was able to do it,” she said.
“It just proves that if you do a sport and really work hard at it, it can actually take you somewhere.”