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Carly Paul ’18.5 sets long jump school record

First-place finish in Alabama meet gives track, field athlete high hopes for national title

Last weekend, track and field athlete Carly Paul ’18.5 traveled to Alabama to compete in the Auburn Tiger Track Classic. Over the course of the two-day meet, she finished in first place in the women’s heptathlon with 5,509 points and set a new University record in the event. Paul’s score broke the 18-year-old standing record of 5,504 points set by Lindsay Taylor ’01 in 2000. She also won and set an additional Brown record in long jump with a 20’ 3.75” leap.

For her outstanding accomplishments in the heptathlon and long jump last weekend, Paul has been named The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.

Herald: Congratulations on setting two school records last weekend! What was going through your mind before, during and after the meet?

Paul: The nature of the heptathlon is that you don’t get to do it every week, so I only do two heptathlons every outdoor season. This was the first one, and the second will be at our conference championship. Going into the first multi (event) of the season is always really exciting, but you try to stay calm because it’s early on. But I definitely knew I was shooting for a PR in the overall score and PR in the individual events within it. I think during this multi, I was definitely the most cool, calm (and) level-headed that I’ve been, and I think that really worked to my advantage. It was exciting to come back and see everyone, and people were pretty excited for me. I was the only one who went out to Alabama — I just went with my coach and everyone else was at a home meet here, so it was exciting to come back and see everyone.

How did you initially get into track and field? Did you play other sports growing up?

I was a dancer for a very long time, which I think has benefited me a lot with picking up different events (in track), and just having body awareness. I started doing track because my mom and aunt had hurdled and high jumped in high school. I tried that out because of them, and it just kind of stuck. I also played volleyball in high school too.

Why did you choose Brown?

I really didn’t have my sights set on Brown until I was contacted by coach Ken (Hunt). After that it was really just my dream school. I was pretty set on Brown because I went on an official visit and I definitely liked the energy … I really liked the cooperative nature of it. I think it was definitely the best academically and athletically balanced opportunity that I had coming out of high school, and that was really important to me.

Who has been the biggest influence on your track career?

I had a very good high jump coach in high school. His name’s Coach Square. He was just a really fun guy, really quite knowledgeable about the high jump, and really pushed me to be a be better athlete all-around and be a level-headed athlete. …(That) is one of the biggest skills you need and has helped me be successful at the multis.

Going forward, what are your team and individual goals for the rest of the season?

Our women’s team has a lot of potential to do well as a team in our conference. In our indoor championship we kind of fell short of our potential — a lot of girls just missed finals and we had a couple people that were injured. We’re a very young team, so it’s just up from here. I think in the outdoor championships we have really high sights for our women’s team to place much higher in team rankings. As far as myself, breaking the heptathlon record was a really big goal for me. I just came short of breaking the pentathlon record in indoor, and so I definitely have my sights on that for this outdoor season. But my main goal is to make it to nationals in the heptathlon or in an individual event. I have regional qualifying marks for long jump and high jump, so maybe I can make it to one of those or the heptathlon.

What are your plans after graduation? Do you want to stay involved with athletics?

I don’t know what I see myself doing immediately after college. My degree is in international development, so something in that. I’ve been thinking more often lately about coaching at some point in my future — I would love to coach maybe at a high school level later on in my life. I think track has made me value a really active lifestyle, so I’ll definitely continue to do outdoor stuff. Being from Colorado, I miss a lot of the hiking and biking and stuff I used to do in nature, so that’ll be a big part of my post-collegiate life. I could definitely see myself needing some form of competition — maybe that’ll translate into triathlons. Another thing I’d really like to do is go back to playing volleyball.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.



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