Carmelita Jeter, 100 Meters World Champion: An Enigmatic Inspiration

” If you want something, go after it yourself. Never rely on anyone else to get it for you, and don’t give up!” Carmelita Jeter, world’s fastest woman, track and field said.

Carmelita “The Jet” Jeter, the fastest woman in the world, is in the midst of her third straight season as the top American sprinter with her second USA Outdoors 100m title and runner-up finish in the 200m. Born and raised in Southern California, Carmelita got her athletic start in basketball; it wasn’t until high school that she found her love for speed. Basketball was the preferred sport in Carmelita’s family- her younger brother, Eugene, later joined the Sacramento Kings.

During her freshman year of high school, Carmelita’s basketball coach suggested that she try out for track to help keep in shape in off-season. Not only did Carmelita show up to tryouts wearing basketball high-top sneakers and basketballs shorts, she also ran an 11.7 second 100m in them, proving her natural talent for sprinting. Upon graduating high school, Carmelita signed on with California State University, Dominguez Hills track team and became the University’s first U.S. Olympic trials qualifier. Carmelita went on to become the most decorated track & field athlete in the history of the school. While at Dominguez Hills, Carmelita also excelled off the track and acquired a degree in physical education.

2007, Carmelita’s first year on the professional track and field circuit, she not only took home her first medal in 100m at her first World Championships, she also set a then personal record with a time of 11.05. In the same season, Carmelita won a silver medal in the 60m at the USA Track and Field Indoor Championships and set another personal best with a time of 7.17 seconds. After the 2008 season, Carmelita changed her coach, deciding to work with John Smith who had previously coached Olympic champion, Maurice Greene. Carmelita’s new coach began to completely remodel her running style, thus preparing her for greater success.

At the London Grand Prix, she placed first in the 100m, clocking a personal best of 10.92; it was the third fastest time at that point of the season. A week prior to the start of the World Championships, Carmelita was part of the US 4x100m relay team that ran the fastest women’s sprint relay in 12 years. Carmelita, Lauryn William, Allyson Felix and Muna Lee finished with a time of 41.58 seconds, bringing them to eighth on the all-time list. Heading in as a favorite to the 2009 World Championships, Carmelita posted a lifetime best of 10.83, winning the second semifinal before finishing third in the final with a time of 10.90.

After the 2009 World Championships, Carmelita entered the IAAF World Athletics Final having won her last three races by a significant margin. She not only won the 100m, with a time of 10.67, but she also became the third fastest woman in history and set a championship record. This was the fastest 100m time in 12 years, a time which had only been bettered by Marion Jones and Florence Griffith-Joyner.

Carmelita proved herself to be the best once again by not only winning the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, but setting a new personal best with a time of 10.64, making her the second fastest woman ever. 2010 proved to be a success for Carmelita as well. She was the USA Indoor champion in the 60m and finished first in six events that season, ranked #1 in the world by T&FN with a best of 10.82.

In 2011, Carmelita took home two gold medals in the 100m and the 4x100m relay and one silver medal in the 200m at the World Championships in Daegu.

At the 2012 Olympics, Carmelita won gold in the 4x100m relay, Silver in the 100m and Bronze in the 200m making her the first athlete to ever medal in both the 100m and 200m race at the Olympics. Carmelita anchored the 2012 US Olympic 4x100m relay team that smashed the old record by more than a half of a second.

Jeter attended Bishop Montgomery High School. Initially, basketball was the preferred sport in her family. Her basketball coach suggested that she try out track, and a 11.7 second run confirmed her natural talent for sprinting. Jeter graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills which is located in Carson, California, with her bachelor’s degree in physical education. Jeter set the record for most NCAA medals by a California State University, Dominguez Hills track athlete and became the University’s first U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier. A recurring hamstring problem kept her out of competition for much of 2003–05, and it was not until 2007 that she made her first impact in senior track and field athletics, having undergone treatment with deep tissue massage.

Her fast times were a double-edged sword in that they brought as much suspicion as they did appreciation. At age 30, Jeter had improved her personal record by over a third of a second within a single season and she ranked between Jones and Griffith-Joyner in the all-time lists. Given the history of the women’s sprints and speculation about performance enhancing drug use, Jeter said “I can’t be upset about those questions [but] It’s unfortunate that I work this hard and I don’t get the credit I should get”. She improved her 60 m best to 7.02 seconds to win at the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships. This was still slower than LaVerne Jones-Ferrette, and Jeter resolved to improve further for the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships.

Carmelita Jeter Diet

Jeter’s speed and physical fitness are a testament to her training. The sprinter knows her body and how to fuel it for performance. She says she pays close attention to her diet while training and enjoys her carbs. “I usually eat some sort of carbs after training — my favorite is pasta,” the Olympian explains. “During competition my diet is a little bit more regimented and includes mostly chicken and rice. My diet philosophy is to train hard and work at meeting my goals so I can reward myself with the types of foods I want to eat when I am not training.”

When you start to pay attention to your diet and how it affects your workouts, you can learn which foods give you the most energy and help you recover. Jeter has a few faves that are part of her training regimen: “I cannot live without my granola bars before a race and my Muscle Milk for after. I love eating my cinnamon Wheaties for breakfast.” The Olympian also digs into fresh fruit, chicken tacos and pasta with vegetables. During competition my diet is a little bit stricter and usually includes mostly chicken and rice.

Carmelita Jeter workout

She said in an interview “I try to hit several muscle groups with each exercise and I incorporate heart-pounding moves like plank pushups, tricep dips, and bicep curls. The artists on my iPod are Melanie Fiona, Maroon 5, Beyonce, Kanye West, and Lil’ Wayne “.  


The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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