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Forsyth Central's Kieryn Jeter set to make impact on soccer field, track this spring
Kieryn Jeter
Kieryn Jeter, a sophomore at Forsyth Central, will look to leave her mark on the Bulldogs' soccer and track programs this spring. - photo by David Roberts

It's common for high schoolers to play more than one sport throughout the year.

But playing multiple sports during one season? That's anything but common.

Meet Kieryn Jeter, a sophomore at Forsyth Central who will look to leave her mark on the Bulldogs' soccer and track programs this spring.

Jeter burst onto the track scene last year as a freshman, winning a Region 6-7A championship in the 400-meter dash and finishing fifth in the event at the Class 7A state championships. She also finished second in the 200-meter dash at the region meet and set school records in that event, the 400-meter dash, 4x100 relay and 4x400 relay.

It was her first year ever running track.

"I knew I was fast, but I didn't know I would make it that far," Jeter said. "It was surprising. I was kind of going with the flow, running as fast as I can every track meet and seeing what's going to be the next step."

Jeter is a soccer player at heart. She began playing soccer when she was 5 years old but didn't try out for Central's soccer team last year, instead opting to focus on track while playing club soccer with Tophat S.C.

"When people ask me if I like soccer or track better, I do say soccer," Jeter said. "I've been playing my whole life and I love it. Both are team sports, and track is also an individual sport, so you have to focus on yourself too. In soccer, you can rely more on your teammates. It's just more fun."

There are some similarities between soccer and track. 

As an attacking fullback, she uses her speed to counter strikers, and also to flip the field and put pressure on opposing defenses.

"You have to be fast in both, but for soccer there's more rest," Jeter said. "For my position, you do run back and forth on the sideline a lot, but I would say you're not really focused on running. You're focused more on the ball and where it's moving and how you're going to get the ball from her to you. For track, it's definitely different. You don't need to focus on the ball."

Kieryn Jeter
Kieryn Jeter runs the 400-meter dash last year at the Forsyth County Championships. File photo

Jeter coordinates her schedule with Central girls soccer coach Angela Camp and Central track and field coach Scott Walker, who are instrumental Jeter's ability to juggle both sports.

"The number one reason why I can do both is the support of my coaches," Jeter said. "Without them supporting me, and knowing that I can do both well, I wouldn't be able to. Plus, other athletes wanting to do high school track and high school soccer, but they're not able to because their school's not allowing them to. I have to consistently and weekly update my coaches on if I'm going to practice soccer one day or track one day — or both. I usually do that over the weekend."

That's in addition to her other weekend obligations, which include homework and traveling to soccer camps.

"I just have to take every chance I get, especially in school if we finish an assignment early and I can work on homework for other classes," Jeter said. "Other kids don't take advantage of that, but I really have to this year because I don't have enough time at home. Even just car rides back home, I like to study."

In the classroom, Jeter maintains a 4.0 GPA and was awarded the AP Scholar Certificate in September for carrying a GPA above 3.75 and scoring at least a three on three or more AP exams. She is also involved in the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter and serves as a student ambassador.

Jeter said she plans to become a pediatrician, and she hopes to play professional soccer before then.

Her more immediate goal is to help Central's girls soccer team to the Class 7A playoffs and run the 400-meter dash in fewer than 57 seconds.

She ran a 57.27 last season at the state meet, finishing behind three seniors and a sophomore.

"I was nervous, but it was also exciting as a freshman going to state my first time doing track ever," Jeter said. "That's a big thing that will stick with me. Everybody was surprised and wanted to talk to me, but it was a really nice experience and I hope to do it the rest of the years I'm here."

Count Jeter among those who were surprised that she qualified for the state meet as a freshman.

"I was definitely surprised," Jeter said with a laugh. "I didn't know I would make it that far, even though I knew I was fast."

Jeter set the bar high as a freshman, but even while juggling two sports at the same time, she hopes to eclipse that mark. She doesn't have to look far for motivation.

"If somebody's running faster than me when we're doing a drill or a workout, that just motivates me," she said. "I think it should motivate everybody, honestly. It make me want to go faster and push myself."