The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Once in a Decade Athlete: Carissa Uy

Morgan Warner-Mackey
Carissa Uy, junior, gets into position to perform a long distance jump.

School records are put into place by the best of the best athletes at Niles West. It takes dedication and hard work towards your sport to one-up the last star athlete. Junior Carissa Uy is Niles West’s latest example of an exceptional athlete. Uy broke the school record for long jump with a distance of 17ft and 10.5 inches as well as the triple jump record with a distance of 35ft and 9.75 inches.

“Carissa is a once-a-decade type of talent. We don’t have her type of talent walking onto the track team each year. As a person, she is incredibly humble and modest. No big feat ever gets to her head,” head track and field coach George Howe said.

Unlike many track athletes, Uy is a part of and competes in four different events: long jump, triple jump, high jump and sprints. She finds time each week to better herself in and out of practice, which pays off in breaking the record.

“I didn’t really know I broke the record when I did. But when I found out I felt relieved, it gave me reassurance that whatever I’m doing is paying off,” Uy said.

Everyone who has worked with Uy knows that she is very dedicated and hard-working while also being modest about her feats.

“Practicing with her each day is awesome and so is entering each meet. It’s now almost expected that we take first or second place in long jump, triple jump and the 50-meter dash. I’ve learned that Carissa doesn’t really need external motivation. She has an inner drive to be the best track athlete in Niles West history. It felt amazing when she broke the record. I think I was more excited than she was. That’s the kind of humility she shows on a regular basis,” Howe said.

Uy explains that her mindset, behind her humility, is going into meets knowing what she is capable of and getting it done. Breaking the school record was not the main purpose of the meet, she didn’t want that to be a main stress, and competed as if it was a regular meet.

Senior Kitana Forsythe, the other jumper on the team with Uy, believes that Uy is a huge motivator for her. Uy always knows how to keep practice light and fun while also getting work done, allowing Forsythe to look forward to practice every day.

“We have been together for the past three years now and I definitely think not having anyone else has kind of, not forced us but lack of a better word, forced us to be much closer which I enjoy very much she’s a very great person to be around, great person and great athlete just overall really great vibes but I would not have chosen anyone else to be with me these last three years,” Forsythe said.

Howe’s goals for Uy for the rest of the season are to win gold at conferences for all of Uy’s events as well as having her be the first state qualifier in five years. Uy is looking to the future as well, ready to break more records.

“My goals for the rest of the season would be to break the outdoor long and triple records too. Looking further, I hope to break my own records before graduating next year and maybe settling into a college somewhere,” Uy said.

Uy should be on track to accomplish these goals, as she is one of Niles West’s star athletes. Come out on April 11. to support Uy at West’s last home meet!

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