Salute to Seniors: Charlotte Platt of Ashley Ridge

Name: Charlotte Platt
High School: Ashley Ridge 
Event PRs: Shot Put (36'3") and Discus (136'2")
Hobbies: Baking, Cooking, Fishing, Writing, and Reading

What was your most memorable race/competition? 
My most memorable competition would have to be region my sophomore year. It was my first year throwing. In short, I missed going to State Qualifier that year by an inch - I was devastated. I didn't really understand why something I hadn't been doing for very long meant so much to me; however, I realized in that moment that it was something I genuinely loved. From then on I put everything I had into the sport.

Out of all your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?
Placing third at State my senior year. I finished at 5A State Qualifier seeded first in the discus, but soon after my grandmother passed. She was my person and someone that I was extremely close with. The Thursday before the State Championships we had her memorial, and being able to wake up the next morning, drive to Columbia, and compete was probably one of the harder things I've ever had to do. Placing third was a hard bullet for me to bite, but at the end of the day I was very proud of myself, it showed me how strong of person I really am. 

If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school? 
To put it simply, I would have started earlier. 

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
 
My most difficult obstacle was myself. About 2.5 years ago, I was a shy, unconfident, pessimistic, and generally just unhappy person when it came to the topic of my self. I have by no means completely conquered my self esteem issues nor can I say that I am 100% an optimist, but I have become a completely different person. With the help of two very old, very special coaches I learned to love myself and have confidence in my abilities. Once I did that, my nerves at competitions were virtually gone, my confidence on and off the track improved, and my discus began to fly. All in all, my biggest obstacle was myself. 

What will you miss the most? 
To put it plainly, I'll miss the people. I'll miss the coach that saw potential in me when I didn't, who could be at the track by 7 a.m. and still find a reason to dance and holler, and ultimately became another father figure to me. I'll miss eating watermelon on Saturday mornings with some of my closest friends in the middle of a 5 hour practice and somehow still being able to laugh until our stomachs hurt. I'll miss all of the mom's who were always cheering me on, as if I was their daughter too. I'll miss my teammates who light up every dreadfully tiring practice. I'll miss the people that have impacted my life in more ways than one, and who's love has far beyond the track. 


Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
 
You are your own competition, just fight against yourself - don't worry about anyone else on the track, by the pit, or in the ring - be the best version of yourself. 

How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals? 
One of my coaches does this thing where he'll take you on a walk around the track, and in those moments I've heard some of the best life lessons anyone has ever had the courage to tell me. Those "back in my day" stories have given me insight into the athlete, person, and member of society that I want to be. 

What kind of impact did your family have on your time as a high school student-athlete?
My mom tried to be at every meet she could, and being a single mom it wasn't easy - but it meant the world. 

What are your college or post-high school plans?
I plan to attend Wingate University in the fall as a student-athlete for their Women's Track and Field program. 

What do you hope to achieve after high school? 
Growth. I never want to stop learning, experiencing, and finding new things. 

Do you see yourself coaching in the future? Please explain and if so, what level and why? 
If I coach it will probably be on a summer league of with the Herbert Johnson Track and Field Academy. 

Shout-outs? 

  • Coach Johnson, Coach John, and Coach Settles: Thank you for believing in me when I didn't have the courage to believe in myself. 
  • Coach Green: Thank you for dragging me over to the ring. 
  • Cailah Warner, Olivia Brown, Winter Curry, and Kamryn Petrick: Thanks for helping me get through high school; I couldn't have gotten through the lows without you and wouldn't want to have spent the highs with anyone else. 
  • Herbert Johnson Track and Field Academy Athletes: Thanks for all of the laughs in the hot summer sun and cold winter mornings. I love you guys! Please don't drive the old man too crazy. 
  • Skylar Gadsden and Raven Saunders: Thanks for coming home helping me on and off the track by guiding me through practices and aiding me with the college process. 
  • Melissa Platt: Mamma, we did it. Thank you for all of your sacrifices to get me where I am today, I love you as much as the ocean is deep. 
  • Family and friends: Thank you for the unyielding support and endless love.
  • Palmetto Striders Track Club: Thank you for all of the memories, guidance, and opportunities. 


If there is one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why? 
Make an impact on someone's life. I feel like there are so many people in the world who just need one person to care about them more than they care about themselves. Whether I help one person or 400 people in my life time, I want to leave someone's life making a difference in it for the better. 


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