For Patrick Carter, sacrifice comes with the territory.
Whether it’s putting down the Snickers bar for some fruit, going straight from West Islip diving practice to club practice at Fordham University or calling it a night at 8 p.m., Carter’s no stranger to forfeiting some perks for his goals.
It’s what has helped make the four-time Suffolk diving titlist a state champion. And entering his final year at West Islip, it’s going to take him to the United States Naval Academy, where he will be on the diving team along with serving his military obligations.
“My overall goal is to be an officer in the military, especially the Navy, and I’m super thrilled for that,” Carter said. “It was my first choice since I was a little kid. Diving’s taking me a long way.”
Before next fall, however, he still has unfinished goals.
Since winning his first Suffolk high school diving title as an eighth grader, he wanted to be a five-time county champion. Since taking a state crown March 4 in Buffalo, he not only wants to repeat as the best in his county, but in his state.
“I thought about that and I think that would be a great accomplishment,” Carter said. “I think it would be great for West Islip to have that, it’s really just a fantastic thing. It would really make me proud.”
The last back-to-back state diving champ was Shawn Hoffman of North Tonawanda in 2007 and 2008.
“Knowing I did win it last year, I’ve definitely stepped it up a lot this year . . . I pretty much practice every single day for two or three hours and I do as much as I can,” Carter said.
Sometimes that means expanding those practices to five or six hours when he’s working with the New York Dive Club at Fordham. But Carter credits his West Islip coaches, Bob Kollar and Karyn Storan, along with his club coach, Zhihua Hu, for getting him to where he is today.
“It’s a lot, but it’s definitely something that I like,” Carter said. “I do enjoy having to balance those things because knowing the state championship win last year, it really does make me want to step up and I want to stay on top. I think a lot of times people say it’s harder to stay on top than it is to get to the top and I really want to take that into account and work as hard as I can.”
Those little sacrifices don’t bother Carter. And judging by his optimal career path, don’t expect that trend to change any time soon.
West Islip, Sr.
Returning state diving champion.
Great Neck South, So.
Won the Nassau 200 IM (1:54.49) and 100 free (47.46) last season.
Rocky Point, Sr.
O’Shea won the Suffolk 200 free (1:42.60) and 100 back (51.30) last season. He’s committed to Eastern Michigan.
Half Hollow Hills East, Sr.
Two-time state champion in the 200 IM, Newsday 2016 Swimmer of the Year is committed to Brown.
St. Anthony’s, Sr.
Member of 200 medley relay state championship team. He’s committed to Georgetown.