The Wolfpacker

July 2013 Football Preview

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 125 of 163

K By Ryan Tice arimah Shepherd came to NC State from Chesapeake, Va., where she led the nation in both the long and triple jump as a senior at Grassfield High School. Although she led the Wolfpack in both events during her debut indoor campaign and qualified for the NCAA East Regional as a sophomore, she wasn't satisfied with her results until her junior year. ■ Female Athlete of the Year "My freshman year was really difficult," she admitted. "I was coming from a great school and program, but the transition from high school to college can be really difficult for any athlete. My freshman year was not all that great, but every year, I got better, started scoring more points and winning more. "It took a long time to get back to where I was — I did so well in high school. It took me a good three years to jump well. I didn't jump well again in the triple jump until my junior year. "The good thing about doing two events is that if you don't do well in one, that's motivation to do well in the other. And if you do great in one, that's even more motivation to do great in both of them." That's exactly what Shepherd did during her final year. She earned her first All-ACC honor as a junior, but dominated this season. Shepherd won the ACC championship in both events during the indoor season and was named the event's Field MVP. She set the school record in the long jump, went on to earn second-team All-America laurels in both events and was named the NCAA South Region Women's Indoor Field Athlete of the Year. "I wanted to do great for the program and the school — academically and athletically," she said. "It was my last year. I definitely knew that I wanted to go out with a bang and leave my mark on NC State's track and field program. "The indoor season gave me a lot of confidence, but I also think it gave me motivation to do more. I felt even more pressure because the ACC [Outdoor] Championships were at my school, and I bleed red. "I wear NC State very proudly, and I felt like the only person I was competing with was myself. I knew I had to take that gold medal, especially on my home turf." Shepherd's outdoor season was one of the greatest in program history. She won the long jump at the prestigious Penn Relays and claimed the ACC gold medal in the event. She also placed sixth in the triple jump at the conference meet and advanced to the NCAA Championships in both. On the biggest stage, she earned first-team Flying High Jumper Karimah Shepherd Was An Indoor And Outdoor All-American In The Long Jump And Triple Jump All-America honors after she placed seventh in the long jump, while her 13th-place finish in the triple jump earned her a second-team All-America nod. She is also the only female jumper in school history to earn All-American honors in both jumps for both the indoor and outdoor seasons. The senior, who set another school record with her mark in the long jump, received the ACC Women's Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year award and was again named the NCAA South Region Women's Field Athlete of the Year. ask for anything more. I wanted to go out knowing that I did the best that I could. That was a great ending. "I really wanted to do it not only for myself, but also my school, my team and for my coach." It's been a whirlwind ever since the historic performance at the NCAA Championships for Shepherd. In February 2013, she was selected for the prestigious ACC Futures internship program and will work at ESPN's Wide World of Sports at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. "I wanted to do great for the program and the school — academically and athletically. It was my last year. I definitely knew that I wanted to go out with a bang and leave my mark on NC State's track and field program." ■ Shepherd "I think she was gratified with her performance level indoors, but she wasn't ready to say, 'I'm done with track and field,'" head coach Rollie Geiger said. "She wanted that outdoor season. To finish her career in Eugene at the University of Oregon at the NCAA Championships — that's just a special place for track and field athletes — I'm sure that was one of the highlights of her career. "Anytime you can finish in the top eight at the NCAA Championships, that scores points for the team. That is really a high bar. It really takes a special athlete, and Karimah is very talented. She progressed here at NC State and had a great senior year. "She has been a real asset to the program. When we went to an ACC Championships, we knew we were getting points in the long and triple because of Karimah. She just carried it to the next level at nationals. That's a hard thing for any coach to find — someone that can do two events at that level." Although Shepherd became the first female in school history to earn first-team AllAmerica honors in the long jump, she was especially proud of the fact that in her final track and field event, she met her goal in the triple jump. "I didn't make it to finals in triple jump, but the greatest thing for me was I jumped my personal best," Shepherd said. "I couldn't "I decided after nationals that I was done running track," she said. "I love the sport of track and field, I'm so blessed and honored to have been able to go to North Carolina State University and get my degree with my schooling paid for, but going pro was never something I wanted to do. Nationals was my last track meet. "I jumped on a Friday in the triple jump, Saturday we had to go to Portland and then we went to California. We came back to Raleigh and two days later, I was driving to Florida. It was a very, very quick transition. "Now I'm at Disney for a 10-month internship. It's such a great opportunity, and I'm so thankful I was able to get the job. "I'm working under the event management and I can definitely see myself working collegiate athletics as a director of game-day operations. I love all of the behind-the-scenes work that goes on." Shepherd is very appreciative of the storybook ending to her track career. "All of the blessing and accomplishments that I have had this year have been amazing," she said. "I couldn't imagine going out any other way." ■ This year, Shepherd was named the NCAA South Region Women's Indoor and Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year. photo by Cheryl Treworgy/ 124  ■  the wolfpacker 124-126.Female Athlete of the Year.indd 124 7/2/13 12:19 PM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - July 2013 Football Preview