Kym Carter Begel
Kym Carter Begel
Born: March 12, 1964 (Inglewood, CA)
Graduated: Wichita East High School, 1982 / Louisiana State University, 1987
The Gothic brick facade of Wichita East High School dominates the skyline of East Douglas Avenue. It’s an imposing structure but also a work of art. Thousands of students have walked those hallways and several of those athletes have been selected for induction to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. Perhaps no other high school in the entire state can claim a more illustrious Olympic pedigree either and today, another name is added to that prestigious list in Kym Carter Begel.
Carter Begel was a standout beginning with her competitive career at Wichita East. As a sophomore, Carter Begel won the 6A state championship in the high jump with meet topping jump of five feet, ten inches. She repeated her title as a junior and a senior becoming just the second female athlete to win three consecutive state championships in the high jump. As a senior in 1982, Carter Begel also set the state record for the high jump at six feet, two and a quarter inches. That mark also set the national high school high jump record which stood for three years.
Carter Begel competed collegiately at the University of Houston following her standout high school career. In her three years at Houston, won four conference titles in the high jump (1984 and 1986 indoor; 1984 and 1985 outdoor) and was also named a two-time NCAA indoor All-American selection. Her jump of six feet, two inches in 1986 remains the school’s all-time indoor record.
Carter Begel then transferred to Louisiana State University to finish her collegiate career. Her success continued. As a Tiger, Carter Begel expanded her success at the high jump to other events winning conference titles in not only the high jump, but in the shot put as well. She was named a three-time All-American in 1987 alone, earning honors in the indoor high jump, outdoor high jump, and the heptathlon. She also set the school record in the indoor high jump, indoor shot put, outdoor high jump, and set the second place school mark in the outdoor shot put. She also set the second place school record in the heptathlon with 5,545 points.
Following her collegiate career, Carter Begel turned professional and eyed the world stage and the Olympics. She competed in four world championships during her career, all focusing on multi-event competitions. She won third place in the women’s heptathlon at the 1992 U.S. Olympic trials stamping her ticket to the Olympics in Barcelona. At the Olympics, Carter Begel finished in eleventh place.
Following the Olympics in 1992, Carter Begel saw her biggest successes on the world stage, working her way to the top ranked American heptathlete, and eighth ranked heptathlete in the world, in 1993. She was also selected twice as the “Heptathlete of the Year” by the U.S. Track and Field Association.
The halls of Wichita East have produced some phenomenal people and athletes since the building’s construction nearly a century ago. Kym Carter Begel’s achievements and accomplishments have been recognized by the school in many ways, including being inducted to the Wichita East Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. Today, she takes her place among the best to ever wear the blue and white as a member of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.