Carmelita Jeter’s path to greatness – and her eventual title as Fastest Woman Alive – was different than most track prodigies. A high school basketball player, she took up track during the offseason. While it was evident her future was in sprinting, she did not attend a college with a high-profile track program. Cal State University Dominguez Hills had never sent a runner to the U.S. Olympic Trials, let alone the Olympic Games.
Following graduation in 2006, Jeter began racing professionally. She did not qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team in 2008. The following year, disappointed by a third-place finish at the world championships, Jeter bounced back with the second- and third-fastest women’s 100-meter times ever, including a 10.64-second mark.