There cannot be anyone as busy as Katie Carpenter on the Poway High campus.
Not students, not coaches, not teachers or administrators.
Carpenter, a senior, is celebrating a return to normal this school year by playing all four sports she enjoyed before the coronavirus interrupted her junior year.
“I feel like myself again,” Carpenter said. “My life revolves around sports.
“I’m exhausted at night. I am hungry and tired every night after I get home,” she said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way right now.”
Carpenter, a setter on the volleyball team, began the San Diego Section playoffs with the Titans after a 20-15 regular-season record.
Volleyball was not played during the spring at Poway as coaches opted to skip the shortened season to allow players the chance to play other sports, concentrate on their Zoom classes and play for their club teams.
“I love the camaraderie of volleyball,’’ the 5-foot-7 Carpenter said. “There’s always a lot of pressure on the setter, and I love and thrive in that role.’’
But she’s become the Poway starter at setter without the benefit of playing on a club team like most other high school players.
Just too busy for that.
“She is very athletic,’’ said Poway volleyball coach Breezy Ambort, a former setter at University City. “I prefer an athletic person in that spot.
“I wish we had her for another year because it would be fun to see where she would be with another full season on the court.’’
Carpenter has rejoined the soccer team.
“I’m still so inexperienced in soccer,’’ she said. “There’s a lot of running from end zone to end zone.
“My speed helps me a lot playing right wing.’’
Last year she skipped soccer during the spring to concentrate on her other two sports.
Springtime is her most hectic part of the school year with girls lacrosse and track splitting her time.
“Lacrosse is my love, my baby,’’ said Carpenter, who suffered a painful sprained knee in lacrosse last year. “I like how much faster it is and how much aggressiveness there is.
“And I just love it when I have the ball,” she said. “Unlike volleyball where I get the ball to teammates, my job in lacrosse is to score, plain and simple.’’
For track, she fits in workouts for the 100-yard dash as well as the 300 low hurdles, the triple jump, the long jump, and occasional 1,600 relay as well as the 400 relay.
“Track, for me, is very different than the other sports where I am on the move all the time, even volleyball,’’ Carpenter said. “Track goes in short bursts.’’
Carpenter acknowledges that she has finished one sport, leaving three more before graduation.
Pointing to one single moment to highlight her busy schedule is tough for her to do.
“Maybe my moment is still coming,’’ she said. “I am not looking forward to being done with sports in my life. I’ll need to play something in college just to stay busy.’’
But where that will happen is still unclear.
Carpenter is betting lacrosse will be her No. 1 sport in college.
That means traveling, for the most part, east of the Mississippi River because very few West Coast colleges play lacrosse.
“I love to travel,’’ she said. “I won’t shy away from experiencing new things.’’
New experiences are what put Carpenter on the path to a busy life outside of the classroom.
She has gotten accustomed to doing homework during homeroom class, at lunch or in the car going home.
“I used to sleep about three hours a night,’’ Carpenter said. “I had so much homework at night after dinner and practices. I certainly don’t have any time in the day to get into trouble.”
“A lot of people ask me why I am doing this,” she said. “I have to because that’s the only way I’d be happy now.’’
In college, Carpenter may pursue a major to become a paramedic or a trauma nurse.
“I will miss the variety my life has now in college,’’ she said. “Being busy all the time makes me happy.
“No matter if I play lacrosse or don’t, I’ll survive. It will sure be good for my body to get a little more rest than I get now.’’
Which will be a novel concept for Carpenter.