Airline’s Carswell has sights set on state title

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Hal Braswell
hal@bossierpress.com

Jasmyn Carswell has come a long way in stature and distance since she was a little girl in Virginia.
Today, the Airline High School senior basketball and track standout is a few short weeks away from graduation and then continuing her education and sports career at McNeese State University.
But her life has taken a few detours, moving to Bossier City for the fifth grade when her father was transferred to Barksdale Air Force Base, and more recently last fall when she was injured in an automobile accident that caused her to miss the first part of the basketball season.
The first detour has turned out well for her but the second was not the way she wanted to start her senior year.
“It upset me because it happened just before the jamboree and I couldn’t help my teammates,” Carswell said. “But it really helped me later on to play more aggressively. My season was shorter than everyone else’s.”
A 5-foot-11 center, Carswell has been a big part of Lady Viking basketball and still managed to have a good season while being named first team All-Parish despite missing part of the season.
Back in Virginia, she started playing basketball as part of a basketball-loving family and hasn’t looked back except to treasure some memories.
“My parents (Sherry and Kenny Carswell) played basketball and so did my brother,” Carswell said. “I started when I was really young.”
Her favorite moment in basketball at Airline High took place her junior season when the Lady Vikings were playing Denham Springs. Teammate Kei McCoy was fouled with virtually no time remaining and sank a pair of free throws to win the game.
Interestingly enough, it was basketball that got Carswell involved in track.
“My basketball coach wanted me to try long jump and high jump, and there was only one triple jumper so I tried that too,” Carswell said. “I wasn’t really good at first.”
Carswell may have been late entering jumping competition, but she has made a mark in short order. She was the state indoor champion in the triple jump her junior year but didn’t compete this year right after the basketball season ended.
Last spring, she finished second in triple jump at the outdoor state meet, holding the lead until the sixth and final series of jumps when Destini Lemalle of Slidell passed her with a jump of 38-6.5 to ease past Carswell’s jump of 38-6.25. Carswell also finished fourth in the long jump and eighth in the high jump.
Basketball is her first love but track is a close second. She loves being able to help her teammates out in basketball but knows in track it is up to her to practice and perform.
Her goal this spring is to win a state title in triple jump and do as well as possible in the other jumps, while graduating and earning all A’s this semester.
At McNeese State, she plans to continue sports while earning a degree in criminal psychology, the field of understanding why people do the things they do.
“I want to go out and glorify God with everything I do,” Carswell said. ”I want to make my parents proud. My goal is to do my best and be happy with what I do at the end of the day.”