HELENA — With all of her athletic ability, Leigha Carter had a few college choices in front of her.
Yet, a couple of months back, Montana State offered Carter a scholarship to compete in track and field and after weighing all her options, Carter officially signed her letter of intent with the Bobcats Friday at Helena Capital High School.
"I felt like it was just right," Carter said of Montana State. "Right when I took my visit, I knew that's where I wanted to go."
Carter, who is a member of the Bruins 400-meter relay team that captured the Western AA championship last season, also placed fifth at state in the 200-meter dash. She is also part of the school-record holding 400-meter relay team.
Her sister, Elena Carter, was also on that team and Leigha will join her on the Bobcats as a sprinter next year.
"They offer a lot of different programs and so if I want to switch things up with education, I can do that," Carter said. "And my sister is there and it just all fit."
In addition to being a talented runner, Carter is also known for her powerlifting.
She has helped the Bruins win back-to-back state weightlifting championships. It's not an officially sponsored event, but there is a competition at the club level and she has dominated.
Carter is a two-time champion in her weight class and owns all four state records too.
Most impressively, Carter is a world-record holder.
This past summer, Carter took part in a competition in Salt Lake City and dead-lifted 287.7 pounds in the 16-17 age group, 114-pound weight class. She also set state records for the squat and bench in the same competition.
"Honestly, I feel that's the whole reason I have gotten where I am," Carter said of powerlifting. "It has really developed all the muscles I need to run."
Carter will have one more season of running and lifting for Helena Capital before putting those muscles to use in Bozeman, for the Bobcats.