After trying a few sports she was not particularly suited for, Amber Watson has finally gotten on the right track.
"I played soccer and basketball. I was never good at basketball," said Amber, a senior at South Aiken High School and a leader on the Thoroughbreds' track and field team.
Amber competes in the 400-meter races and the triple jump. She also is a member of several relay teams.
Amber was the region champion in the triple jump and the 400-meter race last year.
This year, she said, she is determined to improve in all of her events - no matter what it takes.
She also was part of the cross country team that won region earlier in the fall. The long distances are good for conditioning and keeping her in shape for track, said cross country coach Russ Busbee.
While the cross country team won region, Amber was disappointed with a seventh-place finish in the state meet.
"It wasn't as well as what my expectations were," she said.
Amber's disappointment was heightened by the fact she is one of the seniors on the team who will not have another chance at the state title, Busbee said.
"As seniors, they felt like it all lies on them," he said.
With the cross country season behind her, Amber is looking ahead to the track season, and some strenuous workouts with her coaches that will help her achieve her goals.
"I don't want it to be easy. I want it when it hurts, and I cry. It pays off," Amber said.
Busbee said Amber is being counted on heavily in the shorter distances.
"We lack depth in the sprints. Amber is one of two" sprinters on the South Aiken team, he said.
But it's not the running that Amber does best, Busbee said. "In my opinion, her best event is the triple jump."
Amber would like to be part of a track and field team in college, but she knows the competition will be tough. She hasn't decided what school she'd like to attend, and she's still considering her major - but she does have a career in mind.
"I want to be a nurse and help premature babies," she said.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at email@example.com.