Carr's return to karate a successful one
By WAYNE GRUMET
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 27, 2001
David Carr has always found himself drawn to karate. After years of success as a junior competitor, the 21-year-old returned to the sport as a freshman at Florida.
But in the spring of 1999, Carr was forced to leave the sport again after being injured in a head-on collision near Gainesville.
After taking a-year-and-a-half to recover from a ruptured spleen, Carr slowly began increasing his training regimen until he returned to competition March 24 at the Japan Karate Do 2001 in Miami.
Carr finished first in forms and first in sparring.
"The hard work really paid off," he said. "I was really happy with my performance. I actually ran my kata (forms) the best I've ever had. I did have a bit of hesitation because I was nervous, but it worked out really well."
Carr initially gave up karate in high school at Gulf. Swimming, wrestling and academics left little time for training and competition.
However, upon arriving at Florida, Carr found the club that would lead him back to karate and lead him into the accident that nearly took his life.
The University of Florida Karate Club helped Carr regain his championship form in AAU and Junior Olympic competitions. He placed second in the nation in fighting twice and first in the nation in weapons.
The club took a trip to St. Augustine for training one weekend in the spring of 1999. Carr was in the back seat on the driver's side.
"I was kind of dozing off. There's little I remember," he said. "I remember that the window on the driver's side smashed and shards of glass shot in."
The car carrying four club members collided head-on with another car. Lynette Spink, the club president seated in the passenger seat, died at the scene.
Carr was flown to Jacksonville Memorial Hospital and his prognosis was uncertain.
"He was flat on his back for seven days. He didn't get up for two weeks," said Tim Carr, David's father. "It was touch and go for a little bit. We could have lost him in the hospital."
Carr's most recent return to karate garnered him more than medals. The sport got him out of bed and healthy, and Carr doesn't plan on quitting again.
Carr will be president of the Florida Karate Club this fall. He intends to continue competing and maybe even doing more.
"If I become a college professor, I'd like to start the same thing we have going here," said Carr, a German and education major. "Karate is so much a part of my life. I can't give it up. It's something I have to do."
FLORIDA AMPUTEE GOLF CLASSIC: New Port Richey's Mike Hudson finished tied for third in the two-day event at the Golf Club of Cypress Creek.
Hudson, an amputee below the elbow, lost his shot at a second Florida title early after shooting 7 over par during a three-hole stretch of the opening round.
However, Hudson did rally with a low round of 76 on the last day to tie Dan Cox for third.
HOLE-IN-ONE: Murray Atkinson aced the ninth hole at Timber Oaks on April 17. Atkinson used a 6-iron to cover the 175-yard hole.
UPCOMING GOLF EVENTS: The ninth annual American Legion Post 79 Spring Scramble will be held at the Links in Hudson on May 6. The tournament for men and women costs $40 per person and will begin with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. The deadline for registration is May 2.
Proceeds will benefit American Legion Post 79's baseball program. Call tournament chairman Ed White at (727) 376-4126 for information. Interested players can also call Hank Van Scoyk at (727) 847-9898 or Tom Burke at (727) 842-2254.
RACE RESULTS: More than 200 runners participated in the third annual Rally to Remember in downtown New Port Richey. The March 31 event raised $7,900 for the Alzheimer's Family Organization. Kit Van Allen won the women's 5K while Jeff Hines of New Port Richey won the men's 5K. Madeline Zito won the women's 10K while David Meri took the men's 10K.
- Wayne Grumet can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by fax at (352) 521-0290.
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