Dual Sport Athlete Karla Cantrell


Brittany Gowen, Contributing Writer

Karla Cantrell found a different path to follow when she came to Piedmont.

She signed for track as she left high school and thought that track was the only thing she was going to be participating in. Cantrell is a senior education major at Piedmont and has decided to stay a fifth year for another year of basketball, a sport which she came to unexpectedly.

Coach Jamie Purdy noticed her at open gym with some of the basketball girls and pulled her to the side to ask her to walk on for her team. Cantrell accepted the offer and began to practice with the girls when the season rolled around.

“After having the not so best of high school basketball I had no idea I would play college basketball” Cantrell said. “Considering I didn’t even start in high school and barely even played then.”

Since her sophomore year, Cantrell has become a starter for the Lady Lions. Overall, for her career stats, Cantrell has scored 97 points, and out of that 97, 40 of them were from the free throw line.

On the track side of things, in the 2019 season, Cantrell made three all conference teams. She made first team for 400m hurdles, second team for the 4×400 relay and third team for the 100m hurdles. In the 2020 season that was cut short due to Covid-19, Cantrell made the USA South All-Conference team.

“During the 400-hurdle race to win conference, I was seated third with Julia Graham seated first and a girl from Berea seated second,” Said Cantrell. “Julia had a run in the first heat because she had a no time and after she crossed the finish line, she looked at me and said she ran slower than expected so it was up to me to win it.”

In the 2021 track season, the pre-season poll has Piedmont winning the conference again. Cantrell is seated first right now in conference for the 100m hurdles and second in the 400m hurdles. She is also seated third in the open 100m race.

So far, Cantrell has two conference championship rings to her name. One being in track and the other for basketball. She is not done yet though, as you will see her on the court next school year for the Lady Lions.