When did you first start running, and do you recall any of your childhood races/competitions?
I started track and field in 7th grade, mostly just to try it out and see if I liked it. Turns out, I really did like it, but was mostly just there to have fun, and get some exercise.
Was there a certain moment when you realized you'd be able to compete at such a high level?
In 8th grade, I went in with the same mindset of having fun. But, throughout the year, I saw my PRs skyrocket like I've never seen before. My high jump record went up 6 inches, my long jump by 3 feet, and my triple jump also by 3 feet. After seeing that happen, I said to myself "this is something that I really want to pursue more in life."
What are some bumps in the road that you've encountered when it comes to training for different events during the season?
Whenever we practice long and triple, we either have broken tape measures or no tape measure. So often times we never get precise measurements. I know it's not much but it's funny how often it happens.
How has COVID impacted your training this winter as you prepared for the season?
It's hard to get out and do stuff. It's already cold enough outside from the winter, but now that there's a pandemic, going places is a lot more difficult than it used to be.
What is your most memorable moment in your young track & field career?
High jumping 5'10" at my last meet of 8th grade, and coming back to school the next week to see a lot of people excited about it, and my coach telling me that I was apparently within the top 15 highest jumps of all 8th graders in the nation that year, but I've still never gotten that proved.
What is something you have done during COVID that you never had time to do before?
I got into new hobbies and tried new things that I never thought I'd be interested in before. New video game genres, new music, and new sports.
What are some hobbies and interests you have outside of running?
I love music and woodworking. I play guitar nearly religiously, always trying to get better, learning solos and songs, and with woodworking, I've helped build the island in my grandparent's new house, did the flooring, and am now working on building a stand up arcade cabinet.
Who is your role model, and why?
I know it's cheeky, but Mutaz Essa Barshim. He may be the best high jumper in the world and it's a little unoriginal to look up to the best of the best, but he started out as a long-distance runner who could even jump his height about 10 years ago. He went from a scrawny long-distance runner to being the man who could possibly take the high jump world record, and already set the Asian high jump record.
Everyone has a bucket list, so give us some of the things on your list!
1) Build the house I live in
2) Jump 7ft at some point in my life
3) Long jump 24ft
4) Own a carpentry business
5) Be a coach for a new generation of high jumpers, and have them perform better than I could dream of
What is the best advice you have received?
Take one step backward to take two steps forward. If you wanna jump higher or farther, you've got to be willing to practice at a lower level than you're capable of, so you can focus on form and technique, or often to just undo the problems that you've created.
What is your favorite pre-race snack, tradition, etc.?
I listened to a ton of music before doing anything. I would get really hyped up, trying to give myself an adrenaline boost from listening to Bat Country by Avenged Sevenfold, or Devil In I by Slipknot, or something that had a real heavy sound like those songs, and I'd have a huge burst of energy while jumping.
If you could do a sport other than XC/Track, what sport would it be, and why
It would be soccer. Soccer is a famous sport in my family, and something I played growing up. I wish I was a lot better at it and could play offense the same way I played goalie and defense.
Morin's High School Personal Bests
|55 Meter Dash||7.53|