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Morrison's record a smash hit for Trojans

May 06, 2005|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

Sarah Morrison's days as the fastest miler on the Chambersburg girls soccer team are no more.

She's now the fastest miler in the history of Chambersburg girls track and field.

Morrison - a sophomore who made the switch from soccer to track this spring following two extremely successful fall cross country seasons - won the 1,600-meter run in a school-record 5:01.0 on Tuesday in Chambersburg's 87-63 dual-meet victory over visiting Central Dauphin.

She ran it all by herself, finishing 37.3 seconds ahead of second place.

"We totally set it up for her to run hard from the start," Chambersburg coach Chris Monheim said. "I wanted to prove to her than she can run and win many different ways. She's just been sitting and kicking most of the season."

That's worked pretty well, too. Morrison has yet to lose an individual race - dual meet or invitational. She's 3-0 in the 400, 6-0 in the 800, 6-0 in the 1,600 and 1-0 in the 3,200.

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"The impressive thing is that we've run against some really good kids, some of the top kids in the district," Monheim said. "It's not like she hasn't faced anybody."

Morrison is the Tri-State leader this season in the 800 (2:17.59) and 1,600, and she's second in the 3,200 (11:32.7) from her one and only attempt at that distance - a race she won by more than a minute. She also has recorded splits of 59.9 and 2:16.3 for the Trojans' 1,600 and 3,200 relays.

Her 5:01.0 is believed to be the fastest time recorded by a Tri-State girl in the 1,600 in more than 30 years and the second-best all-time. Frederick's Ellyn Cornish ran a 4:57.8 in 1972.

"If there was anyone in front of her Tuesday, there's no doubt she would have broken 5 minutes by a few seconds," Monheim said. "From everything I've found, that's the fastest time in Pennsylvania this year. I haven't seen anyone faster than 5:08 at this point, but that will change in a hurry."

Part of Tuesday's plan was to prepare her for when it does change.

"Off the hard pace yesterday, she still ran the last quarter in 71-flat, which is pretty impressive," Monheim said. "At districts and states, the pace is going to go out hard and there will be kids around, so she won't have to do all the work by herself. ... And I just can't imagine there are too many girls in the state who can kick like her at the end of a mile. She has unbelievable leg speed."

It's the kind of speed that can cause a dilemma.

"The toughest thing all season has been to figure out where to use her," Monheim said. "It looks like the mile is her best event, but we could focus on the 800 or the 3,200 and get the same kind of results from her. She has such a wide range. She could be on top of the state list at any one of those events."

But first things first. Morrison has never competed at a state track meet - or a district track meet, where she'll have to qualify for states.

"One of her strengths is that she's pretty relaxed and doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about things," Monheim said. "She goes to the line with a lot of confidence. There can't be many kids with as much confidence as she has. She hasn't lost yet. Who knows? Maybe she'll run the table. I certainly wouldn't bet against her."

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