HOUSTON – Michael Morrow doesn’t sugarcoat his expectations with his Legacy Prep track & field teams.
After the boys and girls' teams each finished fifth overall at the 2021 TAPPS State Track & Field State Meet, Morrow put the pressure on the squads in the offseason and this spring to improve.
On Saturday, a year’s worth of work and “believing in the vision” came to fruition as the Legacy Prep girls team finished as the TAPPS 4A State Runner-Ups with 85 points and the boys did the same with 68 points.
“They stood up and they performed,” Morrow said. “I couldn’t be prouder of a group right now. It’s still kind of unbelievable that we did so well. It means so much to me to see the belief and the faith.
“They just went out there and gave all they had out there on the track.”
At the 2022 TAPPS State Track & Field Meet, Legacy Prep added to their record-breaking season with seven more school records dropped. In the entirety of the season, the Lions broke school records in every event except for three.
For the girls side, Morrow had runners who had been successful coming back this year and a solid eighth grade class walking through the door as freshmen in the fall.
One of those freshmen was Charlotte Freeman.
Freeman, who was the best runner on the Legacy Prep State Championship Cross Country team in the fall, took home the state crown in the 1600-meter race (5:34.08) and the 3200-meter race (12:16.96). She also took silver in the 400-meter dash (1:01.65).
“She’s phenomenal,” Morrow said. “She’s our team leader. Being a freshman, she came in and all the girls respect her on that level. This is something we’ve been waiting on since she was a sixth grader to get to high school. She just has that determination and that drive that most freshmen don’t have coming in. She came up really big for us.”
Another key performance came from the girls 4x400-meter relay. The combination of Mary Wittmer, Layla Faysal, Molly Steed and Julianne Carr posted a time of 4:12.15 and finished as State Champions.
Other state performances included Josie Jones taking fifth in the 200-meter dash (27.46), Sydney McNeil placing eighth in the 300-meter hurdles (54.54), Wittmer taking silver in the 800-meter (2:28.63) and Carr placing fourth (2:30.08) in the same race, Steed placing eighth in the long jump (14-feet-10.75-inches) and McNeil taking seventh in the pole vault (9-feet). The girls 4x100-meter relay team took sixth (52.49) and the 4x200-meter squad took fourth (1:50.80).
On the boys’ side, the second-place finish as a team is the best in program history.
“It was something I dreamed about, I put the pressure on the boys to work because I knew they had it in them,” Morrow said.
The headliner for the boys was Luke Sigler, who competed in the high jump and long jump. Sigler defended his 2021 TAPPS State Championship in the high jump, clearing 6-feet-2-inches. In the long jump he reached 20-feet-7.50-inches to claim bronze.
“Luke is just a gamer,” Morrow said. “He worked hard throughout the year. He didn’t have his best Regional competition but he came back focused and just attacked it.”
Carter Hutton also turned in big performances in all three distance races for the Lions. Hutton ran his “best race of the year” in the 800-meter finishing in second with a school-record time of 2:00.49. Hutton finished fifth in the 1600-meter (4:41.79) and fourth in the 3200-meter (10:23.63).
Other key performances for the boys came from Chase Carrico and Luke Henson, finishing third (15.99) and fourth (16.14) in the 110-meter hurdles, respectively. Henson took fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (41.61) and Aidan Rivers took sixth in the 1600-meter race (4:44.70). In the relays, the boys took fifth in the 4x100 (44.17), sixth in the 4x200 (1:33.24) and eighth in the 4x400 (3:38.89).
“The boys they just put in the work,” Morrow said. “We had a few kids that had never ran track before and they had come out to the team and were big components to making a big jump over a year’s time.”
Morrow just finished his third season as head coach of Legacy Prep and has been with the program since it started with just five kids on the high school team in 2018. This season, the Lions had 42 in the program and sent 23 to State.
The track business is booming at LPCA.