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Running With A Purpose

Running With A Purpose

If not for a proactive physical education teacher, Logan Morris may not currently be a rising superstar for the Clemson University track & field program.

“I had a P.E. teacher who said it looked like I could be a good runner, and she told my parents.”

In fact, if not for that subtle acknowledgement, Morris may not have ever taken up competitive running whatsoever.

“I was actually going to be a competitive cheerleader, but, when I tried out for cross country, I just loved the team,” she admitted.

Morris, a freshman runner for the Tigers, is nearing the conclusion of what has been a stellar debut college cross country season. Recently completing an impressive time of just over 20 minutes in the 6K at the ACC Cross Country Championships, Morris earned All-ACC recognition as a result.

Telling of her remarkable work ethic, Morris’ glowing accomplishments are indicative of how dedicated she is to the sport.

“I run every day,” she said. “When I don’t get to run, I’m a little stressed out. It’s definitely a big aspect of my life.

From aspiring cheerleader to awe-inspiring long-distance runner, Morris consistently left her competitors in the dust in high school, but has greatly enjoyed being pushed by her collegiate teammates this fall.

A three-time South Carolina Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year at Spartanburg Christian Academy, Morris, an Inman native, proved to be one of the most naturally talented distance runners in the nation and is well on her way to epitomizing as much in the college ranks, too.

Morris has regularly kept pace with well-decorated senior Grace Barnett throughout the season, and should be expected next year to help fill the shoes left behind by her graduation. Raised as a Tiger fan, Morris has quickly assimilated herself into the tight-knit Clemson track and field family and has benefited from the cohesiveness that she shares with her teammates.

“This year, the most exciting thing that I’ve learned is how teamwork can make the biggest difference,” she acknowledged. “When we all come to a race ready to run and do our very best, we can end up with a great week.”

With the NCAA Southeast Regionals in Charlottesville, Virginia, scheduled for this Friday, Morris is looking to carry the momentum from her solid showing at the conference championships forward. Befitting of her humble, team-oriented attitude, personal achievements are far from the freshman phenom’s mind. Rather, coming through for the team is her sole concern.

“The goal is just to help the team as best I can,” she said. “Every place counts, so I’m just trying to move up by running my hardest. Hopefully, everyone will do that and we can make it to nationals.”

Following the conclusion of the 2016 cross country season, Morris will turn her attention to this winter’s indoor track season, which will be a fairly new experience for her.

“I’ve run a couple of indoor races, but I’ve never done it as an actual season,” Morris said. “So that will be fun, especially on the new indoor track, with it being banked and fast. 

Likely to take part in the mile and 3K races during the indoor season, the arrival of the outdoor slate in the spring will place Morris firmly into the epicenter of her comfort zone. On outdoor tracks, she will regularly participate in the 5K, a strategically run race in which Morris thrives.

“On the track, it’s a little grueling to run that many laps, but I like to strategize, be patient and figure out what’s going on during the race.”

Inspired by her high school coach, Steve Conway, as well as her supportive parents and coaches Mark Elliott and Michael Porter at Clemson, Morris runs with a purpose. She was an All-American and ninth-place finisher at nationals while competing for Spartanburg Christian Academy and appears well on her way to achieving similar feats in college.

A triple threat, Morris wants to be a force to be reckoned with in cross country, indoor and outdoor track. More importantly, though, she boasts the perfect team-first mindset for leading the pack, both literally and figuratively, throughout what should be an outstanding running career at Clemson.