Student Spotlight: Morgan Taylor


Leiani Brown

Morgan Taylor practices for cross-country at the school tracks.

Leiani Brown, Editor in Chief

Hunger. From age four and every second since then, senior Morgan Taylor has hungered competition; and, at the start of her junior year, she was fueled by an ample supply of the stuff. With varsity letters for drill, cross country, and track already under her belt, she looked forward to another year of competing in every way possible–and for a while it was just that.

Until the pain seized control. Until her feet betrayed her. Until all that remained was a single, unthinkable choice.

At age four, the choice was simple. “It was my decision,” said Taylor. “I had a friend that was into dance lessons and I wanted to be like her so I [asked my] mom to take me to dance lessons.”

Despite the low profile dance studio, Morgan loved to dance. It wasn’t until 3rd grade, however, that she recognized its true significance to her. “I quit dancing for a year, and it was just awful and I missed it so much,” said Taylor. “Fourth grade I started taking it really seriously.”

Also in fourth grade, Morgan began to run.

“The first time I met Morgan,” said Cross Country coach Tera Hunter, “she was a shy and earnest little freshman who wanted to work harder than anyone else on the team. She came to summer practices and was quickly challenging the seniors.”

Morgan’s hard work only intensified as the years went on; by junior year, she worked with a personal coach and had seen her fair share of victorious finish lines. Ironically, it would be this selfsame dedication that introduced her to the bench.

“She really wanted to go farther,” said Kristine Taylor, Morgan’s mom. “She really wanted to exceed what her coach was expecting her to run.” The combination of ten to fourteen miles a day, 6 days a week, low profile shoes, on hard surfaces, and not to mention drill–it all amounted to a stress fracture that would prevent the competing and performing she so longed for.

“The doctor said that I was most likely injured from overuse of running.” said Taylor. “I didn’t realize what it was because it was pain I’ve never felt before; it was this nagging sting in my foot, and as it went on, there was a point where we did a hip-hop performance and at the end of the routine I couldn’t walk. It was so bad that I was screaming…that’s when my mom said we had to get it checked out.”