Double the Distance Freshmen Twins Heat Up the Track as They Get Ready for State
Story and photo by Angela Jones
Gracie and Graydon Morris have been running their whole lives. The 15 year-old Aledo High School twins started running officially in second grade. But their mother, Lisa says the competitive racing started way before that. "When they were around five years old, they would run around the outside perimeter of our house. They would always ask us to time them. Each time they would run around, they would try to beat their own time. No one taught them that. It was just in them."
Gracie and Graydon have come a long way from racing around their house. In fact, they've run in some of the biggest races in Texas and the Nation! Gracie won the 1600 at the Texas Relays beating out some of the state's best runners. She also finished 5th at the 2016 5A State Cross Country meet. Graydon was 3rd at the 2016 5A Cross Country State meet. Also, in the fall, Graydon made history by being the first freshman from the South Region and only the second freshman in history qualify to run at Foot Lockers Nationals. Gracie says their best memory was, "when we each medaled in both of our events last year at the Junior Olympics in Sacramento, California."
But, this week, their eyes are focused on some new medals. Gracie will run the 800 and the 1600 at the 5A State meet. Graydon is going for gold in the 3200. They are training this week like they always have...together. Gracie says, "It pushes us both to be better when one of us does well the other feels the need to try harder."
They are competitive by nature. Gracie beat Graydon at birth by two minutes and they've never stopped. "We compete in pretty much everything we do even getting to the refrigerator first after school or seeing who can complete a full twenty minute ice bath first after speed workouts."
photo by Jake Massey
But it's not always easy for the distance duo. Graydon shares, "The worst part is when one of us advances and the other doesn't." Mom agrees. "They have definitely had their ups and downs and it's hard when one is struggling and the other one is doing well. You try to comfort and congratulate at the same time."
"I think what makes us who we are is our self-discipline and drive." Graydon recites, "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard" by Tim Norke. For the past 18 months the North Texas freshmen have been training with Coach Eliud Njubi who they say has dropped their times tremendously. Gracie and Graydon both dream of one day racing in the Olympics. But this week the freshmen twins have a different goal. They are hoping to each take on a new title...State Champion.