Aledo junior Graydon Morris is the two-time UIL 5A state cross country champion. As big and as high of an honor and accomplishment that it is, that isn't the only accomplishment he has earned multiple times.
Morris is an elite runner who has taken his streaking national. By national, we are talking one of the best cross country meets in the country.
With an eighth place finish at the Foot Locker South Regional, on November, 24th, Morris cemented his name in history by qualifying for his third consecutive Foot Locker Nationals, making him a Foot Locker Nationals veteran.
With a third straight year of solid racing at McAlpine Greenway Park, Morris joins Jorge Torres (Wheeling, Illinois) as only the second male runner to qualify for the Foot Locker Nationals as a ninth, 10th & 11th grader.
Since the meet started back in 1979, only 40 qualifiers get to grace the Balboa Park course. Being just the second boys runner to do so is no small feat.
That isn't the only feat Morris has been able to join a short list of company in doing regarding Foot Locker. In 2016, he became just the fourth ninth grade boy to qualify for the national meet.
On Saturday, he will attempt to join Torres' elite company in one more category. If he is able to win, he will join Torres as only the second boys qualifier to qualify as a freshman and eventuall win the race. He would become the tenth overall athlete to do so in Foot Locker history.
FLCCC Freshmen Qualifiers Who Became Champions
1981 - Cathy Schiro (Dover, N.H.) 19th; Won in 1984 as Senior
1989 - Liz Mueller (Waterford, CT) 7th; Won in 1991 as Junior
1985 - Kira Jorgensen (Vista, Calif.) - 14th; Won in 1987 as Junior
1997 - Sara Bei (Santa Rosa, Calif.) 10th - Won in 2000 as Senior
1993 - Erin Davis (Saratoga Springs, Calif.) 1st
1995 - Jorge Torres (Wheeling, IL) 13th; Won in 1998 as Senior
2005 - Kathy Kruger (Franklin, Tenn.) - 7th; Won in 2006 as Sophomore
2005 - Jordan Hasay (Arroyo Grande, Calif.) - 1st; Won in 2008 as Senior
2013 - Weini Kelati (Leesburg, Va.) - 25th; Won in 2015 as Junior
As a sophomore, last season, Morris nearly joined the winners list earlier than any of the previous stars to win. He finished second overall with a time of 15:23.30. That was an improvement from his freshman year performance when he went 15:51.20 for 34th place.
A win this year is possible. Morris should have fresh legs heading into Saturday's championships. He has only competed in seven total races this season and in only two races since November 1, 2018.
It's no question that Morris is elite and that he is doing some amazing things against some of the top talent in the nation. We'll see if he can continue to add to his Foot Locker lore.