Big Red Morris commits to Marshall

PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg High track and cross-country standout senior Rachel Morris said “it just felt right” when selecting Marshall University to continue her running career. When she graduates in June, Morris will have run both sports all four years as a Big Red. During her time at PHS, Morris achieved great success, including setting a school record in the 4×800 relay and making it to the state track meet three times.

Before finalizing with Marshall, Morris considered many colleges, including West Virginia Wesleyan College, West Liberty University and Malone University.

Morris plans to attend Marshall to major in exercise science with future plans to be a physical therapist.

“I love the overall feel of the campus,” said Morris. “With their great academics and new indoor track, I feel I will be helped both academically and physically.”

“It’s exciting, it’s crazy that I’ve made my mark and I’m moving on,” said Morris.

Last year at the West Virginia state high school track meet, Morris finished 8th in the 800 meter run with a time of 2: 27.65. She also anchored the sixth place 4×800 relay joining Nicole Dent, Kaylee Williams and Mary Catherine Bolton in representing PHS.

Morris’ coach of three years, Lia Fleek, feels Marshall is the perfect fit for her.

“I think she’ll do excellent in Huntington,” Fleek said.

When asked about her athlete, coach Fleek described her as a dedicated runner and a good student with a great attitude.

Parkersburg High School has a long history of sending athletes to Marshall. On their current roster is senior Debbie Amos and junior Hadassah Lynch, both former Big Reds.

Morris will join the track and field program headed by veteran coach Jeff Small, who will be entering his 17th year.

Last year, Marshall finished 12th in indoor track and 5th in the outdoor competition in Conference USA.

Teammate Jordan Waters recalls the fond memories she and Morris share. “She’s a really hard worker and always has a smile on her face,” Waters said.

Waters said she considers Morris a role model.

“I’m definitely going to miss her,” she said.