Morgan Chilson kicks off her senior track and field season tomorrow, March 2 at the Queen Creek Invitational, hoping to set a personal record in the 100 meters and lead her 4x100 team into the state finals.
To record a PR in the dash, Chilson must best the 12.77 she ran April 20, 2012 at the Eastern Arizona Rotary Invitational in Thatcher.
She believes she has a shot at doing so because she has worked to correct her form out of the starting blocks and is concentrating in weight training on improving her leg strength.
Chilson readily admits her starting form often was “horrible” partly because she rose too quickly out of the block rather than staying low and firing out, “I was straight up, which is not good.”
The speedster credits new assistant coach Amy Buckner, a former Lady Horn sprinter and relay team member, with helping correct her form.
“She has been teaching me a lot, I really like having her (as a coach),” Chilson said.
If the relay team is to contend for state honors, the four will during the course of the season need to approach the coveted 50-second barrier.
Last year, the fastest time the Chilson-led foursome turned in was 51.20, which was at the Snowflake Invitational.
However, three members of that team have graduated and must be replaced.
Chilson is expecting Michelle Schatz, a transfer from California, to join the team to run the anchor leg.
“She is really fast, so she will really help our team,” Chilson said.
The relay group will be rounded out by the addition of Danya Svir and Rachel Knauer, Chilson said.
With the season about to begin, Chilson is also looking forward to once again facing St. Johns sprint star Savannah Brown.
Since Chilson and Brown were both freshmen, the two have battled one another for sprint honors.
“I hope we run against each other this season,” Chilson said. “My adrenaline gets going when I know I’m going to race against her.
As two of the best in the state, it’s anyone’s guess when the pair meet which one will emerge the winner.
Chilson’s speed can most likely be partly attributed to genes – her father Ty was a state champion sprinter at Payson High in the mid 1980s.
While some fathers try to relive their sports careers through their children, Ty seems to keep a careful distance from his daughter, probably preferring not to put undue pressure on her.
Like any devoted father, he attends track and field meets to cheer his daughter on, but watches quietly from a distance
This year, Ty will undoubtedly have plenty of opportunities to watch his daughter in action as her quest to become one of the best in the state and Lady Longhorn track history continues.