Name: Morgan Cryder
School: Tempe Preparatory Academy
100m Hurdles: 16.31 @ AIA Division IV State Championships (prelims)
300m Hurdles: 48.18 @ AIA Division IV State Championships
Morgan Cryder concluded a fantastic hurdling career for the Tempe Prep Knights. Over the course of her career she landed on the podium five times for the Division IV girls hurdles races. This season, she clinched victories at meets like the Phoenix Christian Invitational, the ALA Invitational, and the Sentinel Invitational, before finishing runner-up in the 300m Hurdles and third-place in the 110m Hurdles at the AIA State Championship.
Where are you from and when did you begin competing in track and field?
I'm from Mesa Arizona and I began competing in track & field in sixth grade focusing on long jump, but eventually falling in love with hurdles!
What was your most memorable race?
My most memorable race was probably when my 4x1 team broke the school record for the first time and we all just hugged each other and yelled in the grass in for like five minutes afterwards!
Did you listen to music before competing? If so what's on your playlist?
I wished I listened to music before competing but I thought it would take away my focus and was definitely too stressed.
Do you have any superstitions or rituals that you go through when preparing for meets?
I HAD to get to everything early or else everything would be off for me. Check in? Early. Warm up? Early. My motto was always "on time is always late", especially when it came to running an event! Also, my relay team would also have this ritual where we would get into a circle, jump, and chant "Let's Go" five times right before we ran and I loved that!
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
My biggest competitor was definitely myself. I think I've struggled mentally a lot with my confidence in my races after I suffered a torn meniscus my before my junior season. My recovery was very challenging and demanding but, I feel like I hit the ground running my senior year!
What was your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment probably was winning the AIA student of the year award this year or breaking my own school record in the 300H three times my senior year. I broke the school record early into my sophomore year but constantly came up short my junior year. I thought I would never touch it again until I PR'd at the Southeast Valley Championships.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your hurdling career in high school?
I wish I could go back and attack those hurdles harder! I don't think I'll ever be satisfied with a race because I look back at my times and just think about if I was only .1 seconds faster!
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
My biggest challenge was learning how to jump over hurdles again after knee surgery. In January during my junior year, I could only jump about four inches off the ground on my lead leg. So, jumping ten 33' hurdles consecutively seemed very unrealistic and genuinely scary when I first stepped onto the track that year.
What will you miss the most about competing for your team?
I will certainly miss the encouraging voices of my teammates and friends. I have been so blessed to be on such an amazing and supportive 4x1 and 4x4 team and to have such dedicated coaches! I am going to miss the traditions that my team has and all of their strong work ethics.
What advice would you give to younger athletes?
Put it the work!! Do the extra lap and push yourself because results come to those who work the hardest!
What is the most valuable lesson that you've learned from your coach?
Focus on yourself because it's really only your race! Don't get lost thinking about what everyone else is doing, because it will just take away from what you need to do.
What are your college plans? Have you decided on a major?
I will be attending the University of Arizona Honors College and be majoring in Astronomy and Geophysics. Bear down!
What was the deciding factor that made you choose the University of Arizona?
U of A has an amazing program and is really all that I am looking for in a college!
Who would you like to thank for your success in high school?
Definitely my coach, Mark Richardson, for all the dedication he has put into training me and my team! And, my school Tempe Preparatory Academy for teaching me how to become a well-rounded adult and to always reach for the stars. Also, my loving family and Matthew for keeping me grounded with their constant support.
If you could have a conversation with anyone who would you invite?
If I could have a conversation with anyone it would definitely be Sophie Turner.
What's your favorite tv show?
Game of Thrones is my favorite TV show!
What's the hardest event in track and field?
The hardest event in track and field is the 300H.
What's the best literary work you read in high school?
The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky or The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius are by far the best literary works I've read in high school!
What are you most excited to do when you get to Tucson?
I am most excited to meet new people and live on a beautiful campus!