Port Neches-Groves’ Morgan Campbell setting school record pace en route to regionals

Published 12:18 am Thursday, April 18, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

PORT NECHES — Morgan Campbell made waves as a freshman runner last year for Port Neches-Groves, breaking numerous school records.

Today, the humble sophomore says she knew she had a talent for running in elementary school. She started getting noticed by high school coaches as a seventh grader.

She returns to the regional track meet this weekend to compete in the 800 meters, the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters, all of which she finished first place at the area meet last week.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“It felt good,” Campbell said coming off the meet. “I put a lot of work in this season. I definitely worked a lot harder than I did the previous season, and it is paying off. (The success last year) has added on. I feel some pressure because I went pretty far last year, so I am hoping to do it again this year.”

Morgan Campbell, seen on the Port Neches-Groves High School track, is a looking for a strong showing this weekend at regionals. (Chris Moore/The News)

Last year, Campbell went to the regional meet for the same events and advanced to state in the 3,200.

“It would be amazing to make it to state in all three events,” she said. “I am not really worried about the 800. Definitely for the (3,200), I want to get back since I made it there last year and for the mile.”

Campbell said she takes some time off in the summer to help get ready for a busy school year that involves cross country, track, soccer and cheerleading.

Morgan’s ability to “lock in” is part of what separates her from the pack, both figuratively and literally.

“A lot of people ask me what I think about when I run, but I really don’t think about anything,” she said. “When I start the race, my mind goes blank and I am locked in.”

Track coach Jessi Farmer said the addition of Matt Ellis to the coaching staff is helping with Campbell’s progression.

“I love the way he is locked in with it and done a good job of giving her that focus,” Farmer said. “(Morgan) is juggling a lot, and (Ellis) has done a great job of getting that done. Watching her work ethic and how much of a team player she is has made me really happy. She is always celebrating everyone else’s success, and I just love that.”

Campbell owns school records for the 800m, 1,600m, 3,200m and the distance medley relay.

“I have had to update the page multiple times,” Farmer said. “Every time she (breaks a personal record), we go and change it.”

Campbell’s friend and teammate Emma Hardin said having a record holder on the team helps push her.

“She is really good,” Hardin said. “I always feel like I have her there for me. When I am running, I can hear her right there. She is way faster than me but keeps me on top of things.”

The regional track meet in Humble is planned for Friday and Saturday.