By: Russell King 

On March 10th, state champion track and field athletes Taylor Gardner and Aidan Morris officially signed and committed to the University of Wyoming Track and Field Program.

As a newly signed collegiate athlete, Gardner plans to compete in hurdles and triple jump in the university program.

“I am so nervous going into next year just because I have no idea what to expect. I don’t know how similar or different it will be to high school track, but I am still very excited,” Gardner said.

A week earlier, she attended the girls Wyoming State Indoor Track Meet and won the 55- meter hurdles with a time of 8.68 seconds.

She is also a Laramie High School record holder for triple jump, and the indoor 60-meter hurdles.

She started track when she was an 8th grader at Laramie Middle School, quickly finding she excelled in hurdles and jumps.

Her freshman year, when she placed 4th at state in hurdles, Gardner and her coaches realized she has the potential to become a collegiate athlete.

Her biggest inspiration was Rachel Battershell, who was a senior during her freshman year.

Battershell is now a nationally ranked 400-meter runner attending Concordia University in Nebraska.

Three years after her breakthrough performance at state her freshman year, Gardner was able to sign to UW in front of her family and friends and continue her track journey.

Aidan Morris was another high school senior who signed to the UW track program alongside Gardner.

The upcoming collegiate athlete will compete as a heptathlete within the track program, which means he will be doing almost every event in track and field.

He stated he was both excited and relieved to finally make it official during the signing ceremony.

During the recent Wyoming State Indoor Track meet a couple of weeks earlier, he was able to come out on top with his long jump performance, winning the event with a jump of twenty-one feet and seven inches.

Also, he qualified to compete in many events at this year’s state meet including pole vault, long jump and the 4×200-meter relay.

He also holds the LHS pole vault record.

When he was younger, he anticipated going to college for baseball, it was not until recently that he decided to shift his attention.

“It was my junior year I finally realized that track was meant for me and I focused all my time on it from that point on,” Morris said.

Morris’ time and effort quickly paid off, throughout his senior year he was able to set new personal, school and meet records.

He was able to make it official and sign in front of family members and friends to continue his career in track and field as a Heptathlete.

Both Gardner and Morris have been a huge inspiration to their local track community and peers.

Coaches and teammates look forward to seeing what these two talented athletes have in store for the future.