10/03/11 When 2003 Plymouth High School graduate Morgan Uceny headed to Cornell University, she knew she was going to be part of the track team there, but little did she know that track would become a full-time occupation after college. She did graduate in 2007 with a degree in Communications, but running was her passion.
Just before holding a “Meet and Greet” at Fitness Forum Sports & Wellness at LifePlex on Wednesday night, Uceny explained how she was coaxed into track by her cousin Megan Neidlinger. Uceny said, “Megan asked me to think about joining the track team when I was in the sixth grade and I did.”
The rest, as they say, is history. On September 16, she became to fastest 1,500 meter runner in the world with a time of 4:00.06 in the Diamond League final inBrussels. However, Uceny continues to be humble about her accomplishments. She said, “I may have the title as fastest in the world, but I am still staying true to myself in my heart.” She said, “The whole thing seems surreal, but I have to keep finding the right balance.” To her credit, the world title came only two weeks after she fell after being tripped by an inexperienced runner during the world championships. She said, “I had a pity party for 24-36 hours, but then just started to run again.” “The difference is my attitude.” she said. “Instead of being tentative, I run with confidence.”
Uceny is in the first week of a two-week vacation and then will head back to California where she trains at Mammoth Lakes. Her training schedule seems daunting as she trains two times a day, six days a week. Each session is between one and four hours. On Sundays, she does get a small break and only has to train one time.
Uceny said she is grateful for the internet so she can keep in touch with her family and friends inPlymouth. She said, “It’s overwhelming how many of my classmates wrote congratulations on Facebook.” “I still wear a necklace that I wore in junior high school that reminds me of all myPlymouth friends.” she said.
Her parents, Brenda and Marty take every opportunity they can to attend her races. Uceny said, “It’s great when they can be there. You want to do well when your family is watching.”
She looks back at her growing up years in the Plymouth community with respect. She said, “There are benefits in living in a small town. You get to know everyone and everyone pushes you to work hard.” She spent many hours at the former Club Fitness where her whole family worked out. Brenda Uceny teaches at LifePlex part-time and has competed in body-building contests. Marty was the captain of his football team at PHS and was a member of PHS’s first wrestling team. Her brother Alex, who is 13 months older than Morgan, was a cross country runner for PHS. Brenda said, “I guess sports were just a part of our family.”
Uceny said, “I get back to Plymouthone or two times each year. I just love being able to drive through town.” She added, “You appreciate it more when you’re away. Brenda Uceny said Morgan pretty well lives out of her car as she travels in California from the training camp to the San Diago area and lives out of a suitcase as she travels the world.
Uceny has her eyes set on being selected for the Olympic team. She said “I have a vision of standing on the podium.”