Madison’s Morrin chooses BYU

Rachel Morrin of Madison High School extends her lead in the 5A District 5-6 girls cross-country championship race Oct. 18 in Rexburg.

Multiple state medalist Rachel Morrin will be exchanging her Madison High School scarlet and gray for blue and white in 2018.

The senior verbally committed to BYU on Saturday, accomplishing a goal several years in the making. Morrin will compete in both cross-country and track for the Cougars.

She said two and a half years of her tuition will be covered by academic scholarships because her father works for BYU-Idaho. BYU coaches told Morrin she will be eligible to receive an athletic scholarship when she breaks 5 minutes, five seconds for the mile.

Morrin has known since early in her high school career that she wanted to run in college, and now the dream is reality.

“I’m just grateful that I’ve had the motivation to work hard and that through hard work to have been able to run fast enough to be able to have the opportunity to run in college,” Morrin said Wednesday by phone.

She said she received emails and letters from various Division I and Division II colleges including Boise State and Utah Valley, but narrowed down her choices to Utah State and BYU, both of which will sending men’s and women’s teams to this Saturday’s NCAA Championships in Louisville.

She based her final decision on more than running.

“I chose BYU because I thought if running was ever taken away from me, I would have a good experience at BYU,” Morrin said.

Morrin visited BYU the week before Idaho’s state meet in October with other BYU recruits. While in Provo, she met with coaches, attended a team workout and got to know current BYU freshmen.

“BYU has a really good atmosphere,” Morrin said. “I really like the team culture there and how the girls get along with each other and motivate each other.”

Morrin will be returning to her home state upon starting classes at BYU. She moved to Rexburg from Alpine, Utah, in summer 2014. A four-year varsity cross-country and track athlete for Madison, Morrin has won two state cross-country medals and two state track medals. Morrin, who has a personal best of 18 minutes, 18.9 seconds for the 5k, had an undefeated cross-country season in 2015 capped off by the 5A individual state title and her selection as Idaho’s 2015-16 Gatorade Player of the Year for girls cross-country. A stress fracture cut her 2016 season short three meets in and kept her sidelined until this February. In track, Morrin has personal best times of 2:25.42 in the 800 meters, 5:13.44 in the 1,600 and 11:05.66 in the 3,200 and is three-time defending 5A District 5-6 champion in the 3,200. She has also won two district titles in the 1,600 and two individual district cross-country titles.

Morrin and her fellow 2018 seniors have contributed to three consecutive girls cross-country district team titles and girls track district team titles and three consecutive 5A state fourth place trophies.

“It’s just really awesome that all of us happen to be the same age and we’ve all been training together since freshman year and we’ve all had the same goal of doing well as a team,” Morrin said. “It’s super awesome that we’ve been able to accomplish our goals and do well at district and state.”

Morrin will not be the first member of her family to compete for BYU. Older brother Steve, a recent graduate, also competed in cross-country and track for the Cougars.

“He was really happy I chose BYU,” Morrin said.