Sport: Indoor track and field
School: Hasbrouck Heights
Class: Junior. Age: 16
Accomplishment: Became the first North 1 boy to sweep the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 sectionals in the same meet, and scored more than half of the Aviators points in a narrow three point team championship win.
Story by Paul Schwartz/ NorthJersey.com
It wasn’t a given that Aidan Morrow would follow in his father’s and brother’s footsteps as a top-notch distance runner at Hasbrouck Heights.
“My dad (Hasbrouck Heights hall of famer Brian) didn’t push me to run and my older brother (2022 All-North Jersey runner Evan) recommended I try a sport in high school before I started running, because he knew if I took it seriously, I would run year-round,” said Aidan, who played baseball, basketball and soccer as a youngster.
It looked as if the athletic younger Morrow might be drawn to soccer, as he played midfield for the Heights travel team as an eighth grader. But he decided to run cross-country with Evan, now a junior at Rutgers, and after a month, he was firmly ensconced in the varsity.
By season’s end, he was the No. 2 runner on a team that won a sectional title and finished sixth in Group 1. Aidan came within one second of qualifying for the State Meet of Champions as the 11th-place individual.
It took one more season for the decision to run to become final
“Evan told me again to go out for another sport to make absolutely sure,” he said. “So I played basketball that winter just like he did as a freshman.”
Aidan had fun but knew his athletic future was in running. After a great freshman spring that saw him as one of the top ninth graders in New Jersey, there was no more doubt.
“I’ve always had the mentality of wanting to get better in everything I do,” Aidan said. “And I really think I always wanted to follow in my dad’s and Evan’s footsteps.”
He’s not only following, he’s leading. He’s already run faster than both dad and his brother indoors in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters, and his outdoor 3,200 time is well ahead of both. The next step is a chance to win a state group title, something neither achieved (although both came close) and maybe even a state team title.
“I’ve learned a lot from training with my brother, first when we were both in high school and now when he gets home from school in the summer,” Aidan said. “He’s really been a mentor to me and I’m always asking him about what I need to get better and to get to the next level.”
The younger Morrow has also learned a lot from watching his brother’s struggles with injuries earlier in his career. He’s used those lessons well.
“I know that I can’t ignore even the tiniest of aches and do the things I need to after hard workouts or races to take care of those little things before they get bigger.”
In the process, he’s become a leader of the Aviators’ team, both by example and vocally.
“I’m glad kids look up to me the way I look up to Evan and my dad,” he said. “And my junior class has really been a credit as we try and get better as a group.”
He still keeps his hand in with the sports he gave up to run.
“I do lots of things to relax, draw, play video games and even some pick up games in the sports I dropped,” Aidan said. “I just found I liked running more, because I think it gives me a chance to get better each time I go out and run.”
Sometimes what’s expected turns out to work out just fine.