CRESTON – People from all over Ohio will converge on Columbus this weekend for the state track meet.
Finally going back home to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium for the first time since 2019, many young athletes and their families will hit the interstate with dreams and hopes of standing atop that podium. And it’s a safe bet that anyone in the Morlock family will be plugging in that address to their GPS app.
The only question is, who is turning off the lights at Morlock Farms?
Senior Colby Morlock termed the expected migration as a “family reunion”, which will no doubt turn into a family memory that will be talked about for years. It simply isn’t often that families get to see one child compete for a state title, let alone three of them in Allie Morlock, Colby Morlock and Dillon Morlock.
“It means everything,” said Colby. “It’s like a mini family reunion at state. It will be pretty fun to have everyone down there and to just watch everyone compete.”
Colby punched his second trip to the ultimate destination by winning the discus at the Div. III Perry Regionals, while finishing runner-up in the shot put. The senior just missed tying the area’s all-time discus record with a throw of 192 feet, 5 inches, falling one inch shy of Triway thrower Matt Hess’ record of 192-6 set in 2002. In shot put, he finished second due to tiebreaker rules with a toss of 62-1. A year ago in his first trip to state, Colby finished third in the shot put with a toss of 57-3.5 and was second in the discus with a toss of 168-3.
“It feels pretty good, but to be honest, I wasn’t really expecting anything less from myself this year. I knew my goals coming in and what I wanted,” said Morlock. “It’s still really special, I am really grateful, it took a lot of hard work, a lot of hours and I think it will finally pay off.”
His younger brother Dillon clipped his first trip to state by firing a 60-8 to finish third in the shot put and was third in the discus with a toss of 185-6. A year ago as a freshman, he finished seventh in the discus with a throw of 140-9, was eighth in the shot put with a throw of 40-7- at regionals and left with fuel on his fire.
“I felt like I missed out on it last year. I didn’t throw my best at the regionals and so this was my goal, what I wanted and I wanted to make it,” said Dillon. “Colby was better than me last year, but I felt that I was close to him and that I should have been there. I felt like I sold myself short.”
Meanwhile, Allie, who is a cousin of the Morlock brothers, fired her way to second in the shot put with a toss of 40-3.5 and was third in the discus with a toss of 118-6 at the Div. II Youngstown Regional to earn her ticket to Columbus in both events. Getting the chance to see her cousin hit the podium in 2021 lit the competitive fire in her.
“It motivated me a lot,” said Allie. “Seeing him there, being able to perform and make podium at a high level, motivated me so much, I wanted that for myself and I wanted to achieve more.”
As for what helped her flip that switch this year, it was a lot of self-belief.
“It was believing I could do it,” she said. “Everyone pushes me to get better, so I need push myself. I feel that I am extremely motivated, I love it, I really can’t say anything more than that. I just tell myself, ‘You love this, just go and do it. ‘”
Putting together hard work and a passion to succeed, the trio has been dominant this year. And they learned those traits from their childhood and working on the family farm.
“We learned the value of hard work growing up on the farm,” Colby said. “Most people don’t notice it, but sometimes, we get done with practice around six, come home, do chores or whatever around the farm, until eight or nine in the evening. It’s a lot, but it definitely gives you another level. in a sense of hard work. ”
Dillon completely agreed as the trio broke up laughing as he talked about the role the two brothers play on the farm.
“Colby drives the equipment,” he said. “I do all the hard stuff with my hands on the ground.”
Allie talked about it being a family thing and how much it means to her.
“I like that it’s here, I love having a farm,” she said. “I am not here as much as they are, but I just love that it’s here. Our show animals are here and it’s a family thing.”
Along with the hard work the trio has learned to help each other, no matter the situation, and it’s paid off both on the farm and in their throws. With the ability to critique each other through relationships built from long hours of field work or farm work, they push each other. With a fellow Morlock family member coaching them in Bri Indorf (formerly Bri Morlock), the family connection is even stronger.
“For me it’s been just taking things a little more seriously and breaking things down,” said Allie about her success this year. “(Colby and Dillon) have helped a lot with that and I feel like I am just now starting to get things figured out. I absolutely love it, I mean last year I wasn’t really sure about it, but now I am like , ‘Okay, this is it, I like this.’ “
“There’s a lot of hours put behind the scenes that many people don’t know about,” added Dillon. “We all go through that together, so it brings us closer when we all struggle together.”
It all has combined together for a state season for the Morlock family. Compared to the hot, sweaty days on a farm, it’s relatively easy for the three of them.
“At least we aren’t unloading six wagons of hay in 95-degree weather,” Colby said with a smile.
With all of the hard work they’ve done over the years, the trip to Columbus doesn’t seem so daunting.
It’s a site that is very familiar for their family as throwing coach Indorf (Morlock) won the Div. III state title in discus in 1998 and her mother Joni Grieve was the state runner-up in the shot put in 1975.
“(Bri) just said to stick to it, don’t do anything different than what you would do at a regular meet,” said Colby. “She said to stay calm, relax, put your head down and work.”
So just like they have done for countless hours on the farm, the Morlock trio will again put their heads down and go to work this weekend, determined to reach the top of the podium.
“This is what you work all year for to compete in,” said Dillon. “It’s the big show.”
From the Morlock Farms of Wayne County to Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus, the Morlocks are coming, and they are ready to cash in on their big opportunity.