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NEXT LEVEL: Salem’s Morson wins MHSAA high jump title

 NEXT LEVEL: Salem’s Morson wins MHSAA high jump title

Salem’s Madison Morson is the 2024 MHSAA Division 1 high jump champion. PHOTO COURTESY OF SALEM TRACK AND FIELD

Only one attempt separated Salem senior Madison Morson from winning an MHSAA state high jump title Saturday afternoon.

But it wasn’t the Rocks’ senior two-sport standout who was attempting to clear the ultimate winning height of 5 feet, 10 inches; it was her closest rival, Farmington Hills Mercy’s Milena Chevallier.

“I was so nervous (before Chevallier’s final try) I was literally shaking in the chair I was sitting in,” Morson reflected Tuesday morning.

“When Milena didn’t get it and I realized I had won, I was in shock because she hadn’t hit the bar all day.”

Morson’s personal-best-equalizing effort of 5-10 meant she earned a spot at the top of the awards podium following back-to-back years of occupying the second-place step.

Third time was the charm

“It felt great because I was so close the past two years,” she said. “The first time I finished second, my sophomore year, I was like, ‘Whatever’, because I really wasn’t expecting to win.

“Last year, though, finishing runner-up hurt because I had worked really, really hard leading up to the state meet.”

To check out Morson’s title-winning jump, click here.

Morson first tried high jumping as a seventh-grader at Discovery Middle School.

Madison Morson launches a jump shot for the Salem basketball team
Madison Morson launches a jump shot for the Salem basketball team

It was love at first “height”, so to speak, as she finished the season as the school’s co-record-holder.

“My eighth-grade year got canceled due to COVID, so I never got a chance to break the record,” she said.

Higher level of coaching

Once she entered Salem, Morson started receiving more technical coaching from, in particular, Steve Aspinall.

“I’d say success in high jumping is 75% technique and 25% natural talent,” she said, “so receiving a higher level of coaching definitely helped. You can jump really high, but if you don’t have the proper technique, you’re not going to clear the bar at the height you need to place in the state.”

Morson said she worked closely this spring with Coach Tom Garrett to refine her already-spectacular form.

She said the weather was nearly perfect for Saturday’s meet; however, there was one annoying obstacle.

“The high-jump area was right next to the announcer’s speaker for the entire stadium,” she said, smiling, “so it was pretty loud.”

Mount Pleasant-bound

A final-four finalist for the 2023-24 Michigan Miss Basketball Award, Morson will be heading to Mount Pleasant in the coming weeks to start training with the Central Michigan University basketball team.

“I thought about trying to do basketball and high jump (at CMU), but I don’t want to burn myself out,” she said.

Last week, Morson earned Salem’s Senior Female Athlete of the Year Award along with Katie Stewart and Mileena Cotter.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

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Ed Wright

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