Morry Sanders (2011)
Lake Hamilton HS and Arkansas State University
Morry set several meet records in the pole vault as a Lake Hamilton Senior, including the state meet (16’06”) and the Meet of Champs (16’07”). His highest mark of 16’08” was set at the 1988 Lakeside Ram Relays.
He held the Meet of Champs record for 21 years until one of his students, Samuel Ewing, who went on to vault 17’01” as a senior, broke it as a junior in 2009 with a jump of 16’07 ¼”.
In 1988 Morry was named Track & Field News Magazine All-American, Arkansas Democrat Track Athlete of the Year, Arkansas Gazette Track Athlete of the Year, Gatorade Arkansas Track Athlete of the Year and Arkansas Gazette Track Athlete of the Decade.
At Arkansas State University, he enjoyed All-Conference honors indoors and outdoors all four years before receiving a B.S. in Exercise Science.
After spending several years in the fitness industry, Morry was asked to work with a promising young athlete, Brandie Plyler, in the pole vault during his free time. She went on to set the girl’s overall record of 11’10” before graduating and competing for Ole Miss. Inspired by her success, several other athletes sought tutoring from Morry and in 1999 he started a club exclusively for pole vaulters, Arkansas Vault Club.
Morry then went on to get his teaching certification and worked his way to head track coach at Caddo Hills before being named to the track coaching staff at his alma mater. As a coach through his club and his school, Morry has developed 76 state champions in the pole vault indoors and out with 17 Meet of Champs winners. He has also developed 2 Indoor National Junior Class record holders with Spencer McCorkel (17’03 ½” as a Jr. and 17’09” as a Sr.) and Andrew Irwin (17’06 ¼”).
His athletes have set 29 state meet and overall records along the way. Of the 7 state classifications in Arkansas, his athletes hold the state record in 6 of them on the girl’s side and 3 on the boy’s side plus Morry himself holds the 5A record. Both Meet of Champions records are also held by his athletes, Stephanie Foreman (13’06 ¼”) and Andrew Irwin (17’00”). Several of his athletes have gone on to have successful college careers in track and field.