Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
WILLIAMSPORT — Losing isn’t something Marcus Whaley is used to.
In fact, this year, in the 300-meter hurdles, it’s something he’s never experienced. Westfall’s sophomore track star is still undefeated in the event heading into this weekend’s Division II District Meet.
Whaley will enter the district meet riding a wave of momentum after earning meet medalist honors at last week’s Scioto Valley Conference Meet. There, individually, he won the 300 and 110 hurdles (40.26 and 16.53) while placing second in the pole vault (12-feet).
His teammates in the 4×400-meter relay — Cody Thompson, Tyler Shipley and Ethan Holman — helped him seal the honor with a third place finish (3:43.09).
“My reaction was pure excitement and thankfulness to my team for pushing me,” Whaley said of winning meet medalist honors. “I was also grateful for my teammates in the 4×400 relay for giving everything they had in that race because it sealed the deal for me getting meet medalist.”
So, what can you expect out of Whaley during the postseason? If history indeed does repeat itself, more of the same.
“So every meet this year, I’ve ran the 300-meter hurdles, 110 hurdles and have done the pole vault,” Whaley said. “In the 300 hurdles, I’m undefeated and working crazy hard to break the school record of 40.24 seconds. In the 110 hurdles, I’ve won most of my races except a few where I placed second and third. As for pole vault, I’ve won every single meet except the SVC, which I didn’t get my PR of 12-6. I was still happy with the results on Friday. I’m looking forward to the district meet.”
Whaley also looks to serve as the Mustangs’ quarterback this coming fall. It’s a position where he started as a freshman, filling in for the injured Zach Gibson, and a position that allows him to showcase his speed and leadership.
“I’m very excited for this upcoming year of football. I’ve been working hard to become the best player for my team and I want nothing more than to lead my team and set a good example for my teammates,” he said. “I expect there to be struggles but, as a team, I expect us to grow and learn from our mistakes while also competing to the best of our abilities.”
Some athletes have the intangibles … traits that can’t be taught. Whaley fits that description.
Wherever he goes, whatever he does, others seem to follow him. They see his work ethic, his willingness to push himself to the limit and his ability to hunt down success.
“My best qualities as an athlete are my drive for wanting to succeed and to go far … my competitiveness in all sports,” Whaley said. “I love competing and having fun while I do it.”
Before football season can start, Whaley still has the most important stretch of track season to journey through. His sophomore year could end this weekend if he doesn’t perform well.
But, to him, that’s not an option.
Whaley took the first steps towards qualifying for the regional meet in both hurdles events Wednesday evening at Washington Court House. In the 300 and 110 hurdles preliminary races, he took first and sixth place (41.05 and 16.64) to qualify for Saturday’s Division II district finals.
For good measure, he took second place in pole vault with a mark of 12-feet, a final result.
“In the beginning of the season, I set a goal for myself and I wanted to break the school record in the 300 hurdles, win the SVC and, my main goal, has been to make it to state in the 300 hurdles,” he said. “I know it will be hard, but I work hard everyday to accomplish those goals.”