At about midseason, Carvers Bay track and field coach Bill Peterman put Lewis Morant on the spot.
He essentially put the Bears’ chances of winning a team state title on the junior’s back.
Morant didn’t hesitate in answering his coach.
“We kind of had a meeting midway through the season just before April and plotted it out: This is where we were and this was where we needed to be [to win state],” Peterman said. “I looked Lewis point blank in his face and said, ‘we can do this if you can win the 100 and 200.’ He just said ‘yes, sir.’
“We ended up winning the meet by 37 points or something like that. He was part of 30-some of those points.”
Morant wound up a state champion in three events en route to being names Toast of the Coast Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year. He won the 100 and 200 and anchored the Bears’ state champion 400-meter relay team.
“I had really great coaches who pushed me,” said Morant, who recently transferred to the school from Connecticut. “I wasn’t really surprised we won state and when I won my individual titles because my coaches really pushed me.”
Early in the season, Morant’s progression became a key when Devin Cuttino, the squad’s star sprinter, was sidelined with a torn hamstring. Before that, the sprinters were pushing each other in practice.
Peterman credited much of Morant’s success to those duels.
“They were pushing each other in practice and meets, too. I think that made a big difference [for Morant],” the coach said. “When you’ve got fast guys around you and compete against them in practice, it only makes you better.”
Competing on the state level for the first time, Morant got his first taste of being a champion in the 400-meter relay.
“I was just excited … full of joy,” Morant said. “It was my first state title.”
He went on to win two more – one that was long expected and another that occurred thanks to Morant’s willingness to sacrifice for the team.
“Lewis wasn’t real big on running the 200. We kind of pushed him into it,” Peterman said.
Said Morant: “I knew I had a chance in the 100. After watching video [of the 200], I realized I was pretty far ahead.”
With another year left, Morant believes he and his team can duplicate 2013’s successes. Yet, he plans to step it up another notch.
“The sky’s the limit next year,” he said. “I’m trying to get into one more event – maybe the 400 or 4-by-4. Next year is my year to come out and show college scouts what I can do.”
Contact DAVID WETZEL at 626-0295.