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Mahwah Shot-Putter Named Junior Olympics ‘Athlete of the Year’

The 10-year-old competed in the Junior Olympics in three track & field events in 2012

A 10-year-old Mahwah track & field athlete had a big year in 2012. Anna Morris placed first in her regional and state competitions in shotput, triathalon and high jump, was invited for the second year in a row to compete in the Junior Olympics, and placed in the top ten in two events.

Last month, Morris was named a 2012 USA Track & Field New Jersey Junior Olympic Athlete of the Year in the all-around category for her performances in multiple track & field events.

Morris and her family went to a ceremony on Jan. 19 in Edison to receive her award.

Morris has run track & field in the township’s rec program for several years. She says she likes to compete both as a team member in certain events and as an individual because, “it’s fun, you meet new people from different towns, and it’s very competitive.”

“A lot of credit really goes to the town, the great track program we have here, and her great coaches,” Morris’s dad, Jeff, said about his daughter’s award. “So many towns don’t even have programs for kids her age. And, if it wasn’t for the track program in Mahwah, we wouldn’t have known that our daughter has this talent.”

Morris received the USATF Athlete of the Year recognition once before for her shot-put results. This year, she is the only athlete from Mahwah to receive the award in any category this year.

Morris doesn’t spend all of her time training for track, either. She also plays soccer, basketball and lacrosse on township teams. Though she says she can’t decide yet what which sport she likes best, she says she was very honored to receive the track award.

“I was really happy,” she said. “I know not everybody gets this award, and I was happy they chose me.”

Submit your questions or news tips to jessica.mazzola@patch.com. And, remember to sign up for Patch's daily newsletter, and get updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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