Marquis Morris proudly poses with the gold medal he received for his record-breaking shot put of 42 feet, 6 inches at the 87th annual Rotary Track and Field Meet on June 4. (Photo: PHOTO COURTESY OF ROTARY CLUB OF PLAINFIELD-NORTH PLAINFIELD )
PLAINFIELD – With a throw that matched his size but not his age, Marquis Morris of North Plainfield Middle School set a record in the shot put for 12-year-old boys at the 87th annual Rotary Track and Field Meet. Marquis’ throw of 42 feet, 6 inches surpassed the 2006 record of 39 feet, 4.75 inches set by another North Plainfield student, Raul Figueroa.
On June 4, the Rotary Club of Plainfield-North Plainfield conducted its signature youth service event at the Hub Stine Athletic Field.
“We join with Marquis in his excitement over not only receiving a gold medal but also in setting a new record at his first-ever competition,” said Rotarian and meet director Michael Townley, .
“Over the years, we have had the privilege of hosting a number of young athletes who have gone on to set state and national records and win medals in Olympic competitions, including the late Milt Campbell, Olympic decathlon champion. We are anxious to see Marquis return for his next two years’ eligibility and attempt to break more records.”
Asked to pose for a picture, Marquis beamed as he pinned on his medal before the photo.
“This is so exciting,” he said. “Let me put my medal on first.”
Members of the club and their friends offered their services as officials and judges for an afternoon of friendly but determined competition by 200 12-, 13- and 14 year-old athletes from Plainfield, North Plainfield and Watchung middle schools.
They were supported by members of the North Plainfield High School Interact Club who also filled key roles, such as judges, timers and field-event assistants. Interact is the youth-based service club sponsored by Rotary International.
“We are so grateful to our family members and friends and our Interact Club members who come out to help us with this youth service project,” said Mary Forbes, president of the Rotary Club. “There are so many positions to fill that we could not do it without their help. And our Interact members are just wonderful.”
Medals were awarded to first-, second- and third-place finishers in all events except the relays, where ribbons were awarded to second- and third-place finishers. All three participating schools took home medals or ribbons.
• North Plainfield Middle School: 24 first place, 13 second place, three third place;
• Plainfield’s Queen City Academy: nine first place, seven second place, 16 third place;
• Watchung’s Valley View: 19 first place, 32 second place, 18 third place.
Marking the end of the meet with a treat, Rotarian Mike Castoral of the South Plainfield Funeral Home donated flavored ices.
The Rotary Club expects to offer the 88th annual Track and Field Meet next year at the Plainfield site on the first Wednesday of June.