Gracie Morse

Franklin County’s Gracie Morse pulls away from the pack in this file photo from the 2019 season. Morse recently qualified for the AAU Junior Olympics in two events after a pair of top-five performances at a regional qualifier in Knoxville.


Franklin County High School track and field athlete Gracie Morse recently qualified for the AAU Junior Olympics in two hurdle events.

Morse competed in a regional qualifier event on Friday and Saturday at Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville and came away with a pair of top-five finishes in the 17-18 Girls division.

The top six athletes in each regional running event earned an automatic berth to the AAU Junior Olympics with Morse meeting the criteria in both of her events.

Morse’s first qualifying performance came on Friday when she finished first in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:06.42. This time put her exactly one second ahead of Kendal Gibbons for the top spot.

She followed that up with a fifth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles on Saturday with a time of 16.01 seconds.

The top time in the 100-meter hurdles for the 17-18 Girls division belonged to Sophie Galloway with a mark of 14.73 seconds.

Morse will next compete in both hurdles events at the end of July when she travels to Greensboro, North Carolina, for the AAU Junior Olympics.

She will run in the 400-meter hurdles on July 29 with a scheduled start time of 10 a.m. The 100-meter hurdles event is scheduled for July 31 at 2:15 p.m.

The 2019 AAU Junior Olympics will be held on the campus of North Carolina A&T University.