By Rupert Howell
Morrie Turner had a big summer—or at least a big couple of weeks.
The 2009 South Panola graduate recently returned from the Gold Coast of Australia, via Hawaii and Los Angeles, with a gold, silver and two bronze medals in the World Junior Olympics where approximately 500 Americans competed with athletes and teams from across the globe.
The former South Panola track star scored gold in long jump, silver in the 4 x 100 relay, and bronze in the 4 x 400 relay and triple jump.
He also competed in the 100m dash and the 110m hurdles.
Nineteen sponsors and “a lot of others” helped along the way to finance local athlete who plans to attend Hinds Community College this fall where he will “walk on” to compete for a spot on Mississippi’s premier community college track program.
Turner plans to compete for a spot on the 2012 Olympic team when those games are held in London.
Turner’s travels took him from Memphis to Los Angeles to Brisbane, Australia from where they were driven to Gold coast.
While there he learned the volatility of the exchange rate with the ever changing dollar values and also enjoyed snorkeling. He learned hand signs don’t mean the same in Australia as they do in the U. S.
He wasn’t too crazy about Vegamite, an Australian staple with the consistantcy of peanut butter but with a very different taste. He explained that a favorite Australian pastime is getting foreigners to taste it and then watch the expression on their face.
Following the competition Turner’s group returned via Honolulu where he tried surfing.
“It’s not for everybody,” he answered after being asked how he liked it.
He also tried the Hawaiin staple, poi.
“It’s better than vegamite,” he said unenthusiastically.
Turner is the son of Tonya and Cecil Creekmore and Morrie Turner, Sr.