The feat: She broke the world youth indoor pentathlon record in February, then broke the British junior high jump record and equalled the European youth heptathlon record in May, and must now decide whether to compete at the world junior championships or the Commonwealth Games this summer, all between exams and studying for her A-levels.
Morgan Lake only turned 17 last month, but was invited to the most prestigious multi-events meeting outside world championships and Olympic Games, the Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis, Austria. She improved her lifetime best score to 6,081 points, equalling the European youth record, and had personal bests in the shot, 200 metres and javelin.
Seven reasons why Morgan Lake can be more than just ‘the next Jess Ennis’
1. British heptathlon heroine Jessica Ennis-Hill was 20 before she broke through the 6,000-points barrier, while BT Action Woman contender for March Katarina Johnson-Thompson was 19. Lake turned 17 just over three weeks ago and has already powered through the barrier. “Jess is the queen of heptathlon so even to be mentioned with her is amazing,” said the modest young athlete.
2. She took her first senior victory in Florence, Italy at the Multistars IAAF Combined Events World Challenge meeting in conditions that would have made Take That’s ‘Back For Good’ video look like nothing more than a light drizzle, while a week later she was hiding under an umbrella in Loughborough, this time to escape the scorching British sun (oh the irony!), where she set a new British high jump junior record of 1.93m, only 3cm shy of the British senior record held by Ennis-Hill.
3. The high jump world youth record lies at 1.95m and Lake is only a couple of centimetres off that mark. “It wasn’t even in my sight at the beginning. It seemed so high, but getting close to it now, maybe…” said Lake with a wide grin on her face.
4. Morgan’s never been one for just one particular event. As a child she used to compete in swimming, tried karate, archery, netball, and taekwando, but eventually found her way to athletics through family.
5. Her dad Eldon Lake, who is also her coach, says having been an athlete himself (he used to be a triple jumper) makes it easier for him to watch: “I’m not as nervous as when she used to do swimming. I was a nightmare, I was so nervous, because I was in no control over what she was doing.”
6. The day after breaking the British junior high jump record, Lake had to sit a business exam. Then, while the other heptathletes competing in Gotzis got to rest for a week or so, she had to stick her head into the revision books once more for an exam at the beginning of June.
7. And here’s a great stat to top it off: At the age of 17, Lake came 17th in Gotzis 17 years after another British heptathlon legend, Denise Lewis, won the prestigious event.
Lake is one of the BT Action Woman Awards contenders for May. Click here to see the rest of our Action Women.
By Michelle Sammet