Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
WILLIAMSPORT — If you take a quick glance at Westfall’s track and field record boards, it’s likely you’ll notice Marcus Whaley’s name.
The talented senior, who also serves as the team’s quarterback, quickly made a name for himself as a Mustang — using lightning in a bottle type speed to do so.
Earlier this week, Whaley made his college decision official by committing to Mount Nazarene University, where he’s bound to get even better.
“I chose MVNU because of three big reasons; the money, the distance and the ability to make a difference there. I could have truly gone anywhere in the country, yet MVNU felt like home,” Whaley said. “The community is great there and I’m just excited to grow closer to God while getting the opportunity to continue participating in track and field. On top of all that, I was blessed with an amazing offer.”
In 2019, as a sophomore, Whaley made a splash all year long. He was the SVC’s champion in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, finishing with times of 16.34 and 40.26 seconds.
He also qualified for state in the 300 hurdles after posting times of 39.77 and 39.89 seconds in regional and district competition. In Columbus, he finished 13th with a time of 39.77 seconds.
“My family, and everyone who has helped me during this process, were very supportive. They wanted me to make the decision myself and choose where I’d be the happiest,” Whaley said. “I’m also very blessed to have such a great family and coaches who put out great words about me to coaches. I couldn’t thank them enough for turning me into the man I am now.”
In 2019, MVNU had two NAIA All-Americans in Mitchell Soviak and Joey McDonald. Like those two before him, Whaley is hoping to leave his own fingerprints on the program.
“I’m most looking forward to making a difference. I look forward to being a national qualifier and eventually becoming a national placer or national champion,” Whaley said. “I’m also looking forward to breaking records. I want to not only make a difference on the track but off the track as well.”
The “off the track” stuff is what Whaley wants to be remembered for. His kind nature is something he hopes has left a mark on the Westfall community.
“I hope I’m remembered as a great kid, a kid that made a difference in people’s lives for the better. I want everyone to look up at the record board and see my name and say, ‘He was a great kid that always put a smile on everyone’s face,’” Whaley said.
Like all other spring sports athletes, Whaley was stripped of a chance to compete last spring. He’ll be using that loss for motivation this coming year, before he gets to MVNU, a season in which he’s set big expectations for himself.
“I’ve been praying for one last season,” Whaley said. “My goals are to win that state title in the 300 hurdles. I want to be remembered as a state champ. But some other goals are to break a few more records on the board. As for time goals, I’d love to run a sub 50-second 400. As I run and train for indoor this year, I’m excited to finally compete and show everyone the difference between sophomore me and senior me.”