Talbot Morris-Downing was enjoying what he thought was a great cross country season.
The City High senior had worked hard in the summer and was close to breaking into the varsity lineup, but then he got the last bit of news he could have expected.
After getting a lump in his neck checked out in September, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“It’s been a little bit rough,” he said. “At first I thought it was just a swollen lymph node, but I had a biopsy. I’m having treatment now, and most likely it’ll be over in mid-December.”
Surgery removed the lump, and Morris-Downing is undergoing chemotherapy. But he’s looking forward to getting on with his life.
Besides running, he’s an avid fencer. He even won a gold medal in foil at the Iowa Games two summers ago and has competed at the national level.
Morris-Downing hopes to continue to fence and run cross country in college. He has a 4.0 grade-point average and plans to study chemistry or biology. His short list of universities includes Stanford, Yale and Princeton.
Talbot Morris-Downing is this week’s Hotshot:
If I could visit any place in the world, it would be: Okinawa, Japan.
My nickname is: Tal.
My biggest asset to the team is: Humor and perseverance.
My most prized possession is: I don’t really have a lot of prized possessions, but I love my 12-year-old greyhound, Cricket.
Best sports experience: Infencing, winning gold in foil at the Iowa Games. In cross country, running the full 13-mile Baitshop fundraiser.
In 10 years I want to be: A physician and happy.
A celebrity I resemble is: Nicholas Cage.
Craziest ambition: To visit every country in the world.
People I most admire: Both my grandfathers, Donald Downing and George Morris Jr. They’ve both traveled all over the world.
I can’t imagine going a week without: The support of my friends, especially Emma.
My favorite –
Pro or college player: Formula 1 driver Sabastian Vettle and sprinter Usain Bolt.
Classes: Chemistry and calculus.
Movie character: Indiana Jones, even though I know he’s totally irrelevant to the plot.
TV show: “Top Gear (U.K.).”
Music: Walk the Moon.
Book: “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes.
Actor: Hugh Laurie.
Words to live by: Go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is.