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A Special Something...

  • Posted on
  • By Whitney Morris-Reed
  • 0
A Special Something...

Get to know our Swim Specialist!

We said it before (on another page), but we’ll say it again...

At First Place Athletics, the business is performance, but the passion and focus is on our athletes and teams. 

For our Swim Specialist and Owner, Whitney Morris-Reed, these things go hand in hand. 

Whitney is native to Huntsville; growing up swimming in the Rocket City Swim League for Sharon Johnston, competing and training under Brooke Pate with Huntsville Swim Association and attending Madison County High School (from which she graduated in 2006). During school, Whitney coached for Sharon Johnston Swim Team (2003 – 2005, 2007 – 2008), Chapman Swim Team (2006) and Huntsville Swim Association (2006 – 2007). After high school, she attended and swam for King College (now King University). She boasts the title of the school’s first swimmer to swim an NAIA national cut, way back in 2006 at the University of the South, and was co-captain from 2008 – 2010, when she graduated with a BA in History and Political Science. Her other athletic and academic accomplishments at King include:


  • 3-time NAIA National Qualifier 
  • 2007 awardee for the NAIA Champion of Character Award (Individual) 
  • 3-time Top 25, NAIA Nationals, 1650 Freestyle 
  • 4-time Conference finalist 
  • 2010 awardee for the NAIA Champion of Character Award (Team) 
  • Snider Honor Program Graduate  
  • First female SGA President (2008 – 2009) 
  • Student Government active member, 2007 – 2010 


After college, Whitney took her talents to Virginia; working for the Social Security Administration and coaching the Pulaski County High School Swim Team. Under her direction, the team posted its first relay team at the State Swim Meet and had additional qualifiers for individual events outside of a single swimmer for the first time in the team’s history. She spent 2 seasons with the Cougars, before returning to Huntsville and working at Huntsville Hospital and coaching Madison County High School. From there, she moved to Auburn, AL and attended Auburn University as a non-degree seeking student and worked for the City of Auburn as a Recreation Leader and Public Relations Assistant, taking over managing the City’s pools and programs in summer 2016. She was promoted and hired to the position of Aquatics and Special Events Coordinator in fall 2016, where she oversaw the entirety of the City’s aquatics programming and staff, as well as developed new special events and programs for Auburn residents. In December 2018, Whitney was appointed to the position of Public Relations Manager for the City of Hinesville, GA. She served as the public point of contact for the City, as well as the coordinator for Healthy Hinesville, and saw the City through the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic as its public mouthpiece. In late 2020, Whitney and her husband, Thomas, relocated to Huntsville for work and opened Southern Eagle Construction LLC and Saga Strategy LLC, a commercial maintenance and construction operation and strategic communications and consulting firm, respectively.  


In 2022, the opportunity to acquire First Place Athletics was presented and Whitney and Thomas leapt at the chance to take on the legacy of the store and develop its future into something fitting of its longtime reputation of excellence. Taking over something that was a huge part of childhood and helping it grow? Seemed like a no brainer.  

With her background, Whitney is an obvious expert in swimming, with her specialty being fitting athletes for tech suits and team suits. However, its her dedication to her craft that also allows her to help athletes and customers find their perfect spikes for XC and T&F, as well as running and walking shoes. A few of her favorite products to recommend include:


Anything by Topo and Saucony (in particular the Cyclone 2 and Endorphin Shift)
OG Swedish Goggles
Tifosi Sunglass (Sizzle in particular)
TYR trainers
Arena Carbon Glide
TYR Invictus
Speedo Endurance+ training suits (flyback)
Malibu products


Whitney and Thomas live in New Market with their 3 children. You’ll probably see them creating chaos at the store or at an off-site event and generally filling up their parents’ lives with laughter, light and lunacy. When she’s not at the store or at an event, you can find Whitney playing in their backyard with their horde of children, enjoying time at Sharon Johnston Park, baking bread, learning how to love running again, and trying to make all her membership points for the Junior League of Huntsville with volunteering.  


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