Hurdler envisions breakthrough season

Hurdler envisions breakthrough season
March 24
00:00 2016
Photo by Craig T. Greenlee
Tametris Morrison led the way for Winston-Salem State in last week’s Wake Forest Open. Morrison won the 400 hurdles and ran a leg on the Lady Rams 4×400 relay team that finished in first place.



As a freshman a year ago, Tametris Morrison provided a tantalizing glimpse of what promises to be a highly productive college track career. A native of Raleigh, Morrison took huge strides in her first year competing in the 400-meter hurdles for Winston-Salem State.

Morrison earned All-America honors last spring by placing fifth in her specialty at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

The then new-comer posted the highest individual finish among the Lady Rams at the nationals. Additionally, she ran a leg on the WSSU’s All-America 4×400 relay team that placed third.

There’s an undeniable air of excitement in WSSU coach Inez Turner’s voice when she discusses the prospects for Morrison this season. Turner has no doubts that Morrison, who was an All-CIAA pick in cross country, can surpass last year’s performance at the national meet.

“Tametris ran faster 400s indoors this winter,” said Turner. “Since she ran a full season of cross country, she has all the background training. The experience in the 400 hurdles is going to be there, so she is well-prepared. Now that she’s getting faster and has the stamina, we’re looking for great things from her.”

Does that mean that Morrison has a realistic shot at placing among the nation’s top three in an event that’s arguably the most grueling in all of track and field? Turner thinks so.

“Oh, yes, definitely,” said Turner, when asked about Morrison’s chances to realistically compete for a national title as a sophomore. “Every time we go out there (national championships), we feel like anything can happen. When we get on that track at the championships, it’s anybody’s race.”

The outdoor season started in grand fashion for Morrison. At the Wake Forest Open held last weekend, she won the 400 hurdles in 1 minute, 2.11 seconds, which is a NCAA Division II provisional qualifying time for the national outdoor championships. Additionally, she ran second leg on the Lady Rams victorious 4×400 relay (4:01.40) that beat several Division I schools, which included Morgan State, Pitt, Appalachian State, Duquesne and High Point University.

Not only is Morrison ahead of the curve on the track, but the same is true for the classroom as well. Although this is her second track season, she’s a junior academically. SportsWeek recently caught up with Morrison, who shared her insights about the path her track career is taking.

SW: Where are you in your training right now?

Morrison: My training this year has been so tough. I have different coach from last year and my speed is much better than it was. So, I feel like the outdoor season for the 400 hurdles is going to be something nice.

SW: What do you feel is realistic for you to accomplish this season?

Morrison: A year ago I ran 59 seconds (400 hurdles). This year I’m actually looking forward to running a good old 57. That’s going to be a nice drop (in time). The competition may feel they don’t have to be concerned about me because it’s only my second year. But they should be worried.

SW: What’s the biggest difference this year?

Morrison: Cross country. Some people don’t like it because they feel that takes away from their speed. But actually, cross country benefits you because it opens up your lungs and helps you to get your breathing right which helps your endurance (for long races like the 400 hurdles). So, instead of struggling to breathe, you’re already very fit because of the cross country (training).

SW: What do you need to work on to get to the next level?

Morrison: There’s always something to work on. I’ll work a little harder on getting out of the (starting) blocks.

SW: How are things shaping up for the 4×400 relay?

Morrison: We have a young team, so right now we’re still flip-flopping (relay positions) and trying to figure who’s going to compete in which event. We have so many talented ladies who can run that relay. It’s going to be some-thing that will be very good to watch.

SW: How does it help you to have some solitude in your pre-race prepara-tions?

Morrison: My father (Fitzroy Morrison) taught me from a young age [start-ed running 9 years ago] to find a place to sit quietly, get my thoughts together and run the race in my mind – break it down. I really have to separate myself. It (solitude) gives me the time to think about my race.

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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