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Redemption run

After a disappointing showing in last year’s CIF final, Burroughs’ Chris Morris gets another chance in the 400

May 17, 2008|By Jeff Tully

Chris Morris tried to calm himself as he walked onto the track at Cerritos College. As he glanced around at his competition, he became increasingly more uneasy.

As a wide-eyed sophomore, the Burroughs High sprinter had not idea what was in store for him in the boys’ 400-meter race at the Division II CIF Southern Section Track and Field Finals last season.

“I was nervous even before I got into the blocks for the race,” Morris said. “I was in the finals, and I didn’t know how I was going to do.”

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With medals awarded to first eight finishers in the nine-person race, Morris finished dead last in 51.03 seconds.

“He was the only kid that walked away from that race without a medal, and I know that was disappointing,” Burroughs Coach John Peebles said. “But he was only a sophomore, and he was bound to get better.”

Morris said although he tried not to let his finals performance discourage him, he did use the race as a learning experience.

“It motivated me to get better so I could make it back and not finish last,” he said. “That’s not going to happen this time.”

With a year’s worth of experience under his belt, Morris has continued to improve this season during his junior campaign. He won the Pacific League title with a personal- best time of 48.84, qualifying him for CIF competition.

Although it is at a different venue against inherently tougher opponents, Morris finds himself back in the finals. He will run in the Division I 400 race today at approximately 3:10 p.m. at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut.

Morris will be joined in the meet by Burroughs senior Sadee Martinez, who has qualified for the girls’ 1,600 final for the second straight year. Her race is at approximately 1:35 p.m.

Last season, Martinez advanced to the CIF-California State Track and Field Meet.

Looking forward to today’s race, Morris feels he’s ready.

“I’m kind of nervous, and a little excited at the same time,” he said. “I just want to concentrate on qualifying for next week. My goal is to hopefully run in the low 47.00s and make it to the Masters.”

Morris, along with Martinez, will be attempting to advance to the CIF Masters Meet on Friday at Cerritos College.

Morris has been able to progress in the 400 event since beginning in the Indians’ program as a freshman. Running on the freshman-sophomore team, his best in the 400 was 52.7.

That season he started out running the 100 and 200 races. However, he was introduced to the 400 and was able to do well.

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