Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Monday, June 17, 2024

You could say that Mike Morrison has commitment issues.

As a high school freshman, he was a pole-vaulter. His sophomore year, he tried the long jump. Soon after that, he took a shot at the hurdles.

The Chesapeake,Va., native may not be great at one thing, but he sure is good at a whole lot of things - 10 to be exact.

"After my sophomore year of high school, I decided to try doing the decathlon," Morrison said. "The first time I tried it was at the U.S. Youth National Meet. I won. From there, I just kind of stayed with it."

His success has also continued.

Morrison earned All-America honors during the indoor season but has yet to qualify for the NCAA Regional meet during the outdoor campaign.

"The last couple of meets, I have been setting (personal records) left and right," Morrison said. "Hopefully, I will be able to get the automatic mark out of the way this weekend."

The sophomore will have a chance Saturday when the second-ranked men's and fifth-ranked women's track and field teams make the trip to Athens, Ga., for the Spec Towns Invitational. Select members of the team will make the trip to Tempe, Ariz., for the Sun Angel Track Classic.

UF assistant coach Rana Reider said that it takes a special kind of athlete to compete in the decathlon.

"The beating that his body takes and the amount of time he has to spend training for each event starts to take its toll after a while," Reider said. "It's hard on him."

Morrison said that while the event is physically demanding, the mental aspect is even more challenging.

"The mental approach is huge," Morrison said. "You have to psyche yourself up for every event, and you have to do it 10 times.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

"At the same time, it keeps things fun. You don't really get bored with anything, because you are always doing something new. It definitely keeps things interesting."

UF track and field coach Mike Holloway said that Morrison brings balance to his team - something the Gators have been criticized for not having in the past.

The Gators, viewed primarily as a sprinting program by the rest of the country, have taken great strides toward becoming a complete program this year.

Thirty athletes have already qualified for the NCAA East Regional Meet in 21 different events.

"Our goal has always been to become a complete track and field program, and (Morrison) is a guy that is certainly helping us do that," Holloway said. "He is just a hardworking guy that wants to be great. He wants to be the best at his craft."

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.