Prep Track: Salisbury's Morris at top speed after scare
By Bret Strelow
The five other 100-meter finalists sped away from Salisbury sophomore Romar Morris, leaving the hobbled sprinter alone to trot past Ledford High School’s occupied stands in uncharacteristically slow fashion.
“I wanted to run so bad,” Morris said. “Everybody looked like they were having a lot of fun out there.”
Morris, who had suffered a pulled right quad earlier in the CCC championship meet while running a 400 preliminary heat, participated in the 100 final for the sole purpose of attaining one point that accompanied a sixth-place finish. The other five entries completed the race in no worse than 11.80 seconds, and Salisbury’s coaches say Morris required roughly 28.
He bounced back to win the 100 and 200 at the Midwest Regional nine days later, and he’s seeded first for both events at today’s 2A state championship meet in Greensboro.
“It’s amazing he was able to get back and run as well as he did at the regionals,” Salisbury coach Mike Allen said. “We were really scared to try to push our luck.”
Morris ran a 10.80 in the 100 and a 21.90 in the 200 to claim regional titles at Monroe High School. He also contributed a fast opening leg in the 4×400 relay as the Hornets attempted to snatch the team title away from East Lincoln, which won the final event and beat second-place Salisbury by 10 points.
North Brunswick’s Jesse Riley is seeded second in both the 100 (10.85) and 200 (22.01) today at North Carolina A&T. Shelby’s Larry Raper, who has signed to play football at A&T, is a high-profile contender.
Allen, Darius Bryson and Chip Pickard have helped Morris develop as a sprinter, and treatment at Catawba enabled him to return from his injury in a timely manner.
“I felt 100 percent (at the regional),” Morris said. “I thought I was going to be done for at least a couple of weeks, but I’ve been icing it and getting treatment. I ran good in the finals; I was running relaxed.”
Morris, who also plays football and basketball for the Hornets, showed off his athleticism in front of a large audience on a Monday night in late October.
Salisbury’s football team pulled out a 28-25 win against Lexington thanks to a pair of touchdowns on screen passes to Morris (70 yards) and A.J. Ford (88 yards).
Morris, who delivered a critical block on the go-ahead score, ignited the comeback by bolting through a small opening in the middle of the field as the third quarter ended.
“Every time (people) talk about it, they say I got the ball and just faded,” Morris said. “I feel I go faster on the football field because I have people chasing me.”
Morris started on a basketball team that went 28-2, and he was the sprints MVP at the county track meet in late April. He won the 100 with a time of 10.43.
A sweep of regional titles made up for an abbreviated showing at the conference championships, and he has unfinished business at the state level.
Morris posted the ninth-fastest qualifying time in the 100 at last year’s 2A meet, so he just missed the final.
“I thought I was in last year, but it was tough,” Morris said. “This whole season I’ve been thinking about that ninth-place finish, trying to get myself in the finals, just working hard every day.”
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