Sault Stryders
Running Club

Full speed ahead
St. Mary's sprinter in pursuit of Northern record

Reported May 20, 2009 by Peter Ruicci for The Sault Star
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

He’s like a speeding bullet.

Except, unlike some bullets, Alex Morrison appears to have his path planned out ahead of time.

The St. Mary’s College Grade 10 student is focused on sweeping the junior boys 100-metre and 200-m races when the annual City High School Track-and-Field Meet begins today at the Jo Forman Track.

The two-day event kicks off at 4 p.m. and continues Thursday at 9 a.m.

Morrison, who, in the Midget Division, won at both distances a year ago against city and Northern Ontario Secondary Schools Association competition, is also determined to repeat at NOSSA and establish a new, Northern Ontario record.

The NOSSA junior mark for 100m is 11.51.

Earlier this month, the 16-year-old Morrison ran 11.3 in time trails at the Forman Track.

“I’d obviously like to repeat as city and NOSSA champion,” said Morrison, a strapping, six-foot-four, 205-pounder. “And I think I can go faster than 11.3 and break the NOSSA record.”

That confidence, he said, has been fostered by the fact Morrison ran his 11.3 time trial “in a wind, with no adrenaline and not during competition.”

He also plans to compete for the first time in the 400m.

Breaking the NOSSA record, Morrison admitted, “would be a great individual accomplishment.”

A gifted athlete who also competes in football, basketball, hockey and baseball, Morrison said one of the keys to winning the 100m is a fast start.

“And you must be composed,” he added. “You can’t worry about who you’re running against. Form is absolutely important and you should always be trying to beat your last time.”

But, Morrison noted, success this week and again at the NOSSA meet, slated for May 28-29 in North Bay, would merely pave the way for his ultimate goal.

“I want to get back to OFSAA,” he said of the annual Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) meet, scheduled for June 4-6 in Toronto. “That’s my main goal. Breaking the NOSSA record would be a bonus.”

A year ago at provincials, Morrison placed sixth in his 100m heat and sixth in 200m preliminaries — failing to qualify for the final at both distances.

As for his first attempt at running the 400m, Morrison said he’s “actually, really confident. My goal at the city meet is to get gold medals in all three of my events.”

Notes: Sir James Dunn enters today’s meet seeking its 28th consecutive coed (boys and girls combined) track-and-field championship. The school winning the annual city title is presented with the Jo Forman Trophy.