Morrison's decathlon score bigger in Texas

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Chris Huffins and Bevan Hart sit at the top of Cal track and field's all-time performer list in the decathlon with totals of 8,007 and 8,002 points, respectively.

After winning the Texas Relays with a score of 7,921 this past weekend, senior Mike Morrison is now third on that list.

"I've definitely got a target on that," Morrison said of the record. "The 8,000-point barrier is a huge one. It's what separates the emerging elite and the elite in the event so if I can break 8,000, that would be a huge accomplishment."

He surpassed his previous best of 7,803 by 118 points at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas. He set or matched personal decathlon records in the pole vault, 100m, 110m hurdles and long jump.

"(Each event) was near my best and when you go out for a decathlon, that's the most you can ask for," Morrison said. "The way my coaches in the past have told me to approach it is when you go into the championship season, your first goal is to win, your second goal is to get a personal record and your third is to get any kind of school record or anything like that."

His highest point totals were 941 in the pole vault, his high school specialty, and 940 in the 100m. He cleared the bar at an impressive 16-8.75, his best mark at Cal by a full eight inches and crossed the line in 10.65 seconds.

Morrison came in first out of a field of 22 athletes, edging out second place Romain Martin of Texas-Arlington who finished with a 7,867.

The victory virtually guarantees him a berth at the NCAA Championships in June. Last year, he finished second with a 7,801 despite tearing a ligament in his elbow during the javelin throw.

As long as his elbow fares well in the throwing events, Morrison will likely continue his progress this season.

"I wouldn't say (the elbow injury) is necessarily behind me; I still need to be really careful," he said. "But (my performance) puts some doubts out of my mind, makes me believe I can go out there, not worry about injuries every time and really attack every event."

Morrison missed a large part of fall training while recovering from his elbow surgery, but has quickly made up for lost time. With the Pac-10 championships less than a month away, he will stay in attack mode.

"Once I get to a certain point, I tend not to go backwards," he said.

Morrison's teammates, Tracey Stewart and Brian Carmichael, finished fifth in their events, the women's triple jump and men's high jump, respectively.

Wind speed exceeded the legal limit on all six of Stewart's attempts, meaning scores are counted for the meet but not for records. She logged a wind-aided mark of 43-5.75 on her last try.

Carmichael cleared the bar at 6-10.75, his highest this season. His personal record of 7-0.25, which he recorded at last year's Pac-10 competition, is one and a half inches higher.

Tags: TONY SANDOVAL, CAL TRACK AND FIELD, MIKE MORRISON


Byron Atashian covers track and field. Contact him at [email protected]



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