Andre Morris
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Andre Morris

Andre Morris
Personal information
Born (1972-10-26) October 26, 1972 (age 46)
Height179 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Sport
SportAthletics
Event(s)Sprint
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)200 m - 20.48 (1999)
400 m - 45.15 (1995)[1][2]

Andre Morris (born October 26, 1972) is an American former sprint runner.[1] He was part of American 4 × 400 m relay teams that won gold medals at the 1995 Summer Universiade and 1999 IAAF World Indoor Championships, setting a world indoor record in 1999.

Early life and family

Morris was one of five children born to Frankie Morris.[3] He has one sister and three brothers.[3] His wife's name is Kim, and he has six children.[4]

Morris attended Russellville High School in Russellville, Kentucky.[4] At 5 ft  in (1.79 m), he was told he was too small to play football, but he began earning playing time as a sophomore following an injury to another player.[3][5] He was named a Blue Chip All-American in football three times.[3] Playing tailback, he was the scoring leader on Russellville's 1990 team that won the Class A state championship.[4][6] He also competed on the track and field team, winning state titles in the 400 m and the 4 × 400 m relay.[4]

College career

Morris graduated high school in 1991.[4] Despite being recruited by traditional football powerhouses Michigan and Penn State, he followed a high school teammate to Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas.[3] In his second week at the school, he suffered an ankle injury.[3] Soon after, his friend left Hutchinson, and Morris never played in a game for the school.[3] He continued running track and was named a Junior College All-American, earning him a scholarship to the University of Iowa.[4]

Attracted by the fact that the school's head track coach and one assistant coach were both African-Americans like himself, Morris enrolled at Iowa in the spring 1994 semester.[3] Although he considered trying out for the football team, he decided to stick with track and twice won the 200 m at the Big Ten outdoor championships.[3] He also won the 400 m once and was twice a member of the championship 4 × 400 m relay team.[3] One year, he won the 400 m, but was disqualified.[5] At the 1995 World University Games, Morris and his teammates broke the Games record in the 4 × 400 m relay with a time of 3:00.40.[7]

In 1994 and 1996, Morris was named an NCAA Division I All-American in the 4 × 400 m relay and in 1995, he was an All-American in the 400 m.[5] At the team's awards banquet in 1995, Morris was named most valuable team member, most outstanding sprinter, most improved member, and shared the most inspirational award with his relay teammates.[8] He graduated in summer 1996 with a bachelor's degree in art history.[3]

International career

After graduation, Morris moved to Iowa City, Iowa, where he worked as a cook and a janitor while training for a career as a professional athlete.[3] He did not hire a coach, but in 2001, he was reported to run the 40-yard dash in 4.1 seconds and bench press 365 pounds (166 kg).[3] He qualified to compete at both the indoor and outdoor U.S. National Championships eight times.[4] In 1996 and 2000, he participated in the United States Olympic Trials.[4] At the 1999 World Indoor Championships, he, Dameon Johnson, Deon Minor, and Milton Campbell formed a 4 × 400 m relay team that set a world record, completing the race in 3:02.83.[9] The team received $60,000 for the feat.[9] The record was broken in 2015.[4]

Despite his success, Morris told The Gazette in 1999, "I hate track. I'm doing it because I can do it. I love football more than anything."[5] That year, he joined the semi-professional Iowa Tractors for their inaugural season in the South Central Football League, playing wide receiver, running back and returning punts and kickoffs.[5] After a successful stint with the Tractors, he tried out for the National Football League's Carolina Panthers, but was hampered by a knee injury.[3][4]

References

  1. ^ a b "Andre Morris". iaaf.org. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ Andre Morris. trackfield.brinkster.net
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Boyer, Ann Scholl (December 26, 2001). "NFL dreams are still in the running". The Gazette. Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rose, Rod (January 5, 2015). "New RHS Hall of Fame inductees". The News-Democrat & Leader. Russellville, Kentucky.
  5. ^ a b c d e Ogden, J. R. (August 29, 1999). "Speedy Tractor eyes the NFL". The Gazette. Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
  6. ^ Embry, Mike (December 1, 1990). "RUSSELLVILLE RECOVERS FROM QUICK TD, BEATS BELLEVUE 21-7". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky.
  7. ^ Maloney, Mike (September 5, 1995). "DR. DOT OF U OF L MAKES AMERICA'S FIRST SOFTBALL TEAM". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky.
  8. ^ "NEWS NOTES/ AREA SPORTS". The Gazette. Cedar Rapids, Iowa. November 7, 1995.
  9. ^ a b Maloney, Mark (March 25, 1999). "ADVERSITY HASN'T KEPT HARDEN FROM COMEBACK". Lexington Herald-Leader. Lexington, Kentucky.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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