Morning aiming for strong finish in 200 meters

By: Matt Long
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Kevin Morning is seeking the answer to one question: does he still have it? Morning, 55, has been a top-notch sprinter dating back to his days at Pasadena High School in the mid-1970s. At UC San Diego Morning remains on their top-10 all-time list in the 200- and 400-meter runs, the only athlete on those lists from the 1970s or 1980s. Since graduating in 1979, Morning remained active and fit and got back into competitive sprinting about 15 years ago when he was 39. Morning, who lives in Roseville and teaches physical education at Carl Sundahl and Theodore Judah elementary schools in Folsom, is entering the World Masters Track and Field Championships, competing in the 100 and 200 meters in the 55-59 age division. “I wonder if I still have it,” Morning said. “Not just in speed but the drive to train too. That’s what keeps me motivated. I was born to run.” Morning’s career highlight is being part of the 40-44-year-old world-record holding 4x400-meter relay team that won the Penn Relays in 2001 with a time of 3 minutes, 20.83 seconds. His best time in the 100 meters is 10.7 and in the 200 meters is 21.5, both of which he ran in his early 20s. Last year his times in both events were 11.9 and 24.0, respectively. “Those are good times, but not great times,” Morning said. His goals for the World Masters are to break 11.8 in the 100 and 23.8 in the 200. “If I did that I’d be pretty ecstatic,” Morning said. “If I ran that I’d make the finals in both events. That time wouldn’t win the 100, but it could win the 200.” Morning said he’s a better 200-meter runner and that it’s his favorite of the two events. For him to run well he will need to be healthy. In the past year he’s battled injuries, first a calf strain, then a pinched nerve in his back which made his lower right leg numb and most recently, a quad strain. It’s been a year-long process for Morning to prepare for the World Masters, but there’s nothing he wouldn’t rather be doing. “I have a joy for running,” Morning said. “I can’t think of anything like it. I love the sensation of speed. I was made to run. I’m happiest when I’m running.”