June 10, 2011
DES MOINES, Iowa - Senior Mike Morrison captured the NCAA decathlon title with a school-record 8,118 points Friday, setting six personal bests along the way, at the national track & field championships Friday morning. Morrison becomes the fourth Golden Bear to win the decathlon crown in school history.
Morrison broke the Cal mark of 8,007 set by Chris Huffins during his run to the NCAA title in 1993. The other Bears to finish first in the grueling 10-event competition are Ed Miller, now Morrison's decathlon coach at Cal, in 1976 and Bevan Hart in 2000. In fact, starting with Miller's championship, four of the past seven Golden Bear men to win an NCAA outdoor title have done so in the decathlon.
"Mike came to Cal to win an NCAA title," director of track & field Tony Sandoval said of Morrison, who transferred to Cal from Florida before his junior year. "He and coach Miller dedicated everything to win. It all came to fruition today. One thing I know about Mike is that he is a pressure person. He set a series of PRs, knowing he had to do it to win. He responded when the pressure was on."
After having Thursday's events halted due to severe storms, action in resumed on Friday morning with the completion of the javelin. Morrison set a PR in his first attempt Thursday with a mark of 198-4 before the rains came. On Friday, he threw over 190 feet twice more, but did not improve. Still. Morrison placed third in the field with 745 points in the event, and he surged past Clemson's Miller Moss into first place with 7,408 points to Moss's 7,345 with just the 1500 meters left.
In the 1500 meters, Morrison again established a lifetime best, finishing in 4:35.35. He held off Duke freshman Curtis Beach, who completed the 1500 in 3:59.13 and finished with 8,084 points.
Morrison is the 36th NCAA track & field champion in school history.
Later in the Friday, senior Tracey Stewart finished 10th in the triple jump with a best effort of 42-6.00 after three attempts. She just missed advancing to another three tries as the top nine received the extra jumps. Stewart actually had the same distance as the person in ninth after three attempts - Andrea Geubelle of Kansas - but Geubelle second-best effort of 41-10 was better than Stewart's No. 2 mark of 41-7.75.
Still, Stewart earned All-America honors for the first time in her career, and she will leave Cal as a two-time Pac-10 runner-up in the triple jump and the No. 3 performer in school history with a best of 43-9.75.
NCAA Track & Field Championships
Women's Triple Jump - 10. Tracey Stewart 42-6.00 (12.95m)
Final standings - 1. Mike Morrison, California 8118; 2. Curtis Beach, Duke 8084; 3. Miller Moss, Clemson 7996; 4. Lars Rice, Missouri 7942; 5. Gray Horn, Florida 7914