ATLANTA, GA — Sometimes while covering youth sports you have an opportunity to meet many youth athletes that will make it on a professional level. These kids have a different type of attitude than most. They are true competitors and understand what it takes to win. In youth track, the elite athletes such as Tia Jones, Antuane Dennard, and Sydney Harris, just to name a few, are focused the entire meet and do not quit until they are standing at the top of the podium.
Meet DaShana Morris, an 8 year old phenom on the track. Her poise and grace on the track is uncanny, along with her ability. She is a true student of her sport, and it shows it every time that she competes.
DaShana began her youth track career at age 3 because of the love and dedication of her dad. She would always run around the track and play around the house. DaShana started off running the 200M and 400 but switched to the long distance events due to her coaches’ advice. He told her that she was stronger in the 800 and 1500M.
Her awards and achievements are very impressive, including a National gold medal at the Wide World of Sports Championships in the 1500M and national record. DaShana is also the 2012 USATF 1500M National Champion and record holder, along with the AAU Cross Country National Champion. She won the state title in Georgia back to back in the 400M, 800M, and 1600M including gold medal in the long jump in 2012. She says, “My favorite moments are winning, and making my family proud everytime I win a race. I also like traveling all over the country and staying in nice hotels.”
When you work hard, and train hard, you win BIG! And DaShana is no stranger to her hard work. She also watches a lot of film, something that most youth track and athletes do not do at her age. A normal practice consists of warm up drills, stretching, and then running with the distance group. Along with in and outs and race pace runs.
If you are able to see DaShana run, you will be able to recognize her by her long stride. Distance runners with long strides have a natural advantage because they can cover more ground, while using less energy. B2C asked her what keeps her moving when she hits that tough spot in her race. She simply replied, “I think about making my marks and setting PR’s. I think about all the time and effort daddy puts into me and not letting him down. He says im a Morris and thatwe don’t quit. Plus mommy always says do my best.”
Off the track, she is a normal kid who likes to play on her phone and with her Nintendo WII U. Her favorite subject in school is social studies. Along with running in the Olympics, DaShana wants to be a pediatrician when she grows up.
When you are so talented, you have to have someone that you lookup to. DaShana says,“In my family it’s definitely my daddy because he spends all day working with me and teaching me new things. My daddy is the best coach in the world. And for track I admire Sanya Richards-Ross. I love her. Even though she runs the 400 I like her hair and how nice she is. Plus she is a great runner.”