This year's addition of the Texas Distance Festival will have one of the hottest distance stars in the country competing. He just so happens to be from Texas -- Aledo, Texas, to be exact.
Morris will run the elite 5000m on Saturday, March 17. He will take on some of the best distance runners around.
It will be Morris' first big race since the cross country season, in which he competed against the state's best as well as nationally. In the Fall, Morris won the UIL 5A state meet and then competed at the Foot Locker South meet, where he qualified for the Foot Locker National.
Sit and kick races are fun to watch from a strategical stand point but I would much rather come away with a PR than the win off of a slow time."Graydon Morris - Aledo HS Sophomore
Morris ran to second place at the Foot Locker Nationals and was then selected to run for Team USA at the Great Edinburgh XCountry in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he competed in a 6K race against international competition and finished in eighth place.
With all of the big race experience as well and national and international competition, it makes dealing with a race of this magnitude easier to mentally prepare for. "Having the opportunity to compete with such talented guys from across the country I think has allowed me to gain tremendous racing experience."
Still, Morris still has nerves about the Texas Distance Festival, "Yes, the nerves are high just because there is an extreme amount of hype that goes with this race."
Although winning is always ideal, especially on his home turf of Texas against some of the other out of state runners, Morris isn't as concerned about a win. His ideal race is for a fast race pace from the beginning instead of a tactical go for the win type of race. "I really hope it's a go for the pace right from the gun, sit and kick races are fun to watch from a strategical stand point but I would much rather come away with a PR than the win off of a slow time."
Morris is the 2017 Gatorade Texas Male Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Since 2013, the Southlake Running Co. has consistently brought together the best distance runners in Texas and across the nation to compete in the track distance events. The races include 1600m, 3200m, and an elite 5K.
- 1500m - 4:02.24
- 1600m - 4:16.50
- 1 Mile (in) - 4:21.76
- 3000m (in) - 8:46.66
- 3200m - 9:17.90
- 2 Mile - 9:34.07
- 5K (xc) - 14:58.68
- 6K (xc) - 19:47.00