Zion Morrison headed into The Showcase, the first meet of the indoor track-and-field season, on Jan. 19 with a wealth of confidence.
The 10-year-old Beverly resident and member of the Hounds and Foxes Track Club had put in the effort during workouts so he would be ready.
Nonetheless, Morrison was still a bit nervous at the big meet at Proviso West High School, but he put those nerves to good use and won the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes in the 11-12 division at the MileSplit Illinois meet.
“When I’m going into the meet, I feel nervous because I don’t know what kind of competition I’m going up against,” Morrison said. “I get nervous, but the nerves help me run faster.”
Morrison ran the 60 in 8.64 seconds and the 200 in 29 seconds.
A fifth-grader at Sutherland Elementary School, Morrison is in his third season with the Hounds and Foxes. He also plays football in the fall with the Chicago Blitz youth football organization.
Early on in track, Morrison knew he was meant for sprint events.
“I’m definitely not a long-distance runner. I’ll be out of breath too fast,” he said with a laugh. “All my friends had said [previously] that I should run track, that it was really fun. It was a sport that I was good at pretty quickly.”
With a long indoor and outdoor season ahead of him and his teammates, Morrison is off to a great start, one he hopes he can sustain through all the tough practices and even tougher meets.
“When I won those two races, I felt proud of myself,” Morrison said. “I let my nerves get the best of me sometimes, but they actually help me when I’m running. I feel like I’ve got to run as fast as I can.”
Other key performers for the Hounds and Foxes were Malachi Moreno (13-14 division) and Zane Shannon (8-and-under) who won their respective races in the 60, 200 and 400.
Ian Shannon (9-10) won the 400, and he finished second in the 200 and third in the 60.
In the boys 13-14 division, Dary Nesbitt finished third in the shot put, eighth in the 60 and 10th in the 200. Porter Baginski ran to a third-place finish in the 800 and 1,600. Braden Ingram took eighth in the 200.
Alonzo Harris starred in the 11-12 division, finishing fourth in the 200 and sixth in the 60.
At the varsity level, Dontrell Williams finished seventh in the long jump, and Kevin Whittman finished ninth in the shot put.
At the varsity girls level, Asia Thomas finished fourth in the 200 and fifth in the 60.
In the girls 13-14 age division, Anaya Haywood finished third in the 200 and fourth in the 60; Chloe Brown finished fifth in the 60 and sixth in the 200; Lindora Kamalu was sixth in the 60; Siryia Brooks was seventh in the 60 and 200; and Kori Henderson was fifth in the 800 and 1,600.
In the 11-12 girls division, Elysia Pleasant was third in the 200 and fourth in the 60, and Celeste Shannon finished sixth in the 60 and seventh in the 200.