Texas Women’s Track and Field and success go hand-in-hand. The program has won a total of 11 NCAA championships (six indoors, five outdoors.) and 45 conference championships (23 indoor, 22 outdoor.) Coupled with this, the women have claimed six of the last seven Big-12 indoor championships.
Despite the recent success, the program hasn’t won a national title since 2006 under former coach Beverley Kearney. Fourteen years and three coaches later, Texas looks primed for another run.
New head coach, Eldrick Floréal, in one year, has claimed the Big-12 indoor and outdoor championships. He also led the women to finish tied for 12th nationally in indoors and tied for 10th nationally outdoors. These marks were the highest finish for the women since the 2016 and 2017 seasons respectively.
Floréal has recruited a tremendous 2020 class that includes some of the top female athletes in the nation. One of which is Aledo High School’s Gracie Morris.
“I chose Texas because everyone there was super welcoming and it seemed like a true team where everyone supported each other,” Morris said on why she chose the Longhorns.
Gracie and her brother Graydon are two of the best that Aledo has seen come through its doors, and both will be attending Texas this upcoming year.
Gracie is one of the best distance runners in the state of Texas. She took the state by storm as a freshman when she won the 5A state title in the 800-meters. She also finished second in the 1600-meters. For her freshman season, that second-place finish was the only time she didn’t win a race in the 800 or 1600 meters.
“All the support that I’ve received from my family, friends, and coaches. They’ve taught me to stay focused but remember to also enjoy what I do,” Morris said on what leads to her success.
Morris missed the entire 2018 season due to a foot injury but battled back and in 2019 took home fifth place in the state meet for the 1600 meters. The 2020 season was obviously cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Morris really seemed to regain her success as prior to the shutdown she was undefeated in not only the 800 and 1600, but also the 3200 meters.
“My favorite event is probably the 1600 meters because it still has the fast feel of the shorter distance race but is more tactical,” Morris explained.
Morris announced that she, along with her brother, were committing to Texas via social media on October, 20. This news means that the Longhorns are literally getting the best distance runner in the state of Texas. If anyone can help lead Texas back to national success, it’s Gracie Morris.
“I’m most excited about being able to represent such an amazing school,” Morris said.
Morris wasn’t always this talented, as she had to grind and work hard to be as successful in her track and field career.
“I used to come in last almost every race I ran when I first started running in 2nd grade,” Morris said.
Coach Floréal has done an incredible job of recruiting some of the best talent the state and nation have to offer. There’s no doubt that Gracie Morris is going to lock down middle distance events for Texas for the next four years.
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