Sun | Oct 1, 2023

Something different about Natasha Morrison

Published:Wednesday | May 31, 2023 | 1:28 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Natasha Morrison running at Velocity Fest 13 at the National Stadium on Saturday, April 22.
Natasha Morrison running at Velocity Fest 13 at the National Stadium on Saturday, April 22.

THERE’S SOMETHING different about Natasha Morrison this season and it’s more than her shocking pink hair. Talk to her and you sense maturity befitting a 30-year-old who raced in an individual World Championships 100-metre final as far back as 2015. There is, however, something else. For the first time, Morrison is committed to improving at 200 metres.

By her own admission, she is being aided in that quest by training with her MVP Track Club stablemate, 200-metre World Champion Shericka Jackson.

“I’m not a fan of the 200-metre but I am working on it to lower my personal best,” she resolved.

The work includes tagging along at high speed with Jackson.

“It’s actually pulling me along, especially in the 200 metres as I said, because you know she is very strong. She runs the 400 metres, the 200 metres, so it’s really good training with her,” explained the woman who has a personal best of 23.05.

It appears that the 200-metre concentration and technical work on her sprint form are beginning to pay off.

She is finishing her races with a flourish and defied 2022 World Championship 100 finalist Melissa Jefferson, 10.93 to 10.98 seconds at the East Coast Relays last month. That race was wind-aided but the same strong finish has carried Morrison to legal times of 11.08 and 11.09 seconds in the heats and the finals of the April 22 Velocity Fest, with Jackson winning in a flawless 10.82.

“This year, I’m focusing on how to execute my race, how to get out the blocks and maintain my form. I have some little, I would say, technical work that I have to fix leading up to the Trials, so I’m just working on those weak areas,” the former Glengoffe High School prospect itemised.

World Championships

Her trophy case glitters with honours, gold on the winning 4x100 team at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, and for her part in the heats at both the 2019 Worlds and the 2021 Olympics, four sub-11 clockings topped by a lifetime best 10.87 and fifth-place finishes in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2019 Pan-American Games.

She isn’t satisfied.

“Last year, I was working hard, putting in the work. Then I picked up an injury. Then I picked up another injury,” she lamented.

“This year, I’m working to stay healthy. I’m working to make that top three at the Trials, even 100 metres and 200 metres, who knows, and just to represent Jamaica at the highest level,” Morrison asserted.

“And I would love to be on that podium collecting gold, silver or bronze.”

She was seventh in last year’s National Championships 100-metre final.

Her next major meet is the Racers Grand Prix but the big target is the Trials.

“I’m healthy, so it’s a good look.”

As for the pink hair, it’s just a matter of style for 2023.

“There’s nothing special about this colour. I’m just rocking this pink for this season.”