Sports Spotlight: D’Andra Morris
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - She is the NCAA D-II National Field Athlete of the Week following her N.S.I.C. Outdoor Meet.
D’Andra Morris will try for a national championship this week, but, before she does, the University of Mary senior is in this week’s Sports Spotlight.
It’s not every day an athlete from a tropical country chooses to come to compete in North Dakota. In the case of the Kingston, Jamaica native D’Andra Morris, she did not think coming this far north was in the cards.
Four years later, the U-Mary senior says it’s one of the best decisions she’s made.
D’Andra Morris said: “I always wanted to go to a school in the south because I’m coming to school from a tropical country, but that didn’t work out and I came here. I got comfortable because of all the Jamaicans here as well, and I think that helped a lot because I have people from my cultural background, but if there wasn’t then it would’ve been hard. It was still hard - it was tough. The winters are brutal.”
Morris has earned multiple All-American honors for the Marauders, competing in field events such as the long and triple jumps. Her success stems from her method of preparation: don’t think about it.
“Honestly, I don’t think about it. I just go and tell people I’m here for the food and here for the hotels we’re staying at, and it just works out. The more I think about it, the more nervous I get and I overthink. So, I just don’t,” said Morris.
She may bring success for U-Mary year in and year out, but Morris has done more for the program than just succeed in the field.
Dennis Newell said: “She adds color because she’s so vibrant, and she’s got such a strong personality. So, it’s neat to just work with her every day. Like I said, from the four years that she’s been here thus far, and she’s got another year next year. It’s just the development and the growth. She’s really challenged me to step out of my own coaching box, and it’s been great.”
Morris has been competing nearly her entire life, but it was not her favorite thing to do. Through the years, the sport created many opportunities for her.
Morris said: “I never wanted to do track and field. I’ve been doing track since I was 3 years old, my daddy forced me to do it. We realized track could get me into college, could pay off my school and stuff, so I just continued it. I never wanted to.”
Coming to Bismarck at 18 years old, Morris wasn’t sure how she’d fit in. She quickly discovered that was not going to be an issue.
“It’s amazing. You think coming here from such a different country, having different beliefs and backgrounds that you wouldn’t have many friends and you wouldn’t fit in as well, but there’s somebody here for everybody. And the friend groups are great,” said Morris.
D’Andra and her teammates are the 7th ranked team in the country heading into the Outdoor Nationals which start tomorrow at Grand Valley State in Allendale, Michigan.
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