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Morning earns three medals at World Masters meet

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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Before the 2011 World Masters Track and Field Championships began last week at AG Spanos Sports Complex at Sacramento State University, Roseville resident Kevin Morning wondered if at age 55 he still had what it took to be a top-notch competitor. After earning three medals in as many events last week, most signs would point to “yes”. Morning, a physical education teacher at Carl Sundahl and Theodore Judah elementary schools in Folsom, earned a bronze medal in the 100-meter dash on July 9 before racing to a silver medal in the 200 on July 12. Over the weekend Morning was part of the gold-medal winning M55 4x100-meter relay team. “It’s been a great experience for me so far,” said Morning. “I didn’t do quite as well as I had hoped but overall, I’m ecstatic.” Morning had set some pre-Masters goals for himself in each event — to break 11.8 seconds in the 100 and 23.8 in the 200. Competing in the 55-59-year old age division, Morning recorded a 12.02 time in the 100-meter finals — good for a bronze medal behind US teammates Oscar Peyton and Damien Leake. In the 200-meter finals, Morning ran for a silver medal — again behind Peyton — with a finishing time of 24.58 seconds. Although he didn’t break his goal times, Morning was still very satisfied with his results. “Given my training, maybe I wasn’t as realistic as I should have been with my goal times,” he said. “I thought I could run under 24 but this was my first race in a year. Normally, you want to come in with at least three or four races during the year. But I’m still very satisfied with what I was able to do.” Morning said that he felt like he gave the gold medalist Peyton a run for his money. “(Peyton) is a come-from-behind horse so I tried to get out as far ahead as I could early. I was ahead with about 20 meters to go in the 100 and in the final kick he passed me up. I was ahead in the 200 too. I felt like I could have held him off a little longer but I look forward to racing him again.” Morning, now a veteran of three World Masters Championships, is no stranger to bringing home hardware. In 1997 in South Africa, he claimed the gold in the 200 before bringing home three gold medals in the 100, 200 and the 4x100-meter relay from Brisbane, Australia in 2001. “It actually feels kind of odd to be home this time instead of in some hotel room in a foreign country, but I’m not complaining,” Morning laughed. “The neat thing about this is that over the years, you start to see a lot of familiar faces and you start to become pretty good friends with people from other countries.”