Photo: Westbrook Christian senior Jonah Morris signs a cross country/track scholarship with the University of West Georgia on Tuesday (Mar. 19) in Rainbow City. Pictured, sitting, from left: Jonah’s dad Mike, Jonah, Jonah’s mom Missy. Standing, from left: WCS athletic director/baseball coach Matt Kennedy, WCS cross country/track & field coach Brian Curp. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Jonah Morris ran himself right into a college scholarship last Tuesday (Mar. 19) in Rainbow City.
The Westbrook Christian senior will compete in cross country and outdoor distance track for West Georgia University in Carrollton, Ga.
“I’ve been working hard to get to this point, so today is kind of a relief,” said Morris, who transferred in from Gadsden City following his junior year. “All I wanted was an opportunity to compete at the next level, and now it’s here. I loved the [UWG] campus, and it just felt like home when I visited.”
Morris, who competes in the 1600, 3200 and 4×800-meter runs, finished fourth in the Class 1A-3A 1600-meter run at the AHSAA state indoor track and field meet in January at the Birmingham Crossplex.
In November, he helped the Warriors take third place at the Class 1A/2Astate cross country meet, where Mitchell Cook and Morris finished a close second and third place with respective times of 16:38.11 and 16:42.30.
The week before the state meet, Westbrook finished as the Class 1A/2A Section 4 runner-up, with Morris clocking in at second-place with a time of 17:10.33.
Morris acknowledged that he did not fully committ himself to distance running until his junior season.
“I‘d been running since my seventh-grade year, but I really didn’t know how to train correctly before then. That’s when I really started to take the sport seriously.”
Morris noted that Cook and the other Westbrook athletes made Morris’ transfer from GCHS very smooth.
“Everyone was very welcoming. They knew that I was a pretty good runner, and everyone was very accepting and very excited to have me. I fit in perfectly.”
Morris also was excited to run with Cook rather than against him.
“We both trained alone at our respective schools, so it’s been great to have someone to do workouts and longer runs with.”
“I was super-excited when I learned that Jonah would be coming to Westbrook for this year,” said Westbrook cross country/track and field coach Brian Curp. “He’s been such a huge blessing to our team. He’s a very talented runner but an even better person, and that’s a compliment to his parents. He works hard, has a great attitude and is very coachable. He’s only going to get better, and I’m excited to see what he does in college.”