Sanaa Rae Morris trending in right direction ahead of Carifta
Sanaa Rae Morris’s season shifted another gear after achieving a Carifta Games qualifying standard and earning multiple trips to the podium at the adidas Indoor Championships in Virginia last weekend.
The promising sprinter and her IMG Academy team-mates secured the silver medal in the relay medley and bronze in the 4 x 400 metres relay at the Virginia Beach Sports Centre.
It got even better for Morris as her split time of 56.55sec is a personal best and was also within the Carifta standard in the 400 metres.
“Overall, I was very satisfied with my performance this weekend at adidas Indoor Nationals,” she told The Royal Gazette. “I was able to split 56.55 in the 4x400m, which was a huge achievement for me, as this time also qualified me for Carifta.”
She added: “Being able to drop my time of a 58.03 in the open 400m to a split of 56.55 in the 4 x 400 felt amazing. And to see that my hard work during training is paying off. I can’t wait to see what the outdoor season has in store for me.”
Donna Raynor, the Bermuda National Athletics Association president, hailed the IMG Academy junior’s display.
“I think it’s fantastic running a 56.00; whether it being a relay split or open race, she is going in the right direction,” she said.
Raynor added: “She has already qualified for Carifta in the 200 metres and 400 metres. Unfortunately, we can’t look at a split from a relay to use that for an open event.
“But if she can do it in a relay, more than likely she will be able to do it in an open race and that bodes well for what a fantastic season she is going to have.”
Jean Carlos Arroyo, Morris’s coach at IMG Academy, also has high expectations for the 16-year-old Bermuda Pacers Track Club athlete.
“The relay splits performed by her show that she will be having personal records early on the outdoor, as we are careful because Sanaa has her eyes set on performing at her best for Carifta Games,” he said.
“Sanaa was overall happy with her performance. As a competitor she wants to win on all her opportunities, but still was happy to be competing with the fastest girls in the continent.”
Morris is off to fine start to the year, having ran a personal best of 41.54 in the 300 metres and secured the bronze medal for her school in the 4 x 200 metres relay at the Virginia Showcase Meet in January.
She continues to make steady strides since earning a bronze medal with Bermuda’s 4 x 200 metres relay team at the 2019 Carifta Games in the Cayman Islands.
Bermuda will host the 49th Carifta Games at the National Sports Centre from July 2 to 4. More than 600 athletes and officials from 27 Caribbean islands will arrive in Bermuda for the Games, one of the most popular junior athletics events in the region.
Athletes who qualified for the 2020 Games will not have to qualify again in the same age group. However, a new qualifying deadline has been set for three weeks before the Games for those who still have not reached qualifying standards.
Bermuda was scheduled to host the Games last year which were postponed for the first time in its history because of the Covid-19 pandemic.