LAWRENCE, Kan. – Former Raytown South and Florida State standout Maurice Mitchell pegged the Kansas Relays as a chance to venture close to home and get in a race at the same time.
Amid the lineup of high school and college events at Memorial Stadium, the Kansas Relays offer up a handful of invitational events to showcase professional talent, often with an Olympic pedigree. Mitchell was one of the eight elite sprinters that arrived in Lawrence for a showdown in the 100-meter dash on Saturday.
Mitchell said he doesn’t get back to the Kansas City area often, but he tries to take advantage of being in the area as best he can. He planned only a short visit for the KU Relays and then was headed back home to Dallas to resume his training.
In the eight-man field, Mitchell finished fifth at the KU Relays with a 10.35, leaving him disappointed with the performance but encouraged to improve by this summer.
“This is like my fifth or sixth (race), so I’m still getting use to the training in the professional ranks,” Mitchell said. “I’m just trying to get better and stay positive. I’m not really happy with the way I ran, but it’s OK.
“It’s different because it’s hard to get my feet wet. I don’t run as many races as I did in college. I’ve got to get used to the training and trust my coaches and my training. (Olympic experience) gave me some confidence for down the road. I’m going to stay positive and continue to work hard and hopefully I can reach that goal in ’16.”
Mitchell said he has a few bigger meets on his calendar for this year, including the Nike Prefontaine Classic on June 1 and the USATF Trials in late June.
Mitchell earned a trip to the London Olympics last year in the 200 after his 20.14 in the Olympic Trials. He won back-to-back NCAA titles in the 200 while at Florida State, and he is still the Missouri state record holder in the 100 (10.42) and 200 (20.96).