Morton Games latest with 10 Days to go

Latest news on July 11th`s Morton Games International Track and Field taken from

Morton Games are delighted to confirm the return to Dublin of Will Leer (USA). Leer is a two time Morton Mile winner, 2010 and 2012. Since the 2012 Morton Mile Leer has won the US Indoor Mile and 3000 titles (2013), he has been a finalist in the World Indoor Championships in 2014, placing 5th, won the 2014 Wannamaker Mile and finished 2nd on the US 4 x 1500 team at the IAAF World Relay Championships in the Bahamas in May of this year. Will Leer`s outdoor mile pb stands at 3.56.39 set in that never to be forgotten “dive for the line” Morton Mile of 2012, his indoor pb of 3.52.47 was set in the Wannamaker Mile on February 15th of this year.

Also announced: the return of defending Morton Mile Champion Cory Leslie (USA). Leslie won last year`s mile in 3.55.85, the fastest winning time for 30 years.  Also coming back for a second crack at Morton Mile is Iaon Zaizan (ROU), an athlete who set a national record at last years Meet of 3.57.73.  Also confirmed is the New Zealand 1500m champion Hamish Carson who has a mile PB of 3.58.74 and a 1500 PB of 3.38.04.  Carson is coached by Arch Jelley who was the great John Walker’s coach.  Walker holds the record for the fastest ever Morton Mile, 3.52.76 when the race was held in Belfield in 1977.

Ireland’s top 800 metre athletes will take on some of the best in the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon International Women’s 800.  Laura Crowe may in fact be one of the favourites for overall victory, she will be joined on the start line by young Katie Kirk, who has achieved the qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games for Northern Ireland, Aislinn Crossey, the National 800m champion and Ciara Everard, the National Indoor 800 champion who set her PB of 2.02.96 at last years Morton Games.  Also confirmed for the 800 are Aussie pairing of Brittany McGowan, the Australian 800 Champion with a PB of 2.01.26 and second in that championship race Selma Kajan .  Top USA athlete Phoebe Wright with a 2010 PB of 1.58.22 is also a confirmed starter.

The Morton Games 400 is fast becoming one of the races, on paper in any event at this stage, of the night. News this week that Brycen Spratling (USA) has been added to the start list. Spratling was the 2012 NCAA 400 silver medallist. He also finished 4th in the 2012 US Championships that year, he is the US collegiate record holder over 500m. He is an exceptionally fast athlete with a 200 PB of 20.64 and his 400 PB which he set on the 30th of May of this year standing at 45.09. Spratling will be joined on the startline by other top US athletes Manteo Mitchell, PB 44.96 and James Harris, 45.23. Also in the 400 is Ireland`s Brian Gregan, 45.36 fresh from his European Teams League 1 win on Saturday and Olympic 4 x 400 bronze medallist Jarrin Solomon (TRI) 45.19. With Australia’s John Steffensen, the 2004 Olympic 4 x 400 silver medallist and 2006 Commonwealth 400m champion already confirmed along the confirmed last week Johan Wissman (SWD) this 400 will be one heck of a fast race. Is it possible for the stadium record of 45.25 of Arnaud Malherbe (RSA) to fall?

In all the excitement of the Ireland versus Australia dimension to the 800 metres at Morton Games and the focus on the Mark English versus Paul Robinson versus Ryan Gregson versus Jordy Williamsz match it may be that Mexico’s James Eichberger will be the dark horse.  Eichberger certainly has the credentials.  He competed in the 2013 Morton 800, a week or so later as part of his European trip he ran a stunning PB of 1.45.88. With the focus and attention elsewhere he will look to come up on the blind side.

Ireland`s Thomas Barr has been in superb form this season to date, including a win over the weekend in the European League 1 in Estonia.  He has already twice lowered the Irish record, on the 14th of June he set a new mark of 48.95.  Barr opened last years international programme with a home win for Ireland.  He will have his work cut out to defend the title on July 11th when his closest challenger will be Mahau Suguinati (BRA) who has a seasons best of 49.52 and a PB of 48.67.  Ben Sumner (GBR) comes to the Morton Games in search of a fast race after a seasons best on the 31st of May in Oordegeum, Belgium of 50.22.

The Davy 400H will get the international programme off to a flying start and will be followed by two hours of non stop action.

Morton Flyer 2014