Another night of magic at the Morton Games! July 22nd produced a wonderful Meet in the Morton Stadium, Santry on a perfect night for athletics: warm, dry and still. Once again the athletes at Morton Games rose to the occasion with some fantastic performances.
Where to start? A record 11 sub 4 minute miles in the Morton Mile? Ciara Mageean`s brave attempt at sub 2? Katie Mackey`s Mile stadium and meet record? Jeff Coover`s stadium and meet record in the Pole Vault? David Smith`s high jump meet record?
From the outset of the meet it appeared that magic was in the air. A super Juvenile mile (16 legs) relay brought the early arrivals to their feet as 8 teams battle it out with Tallaght AC taking the baton home 1st.
The Allianz Men`s 800 Wheelchair race, a first in this meet, was a great spectacle, a full race of 7 athletes lead home by Rio bound Kildare man Paddy Monahan in 1.48.38.
The Aon women`s 100 saw Nigeria`s Stephanie Kalu take the win in 11.60 with Niamh Whelan heading the chasing Irish (11.72) with Joan Healy 3rd. The Aon men`s 100 was a great race with all 10 lanes in use. Joe Morris (USA) was 1st with a 10.23 run, 2nd was sub ten seconds man Dentarius Locke (USA) with Bismark Boateng (CAN) 3rd.
The two Loki Sports 400 races also produced excellent races Terrence Agard (NED) taking race 1 in 47.49 fron Scotland`s Greg Louden 47.72 and Timmy Crowe of host club Clonliffe 3rd (47.91). Race 2 produced a win for Sadam Koumi (SUD) 45.76, with Winston George (GUY) 2nd in an identical time and last year`s winner Jarryd Dunn (GBR) 3rd.
Despite the withdrawal of Irish favourite Thomas Barr through injury, the 400 H (sponsored by Tucks Fasteners and Fixings) was a star studded affair that included 2013 World Champion Jehue Gordon (TTO) and former European Champion Rhys Williams (GBR). It was Williams that proved the stronger coming down the home straight and to come home a clear winner in 49.50, USA Olympic Trials finalist Quincy Downing was 2nd 49.88 and Cristain Morton (NGR) on his first Morton Games visit 3rd 50.02.
Meanwhile in the field events the high jump was won by Scot David Smith in a Meet record of 2.22m and Jeff Coover (USA) on his return to Santry topped the Stadium and Meet record with a best pole vault of 5.57m.
The 800s were to be the most dramatic events of the night. First off the Muscle Clinic men`s 800 where Shaq Walker after latching onto the pace maker had a huge lead with 280 to go and with the pack closing lost 1st place meters from the line as 2015 European Junior Champion Kyle Langford clocking a season`s best of 1.46.73 got his head in front with Ireland`s Zak Curran producing a pb of 1.46.78 for 2nd, Walker with a 1.46.79 was relegated to 3rd. The Marathon Mission 16 Women`s 800 was the most eagerly awaited race of the night as Ciara Mageean had the eye`s of the stadium fixed on her pursuit of the Irish Record. After an extremely brave attempt the European 1500 bronze medallist was overhauled by Alex Bell (GBR) both running pb`s Bell clocking 2.00.53 to Mageean`s 2.00.79. USA`s Baylee Mires was 3rd in 2.02.60.
The bravest run of the night paid dividends. In the Albie Thomas 3000 Jonny Taylor (GBR) was the only athlete to follow the pace makers finding himself maybe 60m clear, with 2 to go he was tiring with the chasing pack on his heels, 400 to go and he looked in trouble but digging deep he held on to win in the Morton Games for the first time in 7.56.06, Richard Weir (GBR) was 2nd 7.56.66 and Ireland`s Matt Bergin running a pb in 3rd 7.58.63.
Finally the miles. First the women`s mile a battle royal saw Katie Mackey (USA) continued her brilliant current form, after her pb in the Diamond League in Monaco last weekend, another pb and a Meet and Stadium record 4.25.48, Heather Kampf (USA) was 2nd 4.27.33 and Cory McGee (USA) 3rd 4.28.55. Unbelievably every single athlete in the race (12) ran pbs!!
Then at 9.00pm sharp the Morton Mile. The magic wasn’t over just yet. With the pacers, as had been the case all night, doing excellent work the whole field were on sub 4 pace, at the bell it was anyone`s race, at the final turn it was anyone`s race, with 50 to go it was anyone`s race, and then Johnny Gregorek (USA) came around the long side to win in 3.55.75, 2nd Kyle Merber (USA) 3.55.79, 3rd Alexander Colby 3.55.93. The sub 4s kept on coming until Paul Robinson (IRL) 3.58.75 in 11th place……11 sub 4s a Morton Mile record.
A word also about first time sub 4 young James West (GBR) coached by the legendary George Gandy who in running 3.58.69 took some 17 seconds off his pb!
A fitting finale to a magical night.
Thank you all our sponsors, supporters, volunteers, and athletes for helping to make Morton Games what it is: Magic!!
Full results see www.mortongames.ie