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USA`s Mark Thompson wins Morton Mile

Jul 16, 2009 [Noel Guiden] Clonliffe Harriers promotion of the Morton Memorial Invitation Mile continued last night with the Club’s hosting of the event in conjunction with the Dublin County Board’s excellent graded meet. US visitor, Mark Thompson, was the victor in a time of 4.01.26, followed by Geoff Martinson of Canada 4.01.65, and in third place Welsh man Chris Moss in 4.02.37.

This was actually an excellent mile race. A pretty impressive field had been assembled by Killian Lonergan which featured three athletes from the United States, a Canadian, Welsh man, a Spaniard and a Kenyan – Clonliffe’s Josphat Boit, as well as the cream of home based athletes. As the athletes were called to the line at approximately 8.15 p.m. a hush fell over the large attendance at the meet in anticipation of the possibility of witnessing another sub-4 minute mile – who could ever forget the 2008 race where nine athletes ran sub-4. With excellent pace making the athletes went through the first lap in 61 seconds, with 800 to go the sub-4 was well on the cards as this mark was reached in 1.57 however, with the pace maker pulling to the side at this stage clearly the thoughts of the athletes shifted from a fast time to the winning of the race as a tactical battle now ensued – at ¾ mark the clock read 3.03 and in the dash for the line Thompson took the win in 4.01.26 followed by Martinson of Canada and Moss of Wales.

The first Irish man was Mark Hanrahan of Leevale with 4.05.84, Clonliffe’s Mark Kenneally was 8th in 4.08.06 (as it transpired Mark was only warming up for the 3000M!) and Josphat Boit on his homecoming ran a disappointing, by his high standards, 4.09.75, with Clonliffe’s third athlete Aidan Bailey 10th in 4.12.05.

Full results of the 2009 Morton Mile:

1. Mark Thompson (USA) 4.01.26

2. Geoff Martinson (Can) 4.01.65

3. Chris Moss (Wal) 4.02.37

4. Tommy Schmitz (USA) 4.05.09

5. Darren Brown (USA) 4.05.80

6. Mark Hanrahan (Leevale AC) 4.05.84

7. Sean Connolly (Tallaght AC) 4.07.49

8. Mark Kenneally (Clonliffe) 4.08.06

9. Josphat Boit (Ken & Clonliffe) 4.07.75

10. Aidan Bailey (Clonliffe) 4.12.05

11. Mark Kirwan (Raheny) 4.13.55

12. Kevin Moriarty (Raheny) 4.14.01

13. Javier Soto (Esp) 4.16.79

14. James McFadden (Letterkenny) 4.24.26

Immediately post race the presentation was made to the first six athletes by the presentation party of Clonliffe Harriers President Paddy Marley and Billy Morton’s daughters Yvonne and Billie of the magnificent Morton Memorial Cup.

Clonliffe also promoted a Junior Men’s Mile which was held before the Senior race, there was a great battle at the front of things between Daragh Flynn of Raheny Shamrock and John Travers of Donore Harriers, with Travers taking an excellent win in a time of 4.22.27.

Clonliffe’s Jamie Rossiter ran very well, taking 4th place in a time of 4.28.46, which was a massive 20 seconds or so off his PB. Good runs also from Clonliffe’s two other athletes in the race, Eric McCann and Jordan Logue.

Full results of the Junior Mile:

1. John Travers (Donore) 4.22.29

2. Daragh Flynn (Raheny) 4.23.14

3. Joe Breen (Shiabh Bhuide) 4.25.03

4. Jamie Rossiter (Cloniffe) 4.28.46

5. Peter Hanrahan (Leevale) 4.31.79

6. Eric McCann (Clonliffe) 4.45.49

7. Jordan Logue (Clonliffe) 4.48.38

8. Donal Foley (Raheny) 5.02.94

The graded meet itself proved to be an excellent promotion by the Dublin County Board with the development 800M race in particular proving to be a highlight, in fact such was the level of interest in the development races that there were three development races required. Top of the pile was Declan McBrearty of Letterkenny running a fast 1.50.46, from Paul Robinson (St. Coca) 1.50.47 and Alan O’Brien (Crusaders) 1.51.06. Clonliffe’s Mark McDonald ran a time of 1.54.27 with Brett Paine in Development Race no.2 recording 1.56. In the other grades at 800M Joseph Cooper ran 2.06.74, Graham Mahon ran 2.06.77, Philip O’Doherty 2.11.34, George Maybury 2.23.23 and Terry Mee 2.46.79.

Clonliffe also sponsored a number of other development events at the meet including the Men’s Pole Vault competition which was won in fine style by Clonliffe’s David Donegan with a best of 4.85M, from club mate Michael Strezekzy 4.40M with Ian Rogers joint 4th at 4.10M.

The 100M development races were also sponsored by Clonliffe, the women’s race being won by Derval O’Rourke (Leevale) in 11.94. Clonliffe’s Leah Moore ran an excellent 12.51 in taking 4th place with Sarah Doyle 8th in 13.69.

The men’s 100 was won by Crusader’s Steven Colvert in 10.97.

In the women’s 800M race Becky Woods was 5th in 2.14.50 a PB, Louise Reilly also ran a PB of 2.15.89, Sarah Finnegan ran 2.27.69 and Sinead Harnett ran 2.33.26.

The final event of the day was the Albi Thomas development 3000M race which was sponsored by Frank Murphy. Mark Kenneally ran a superb 8.06.61, having been paced over the first 800 by Paul Flemming (Rathfarnham) and then solo realed off 65 second laps to win by the best part of 30 seconds. Young Dave Fitzmaurice placed 11th in 8.54.07.

Following the meet, Club President, Paddy Marley made a special presentation on behalf of Clonliffe Harriers to Billy’s daughters, Yvonne and Billie.

In making the the presentation Paddy remarked that it is 40 years since Billy passed away and Clonliffe in promoting the Morton Memorial Mile acknowledge Billy’s greatest legacy which is our home in Santry today and his life contribution to Clonliffe and Irish athletics. He thanked Yvonne, Billie and their families for their attendance and support of the Morton Memorial Mile throughout the years.

Finally Clonliffe would like to thank all who contributed to the night’s event, in particular the Dublin County Board and the Morton Mile sponsors – Commercial Hygiene Services and Behan & Associates, and Frank Murphy for his sponsorship of the Alib Thomas 3000M. Full results of all events are on www.dublinathletics.com

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