Mageean to headline exciting Morton Games
Mageean to headline Morton Games
European 1500m bronze medallist Ciara Mageean (UCD) headlines Friday night’s Morton Games which promises another action packed night of athletics in Santry.
There are numerous events to look forward to on the night. The Women’s Mile brings as a late addition to the field is Katie Mackey (USA) who won the 2012 800 at the Meet, Mackey has since moved up in distance and only last weekend at the Monaco Diamond League ran a 3000 pb of 8.46.58. At the US trials she finished 6th in the 5000m. In addition to that she has a 4:27.79 Mile best to her credit. Also expected to be in the mix in the Mile are Heather Kampf (USA), Sammy Silva (USA) who is a protégé of Clonliffe’s Alistair Cragg and from Poland Monika Halasa.
The Morton Mile brings the sub 4 Men back for what is Ireland’s most prolific producer of the sub 4. The Irish challenge will be mounted by Paul Robinson (St. Cocas). Another top international field in this event includes 2011 Morton Mile winner Jordan McNamara (USA), Kyle Merber (USA) who comes chasing a PB, Merber won the 2014 Cork City Sports Mile and last year was a key member of the US team that won IAAF world relay 4 x 1500m gold in the Bahamas.
Interestingly enough the Morton Mile features five finalists at the recent US Olympic trials. Also competing on Friday will be, in his first visit to Santry, Jerry Motsau (RSV) who has a PB of 3.58.84, Craig Huffer (AUS) and Peter Callahan (BEL) – giving the race a true international flavour. There are 11 sub 4 minute milers in the field. British duo James West and Tom Marshall, who has done a sterling job in pacing the Morton Mile in both 2014 and 2015 both chase their first sub 4s tomorrow night. It will be fitting, particularly in the case of Tom Marshall, if those sub 4s come in the Morton Mile.
Eagerly anticipated is the Women’s 800 where Ireland’s bronze medallist at the Europeans Ciara Mageean will face a stiff challenge with athletes of the calibre of the Australian champion Britany McGowan to face, top US athlete Claudia Saunders, Great Britain’s Alex Bell and in addition Ciara faces the challenge of the clock as she races towards the Irish record and that elusive sub 2 minutes. No Irish female athlete has gone sub 2 to date. Will July 22nd be that date?
The sprints action will be watched with huge interest. All of Ireland’s top female sprinters including Amy Foster (City of Lisburn), Joan Healy (Bandon), Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank) and Catherine McManus (DCH) will line up. The overseas visitors are Stephanie Kalu of Nigeria and Jamaica’s Shimayra Williams.
The Men’s 100 features a number of Jamaican athletes who have PBs ranging from 10.10 to 10.21. The man to beat may be Joe Morris (USA) with a 10.15 or possibly Canada’s Bismark Boateng. The Irish challenge will be led by the Carlow Cheetah Marcus Lawler (SLOT).
The Men’s 400m will be split into two races such is the quality of athletes taking part. All of Ireland’s top 400m men including Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) and David Gillick (DSD) will take part. World class opposition includes Rio bound Winston George (GUY), Terence Agard (NED) who competed in last week’s Europeans, the defending champion Jarryd Dunn (GBR), another athlete who competed in the Europeans in Amsterdam and Sadam Koumi (SUD).
Finally there is the 400 hurdles. Regrettably Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) sustained a slight injury midweek and in order to protect himself from further damage in the lead up to the Rio Olympics he has unfortunately had to withdraw from the Meet. Thomas is extremely disappointed at missing Morton Games and extends his apologies.
The 400 hurdles will feature Jehue Gordon (TTO) the 2013 world champion on his return to Santry. Also confirmed is Quincy Downing (USA), finalist in the US Olympic Trials, Cameron French (NZD), Nigeria’s Cristian Morton running in the Morton Stadium for the first time and a late addition to the field 2012 European champion and 5th place finisher in the European Championships a week or so ago Rhys Williams (GBR).
As a final taster the Men’s Pole Vault has two world class US athletes – Jake Blankenship (USA) the current NCAA champion with a PB of 5.80m and on this return to Morton Games Jeff Coover (USA). With these two athletes going head to head the stadium record of 5.56m looks in danger.
It will be an excellent night in Santry. Get there early. Tickets at the gate. Ground admission €10 with accompanied U/16 free (Ground only), please note that Stand tickets are €15 adults or children.