World indoor medallist shows his speed on a windy night that also sees victories for Ellie Baker, Nick Griggs and Reece Sharman-Newell
The best of British and overseas athletes shone at a blustery Woodside Stadium on Saturday (July 1), Stephen Green reports.
The men’s 3000m A race was billed as the marquee event of the day and so it proved, as world indoor 3000m bronze medallist and 12:57.08 5000m man Marc Scott edged out Britain’s No.1 marathon runner Emile Cairess in a classic encounter.
After pacemaker James West dropped out, Cairess took up the running with 1200m to run, closely tracked by Baldvid Magnusson of Iceland and Fearghal Curtin of Ireland, with Scott hugging the kerb.
After getting a little boxed in with 150m to go, Scott managed to extricate himself in the home straight to pull clear of Cairess to win in 7:48.32 to 7:49.03 with Magnusson third in 7:49.68 as Scott produced a 55sec last lap.
Scott pronounced himself pleased with his effort ahead of an attack on the British 10km record – which is held jointly by Cairess and Mo Farah with 27:44 – in Durban, South Africa, on July 9, and then toward a marathon later this year.
Scott, whose 3000m PB is 7:36.08, was enjoying his first-ever BMC race due to largely being based in the United States for much of the past decade.
“The main goal was to come and compete and hopefully win and that’s what we did,” he said. “I’m currently using track racing as speed sessions and that was a great field and so was an ideal result, I’m happy with that.”
Cristina Ruiz of Spain, who represented her country in the World Cross Country Champs last year, edged an exciting women’s 3000m race to dip under nine minutes for the first time outdoors with 8:59.97. Harmilan Bains of India followed in 9:01.30 with Alex Millard third in 9:02.80.
“It was a tough race and a little bit windy, but I enjoyed it very much,” said Ruiz, who was making her BMC debut. “It was a great atmosphere and I came here with my family. Hopefully I’ll be back again.”
The men’s metric mile resulted in a significant win for Nick Griggs. The Irish 18-year-old, who has run 3:36.09 already this season, produced a clinical finish to surge ahead of 3:34 man James West, finishing with 3:40.63 as West ran 3:41.09.
The women’s 1500m was another exciting event with the spoils going to Mary Ekiru. The Kenyan, who is coached by Steve Cram and marathon runner Mary Ngugi , ran a PB of 4:11.42 ahead of Aussie Maurie Skyring’s 4:11.61 and Niamh Bridson Hubbard 4:12.00.
Ellie Baker controlled a tactical 800m, where the finish time was affected by the swirling winds early in the evening. The 25-year-old was happy enough to take the win in 2:02.33 ahead of Hannah Segrave’s 2:03.12 and Berdine Castillo of Chile’s 2:03.70.
Baker heads to the UK Championships this week still unsure whether she will run over two laps or 1500m, where she has recorded 4:03.95 this year. Earlier in the evening the BMC had paid a fitting tribute to her late coach George Harrison.
“I wanted to front-run it strongly and that’s what I did,” said Baker. “I’d like to have gone a bit quicker but the conditions weren’t great tonight.”
In the men’s 800m Reece Sharman-Newell, fresh from selection for the European Under-23 Championships in Finland this month, used the inside lane wisely in a packed field to win the A race in 1:47.52 ahead of fellow Euro under-23 athlete Sam Reardon (1:47.97) and Archie Davis (1:48.04).
“I thought I’d come down and race to win ahead of the British Champs next weekend,” Sharman-Newell said. “It was a great field and could be anyone’s but it was mine today and I’m excited for what’s next to come.”
A top-quality line-up saw Matt Stonier fourth, Charlie Da’Vall Grice fifth and Oliver Dustin sixth.
The B race, possibly with the benefit of slightly better conditions, saw a win for European bronze medallist Mark English (1:47.27) edging Dan Howells (1:47.66) with Tom Keen third in 1:47.75.
“My coach (Feidhlim Kelly) texted me to say ‘if you feel good with 250m to go then put the boot in and do what you usually do in the last 150m’ and it kind of worked out like that,” said English.
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