The 24th New Balance Indoor GP lived up to the hype. Standing room only crowd waited a bit outside as the NB team changed the Reggie from a high school format to the a professional event supported by New Balance. As the crowd came into the stands, the excitement was pronounced. The women for the masters’ mile were on the track, some of the top women shot putters in the world were warming up as well as the several of the top women pole vaulters.
One of the events that caught my eye and had the crowd sceaming was the Men’s 800 meters! Races do not get much closer!!!
The men’s 800 meter put new team mates Donavan Brazier and Clayton Murphy with Spain’s Saul Ordonez battling for the win. Peter Girardi paced the field through lap 1 (200m in 25.67) and lap 2 (400m in 51.47), and dropped out.
At that time Clayton Murphy, 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medalist, was in the lead at 51.58, with Donovan Brazier a few steps behind, in 51.77. Saul Ordonez was close, at 51.99.
Clayton Murphy was leading at 600m in 1:16.53, with Saul Ordonez having passed Donavan Brazier, who hit the 600m in 1:18:67, with Brazier at 1:18:87. There is a part in any race, where the athletes involved have to call on that inner strength or admit defeat. All three of these athletes were trying to win the race. Samuel Ellison was in fourth in 1:19.03 and Guy Learmouth, 4th at World Indoors, was in fifth in 1:19.24.
In the last 200 meters of an 800m race, the heart says one thing, and the body asks for something else. Donavan Brazier moved past Ordonez and went to the task of catching Murphy.
Clayton Murphy, now in his second year with Nike Oregon Project coach Peter Julian, has been training with Donavan Brazier for a few months. Murphy is competitive and did not let up the gas, nor did he make it easy for Mr. Brazier.
The two new training partners dueled down the final straight, with Brazier getting into high gear, and the lead, with a few meters to go. Donavan Brazier won in 1:45.91, with Murphy setting a PB in second, 1:45.94. Saul Ordonez came all the way from Spain to take third with a PB of 1:46.62. Samuel Ellison itook fourth in 1:46.64 and GBR’s Guy Learmouth was fifth in a PB of 146.98.
A tough, exciting race, as the crowd on the final stretch roared at the epic battle. Donavan Brazier told the media:
“This was a really good test to see where I’m at. So, I guess I have to talk to my coach and see where were going from here.You know, I thought that I should have gotten myself into a better position. But you know none the less, I came up with a win.”
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