After DNFs at each of his last two NCAA Outdoor Championships, UB's Mike Morgan finally put together a complete performance on the national stage. And while the last two days won't earn him any All America recognition, a 5th place finish at the National Championships is nothing to sneeze at.
Morgan came into the second day of the grueling decathlon sitting in fifth place at the USATF Championships, and in the first two events established himself firmly in the top five with the field's fourth-best time in the 110-meter hurdles (14.56s, 903 points), and the third-best mark in the discus (42.00m, 705 points). The throws are usually the weakest part of Mike's competition, and a strong showing went a long way.
In the NCAA Outdoor National Championships, the UB junior ended his competition when he failed to register a height on the pole vault. Today, while he missed thrice at 4.75m, he did clear 4.55 to earn some points. With two events to go, Mike had a 160-point lead on the fifth place competitor.
A 45.00-meter throw in the javelin was a season-best for Morgan, but the second-weakest in the field, and heading into the last event Mike, while still in fourth, was only 60 points ahead of eighth place. Furthermore, he was within spitting distance of his own school-record score in the event, needing to run 4:21 or faster in the 1500 to top 7700 points for the first time.
4:43.60 wasn't good enough for the school record, but it was enough to mostly hold his standing, as Morgan ceded only one spot in the final event. In addition to fifth overall, Morgan was second among collegiate competitors, finishing only behind Wisconsin's Zach Ziemek.
In addition to Morgan, UB had two competitors in the concurrent USATF Junior Championships. Mitch Moore was unable to advance to the 400 hurdles finals, missing by half a second with a time of 54.58. His faster times from the MAC Championships would have got him into the finals as the sixth seed, but still would have been over two second slower than the top qualifier.
Devon Patterson was also in action in the Junior Men's Shot Put and despite a season-best 18.57-meter throw, finished in just 13th place. Still, there's a shiny silver lining in that:
There's one more name of interest in action this weekend, of course: Jon Jones and the Men's Shot Put go off on Sunday afternoon.