June 2, 2014
SAINT LOUIS, MO – The ninth annual Festival of Miles in Saint Louis saw the meet put three more sub-four-minute miles to its name as well as a thrilling finish in the high school girls mile and a new meet record in the boys high school mile. The meet drew a record crowd of more than 2,500 on a mild night with low humidity and no wind–perfect for distance running.
That crowd was arguably at its loudest though, during the Saint Louis Injury and Rehab 800 meters when hometown favorite Shannon Leinert grabbed the win in 2:03.19 over a deep field that included LaTavia Thomas, Lea Wallace and top Canadians Helen Crofts and Lindsey Butterworth. Leinert, making her sixth and final appearance at the event, took the lead with 125 meters to go and never looked back.
While Leinert actually hails from Saint Louis, Jordan McNamara may be making a bid for at least honorary Saint Louisan status. He came into the 2016 Festival of Miles as the three-time champion, two-time defending champion and meet record holder. Prior to the race he took the microphone and addressed the fans, asking for their support during the race. They did not disappoint and neither did McNamara. A 56-second last lap gave him the victory in 3:56.38 over Frezer Legesse (3:57.24) and Christian Soratos (3:57.39).
The Big River Running Company High School Championship Miles were nearly as exciting with Jon Davis (IL) running a US #7 4:05.29. All told, five athletes broke 4:10 in that section. In the Girls Championship Mile, Cailie Logue (KS) just held off a late surge from Anna West (MO) to take the win in 4:46.89. Other high school race highlights included Oklahoma’s Eugene Grayson winning the U.S. Marine Corps 800 meters in 1:51.49 and Allison Bailey (MO) taking the girls 800 in 2:09.87. The mile featured two sections and meet records were set in both of the Spewak Training Elite Development Sections where Madison Mooney (CO) took the girls race in 4:55.51 and Joshua Bell (TN) won on the boys side in 4:11.10.
The Festival of Miles Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the sport of track and field and give back to athletes in need. The Festival of Miles is a track meet featuring 2.5 hours of non-stop action with youth and middle school races, high school races showcasing some of the nation’s top talent and pro races featuring Olympic level athletes. Each year a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales go to an athlete/athletes in need.
Sponsor for this year’s Festival of Miles included Nike, Big River Running Company, the Saint Louis Track Club, GO! St. Louis, Saint Louis Injury and Rehab, Spewak Training, TRXC Timing, Saint Louis University High School, Xerox and Drury Hotels.
To learn more visit http://www.stlfestivalofmiles.
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