Emily Mackay and Marcus Reilly Level Up at Adrian Martinez Classic

The 2024 Adrian Martinez Classic was as good as ever

CONCORD, Mass. — The Adrian Martinez Classic is quietly one of the better distance meets on the domestic circuit every year. It is strategically positioned during the season where in-shape college athletes can use it as one last test of fitness and the pros can use it as a tune-up for the Olympic Trials. Some great community races on the docket served as a warmup for the pro fields. In the 800 it was the world indoor bronze medalist in the 1500 Emily Mackay who ripped a 1:57.87 pb that was good for the 9th-fastest time in the world in 2024and the U.S lead. Marcus Riley, a high school senior from Massachusetts, ran 3:42.51 for 1500, which is equivalent to sub-4:00 in the mile, and New Balance Boston’s Sam Gilman ran 3:36.76 to hit the Trials standard.  

Emily Mackay Makes a Statement 

Photo by Ari Silverfine

A few years ago even the most hardcore of track fans in the United States might not have known who Emily Mackay was. She had never finished higher than 5th at a NCAA championship, and only made NCAAs her senior year. She ran for Binghamton in college, a mid-sized public school in the middle of New York not exactly known for pumping out distance stars.

In her first year as a pro in 2023, she was 8th at USAs in the 1500, not close to making the team. It was after this race that the tides began to turn. As the rest of the world was focused on gearing up for Worlds, Mackay was in France, running a 3:59.99 1500 and taking six seconds off of her personal best. Last year she showed flashes of being able to compete on a world level, and this year she has been competitive all year long.

She was third at World Indoors in the 1500 and ran 3:59.76 for 6th at the Pre Classic. In the race today Mackay stayed tucked in the pack and was 5th at the bell coming through in 57.877. Almost a full second back of her teammate Heather MacLean with 300 to go, Mackay was able to time her move perfectly, hitting the lead with 100 to go and never looking back, closing in 59.99 to run 1:57.87.

Mackay was thrilled with the time as this was a two-second personal best and she was just trying to break 2:00 and was expecting 1:58 high or 1:59. She said that training has been going great and she feels super strong after recently coming down from a big training block in Flagstaff. Even though this was the quickest time in the U.S. this year Mackay says that she will focus on the 1500 at the Trials, as the 800 is first and she has never done rounds of the 800 at the pro level. Her next race will be in Eugene at the Trials, where she will be a major factor in making the team. This race was particularly deep with four women Dorcas Ewoi (1:58.58), Heather MacLean (1:58.77), and Helen Schlactenhaufen (1:59.97) who all broke 2:00. 

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Marcus Reilly Ups His Game

Marcus Reilly’s name has been on the LetsRun message boards for a while. His first major appearance was when he ran a 2:27.56 1000 at the BU Last Chance Meet as an 8th grader to set the 12-year-old age group world record. He has lived up to the hype of being a nationally competitive mid-distance runner since his freshman year, getting second in the 800 at New Balance Nationals as a sophomore running 1:50.17, finishing third in the mile last year, running 3:45.25 as a junior in the 1500 and representing the United States at the Pan-Am U20 games.

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This most recent race is a whole new level for Marcus, running 3:42.51, a time that is widely accepted to be worth sub-4 in the mile, a time that only 22 high schoolers have ever run. Reilly was out in 2:01 through 800 and was third at the bell, and used a 57 flat final 400 to move into first with 200 to go and never looked back. Reilly said that once the race went out conservative he was just trying to win the race, as his goal this season is to be competitive in everything he runs. He wanted to get under 3:45 at the bell, but he was able to get much more than that by running a two-second PR. His next race will be Brooks PR on June 12, where he will race in a loaded mile field looking for both sub-4 and the win. Marcus is off to Michigan next year for college. 


Best of the Rest

Helen Schlactenhaufen came back after her sub-2 800 to hit the Trials standard running 4:06.78 in the 1500, Sam Gilman hit the Trials standard winning the 1500 in 3:36.76, Lauren Gregory won the 5k in 15:17.99 and Benjamin Allen ran 1:46.62 to win the 800. 

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