EUGENE, OR - University at Buffalo, The State University of New York junior decathlete Mike Morgan collected a fifth place finish on Friday night at the 2015 USATF Championships. Morgan ranked second amongst NCAA athletes at the Championships while recording 7,555 points and becoming the first UB track and field athlete to earn a spot on the senior USA National team.
"To compete at your first USATF Championships, against Olympians and NCAA Champions and taking fifth place overall is an impressive accomplishment for Mike." said head coach Vicki Mitchell. "Mike has a very bright future in the Decathlon ahead of him."
Morgan's strong showing was highlighted with five top-5 finishes out of the 10 events while also setting a personal best in the 100m dash, finishing in 10.86 seconds and in sixth place. Morgan's best finishes of the event came in the high jump and discus, recording third place finishes. In the high jump, Morgan cleared a height of 1.97m (6'5.5) while throwing the discus 42.00m (137'9).
Morgan also had strong showings in the 110m hurdles, recording a fourth place finish in 14.56 seconds, and in the 1500m run, finishing in third place in 4:43.60. The junior also set a season-best in the long jump, leaping 7.26m (23'10) while earning a fifth place finish.
Earning a spot on the USA National team will secure Morgan's place in the Thorpe Cup in Germany in August. The Thorpe Cup is an international track and field competition between USA and Germany. Teams are composed of up to seven men and seven women who compete in the decathlon and heptathlon. Athletes receive a predetermined number of points based upon their performances in each of the events in the decathlon and heptathlon. The top five men's and top three women's scores are added together to determine the overall men's and women's team winners.
Freshman Mitch Moore competed in the junior 400IH and finished in 10th place with the second best time of his career, finishing in 54.58 seconds. Fellow freshman Devon Patterson also competed in the junior division in the shot put, taking 13th place overall. Patterson finished with a throw of 18.57m (60'11.25) with a 12-pound shot, lighter than the collegiate 16-pound shot.
UB senior National Champion Jon Jones will take to the circle at the Championships on Sunday afternoon in Eugene with his sights set on qualifying for the IAAF World Championships which are being held in Beijing from August 22-30.