The 1300-person crowd rose along the front stretch as hip 5, Jordan McNamara of the Oregon Track Club, made his move. The St.Louis Track Club Men’s Mile was the final race of last night’s Big River Festival of Miles, and in the final 100 meters it had boiled down to a three man fight. On the inside ran John Jefferson from Team Indiana Elite, a 3:57 man who had charged to the lead at the bell with 400 to go. In his slipstream the hometown favorite, Stephen Pifer of the Oregon TC, a native of Edwardsville, Illinois from just across the Big Muddy from St. Louis, a 3:56 man with scores of fans urging him on. And waiting, waiting, waiting was McNamara, who had a PR coming in of 3:59, but had won the “B” heat of the Oxy High Performance Meet in L.A.on May 21st in 3:42. So he was in form, and rarin’ to go.
I was on the P.A. It had been a great night of racing, beginning with the Go St. Louis! Healthy Kids mile won by Nick Thatcher in 5:29. The fourth annual series of races served as a fund-raiser to benefit 2008 St. Louis U. High All-State high jumper Mike Rathmann, who was paralyzed just a few weeks after graduation in a vacation accident. His mom, Toots, was on hand, as well, celebrating her birthday. Good night all around for the Rathmann bunch. (more…)