Saturday August 22nd, 2020
CHRISTIAN BROTHERS HS - MEMPHIS, TN
Welcome to the 4th Annual Ed Murphey Classic. We're back in the Birthplace of Rock 'N Roll with an evening of World-class middle-distance running at Christian Brothers High School! We could not have thought of a better way to remember our friend and former University of Tennessee track standout Ed Murphey than to have elite middle-distance runners run these historic marks right here in the Bluff City!
MISSION: The mission of the Ed Murphey Classic is to provide youth athletes in the Memphis area an opportunity to experience a World-class track and field event and have a chance to compete in the same event as elite caliber middle-distance runners from all over the World. Through youth and community races, Memphis athletes can compete in the event in a program scheduled prior to the Professional races. We hope that this unique opportunity will inspire the youth of Memphis to pursue healthy and active lifestyles as they chase their dreams to, one day, also become World-class athletes or performers!
In the last three years the Ed Murphey Classic featured more than $18,000 in guaranteed prize money for invited elite athletes, including special time bonuses for setting the all-time Memphis and Tennessee-soil Mile records. This year, the event will once again offer multiple middle distance events but will also offer field events! Final events will be announced early in 2020.
Last year, World-class fields of women’s and men’s 800m and 1500m athletes were assembled and they put on a show! Olympic bronze medalist and World Champion in the women’s 3000m steeplechase Emma Coburn highlighted an outstanding women’s 1500m field! Memphis middle-distance running fans witnessed 2 Olympic standards in the women’s 1500m as both Helen Schlachtenhaufen (4:03.59) and Cory McGee (4:04.14) dipped under the 4:04.20 standard, one of the criteria necessary to represent the USA at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Canada’s Melissa Bishop-Nriagu (2:01.50) and American Isaiah Harris (1:45.89) both won the pro 800m events. Kyle Merber executed his race brilliantly to take the win in the men’s 1500m in 3:42.54. The PRO races, as always, were preceded by outstanding races from youth, family, high school, and community runners. The 4 years and under 100m race was one of the highlights of this year’s event as Isabel Jackson broke the tape in an exciting photo finish just ahead of Cooper Wilmoth! The high school 5 x 1 Mile relays were a huge success and will be on the schedule again for the 2020 event! All results can be found HERE!
In 2018, Americans Shannon Osika and Eric Avila did not disappoint Memphis track fans as they set both the Memphis and Tennessee-soil all-time records. Osika ran away from last year’s Murphey Mile champ, Canadian Kate van Buskirk, and broke the tape in a blistering 4:25.47 to erase the previous TN-soil record set at 4:30.12 by England’s Barbara Parker at the Music City Distance Carnival in Nashville back in 2011. Osika’s run was the 18th fastest women’s mile in the WORLD in 2018! On the men’s side, Avila out-leaned a stellar men’s field in a blanket finish to capture the 2018 title with a TN-soil record of 3:55.43. Avila’s time replaced Canadian Nate Brannen’s mark of 3:55.65 set in 2014 in Nashville at the Music City Distance Carnival. We could not have thought of a better way to remember our friend and former University of Tennessee track standout Ed Murphey than to have these elite middle-distance runners run these historic marks right here in the Bluff City!