Homework on rivals pays off as Josh Kerr wins American title

Edinburgh middle distance runner Josh Kerr. Pic: Scottish Athletics
Edinburgh middle distance runner Josh Kerr. Pic: Scottish Athletics
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Edinburgh middle distance hope Josh Kerr has won the American collegiate title with a brilliant run in Oregon, north west US.

The 19-year-old was competing for the University of New Mexico in the 1500 metres and hit the front late to claim victory in 3:43.03 with fellow Scot Neil Gourley fifth.

And Kerr, who completed a double after landing the NCAA indoor title in March, revealed he had gone into the event with a scouting report on his would-be rivals.

“I was a lot more knowledgeable about these guys’ ability,” he said. “So I was coming in here knowing how they’d run and how quick they are. I was a lot more ready to race them and the time. I did a lot of research on these guys to make sure I wasn’t going in blind.”

Kerr is now set to battle with Edinburgh AC club-mates Chris O’Hare and Jake Wightman, plus Olympic finalist Charlie Grice, at next month’s UK Championships in Birmingham for the three spots up for grabs in the British team at August’s World Championships in London. “I’ll have a few days off and then that’s next on my list,” he said.

Elsewhere, Wightman won the 800m at the Folksam Challenge in Gothenburg in a personal best of 1.45.82, just inside the qualifying standard for the World Championships. Long jumper Allan Smith produced an outdoor season’s best of 2.24m to come third at the Caillet Memorial meeting in Geneva where Emily Dudgeon was third in the 800m and Pitreavie’s Jack Lawrie ended up sixth in the 400m hurdles, falling short in his chase for the European Under-23 Championship standard.

“I smashed hurdle six and lost all momentum,” said the 22-year-old who will now focus on this weekend’s trials in Bedford. “I’m looking forward to finally putting a fluent race together.”