Watch the 1600m final heat above, the 1400m times from this event will now count for medals.
Two sets of medals will be awarded as a result of the unfortunate early bell in the seeded section of the boys 1600m run at Sunday's Meet of Champions at Ocean Breeze on Staten Island, Co-Meet Director and NJSIAA Track and Field Tournament Director Al Stumpf announced on Monday.
Stumpf said the times and places through 1600m in the seeded heat won't count because of the error that occurred when an official sounded the bell a lap too early, causing the runners to stop after 1400m before they resumed running after realizing there was a lap to go.
"We've decided to award medals to the top eight finishers in the unseeded section of the boys 1600m, and because we want to recognize and be fair to the runners that were impacted by what happened with the bell, we will also give out medals to the top eight finishers in the seeded section based on where they were after 1400m.''
That means that Liam Murphy of Allentown, who was first after 1400m in 3:37.40 and still ran 4:17.35 to finish first over the full 1600m after stopping, will be awarded a gold medal for being the 1400m champion.
Stumpf said there just wasn't a better solution.
"It was an unfortunate mistake and we are trying to be as fair as possibly to all the runners by handing out a second set of medals,'' said Stumpf. "And re-running the race this week really wasn't an option. The coaches didn't want that.''
Coaches and runners didn't want a re-run because New Balance Nationals Indoor are scheduled for this weekend.
So, the question will always remain-who would have won and how fast would the times have been without the premature bell?
We will obviously never know, and the court of public opinion can always debate that, but it appeared that Murphy and Powell were headed for a 1-2 finish with the winner probably very close to and possibly under 4:10, and the runner-up probably close to 4:10 as well.
Something that can't be debated and should never get lost in all the chaos of the 1600m is Murphy's epic and historic double on Sunday.
After the 1600m debacle that took a toll on him mentally and physically, the Villanova-bound Murphy came back about an hour later and won an all-time classic battle to the line with future college teammate Jack Jennings of Mendham in the 3200m, 8:58.16 to 8:58.19!
Jennings passed Murphy coming off the final turn, but Murphy responded and caught Jennings right before they crossed the line and crashed to the track.
Talk about guts, heart, and talent, Murphy showed it all!
So regardless of what time is or isn't listed for Murphy in the 1600m or which medal he receives or doesn't receive, one thing is for sure - Murphy's distance double at the Meet of Champions is the kind of stuff that NJ legends are made of!