The collegiate track and field season finished just about a month ago, and many of the athletes are taking advantage of the offseason to compete in some events in the United States or around the world. For one Virginia Tech runner, that means the chance to represent his home country in the European Under-23 Championships.
Neil Gourley had a strong season on the indoor and outdoor circuits for the Hokies as he earned All-America honors on the Hokies’ distance medley indoor team while finishing second in the 1500 meters in the ACC Outdoor Championships. Gourley’s indoor and outdoor success in the indoor mile and outdoor 1500 meters gave him All-ACC First Team honors.
Gourley is originally from Scotland and received the chance to represent Great Britain in the European Under-23 Track and Field Championships. Gourley comfortably advanced to the finals of the 1500 meters, and then put in a very strong performance in the finals.
The Scotish runner finished third out of twelve in the 1500 meter final with Marc Alcala of Spain winning the final. Gourley finished half a second behind the winner in what was a very tight race that Gourley also finished third by only six hundreths of a second.
Gourley is one of the best runners for the Hokies, and is clearly someone that has the talent to not only win an ACC title, but contend for a national title in the 1500 in 2016 and 2017. Gourley also seems like a contender to fight for a spot on the Great Britain team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Gourley will likely use the 2015-2016 track and field season to prepare himself to make a run at making the British team for the 2016 Olympic team. This could also mean that Gourley takes a redshirt for the 2016 outdoor season if Gourley is on track to make the Great Britain Olympic team.
For Neil Gourley, today’s bronze medal finish at the European Under-23 Championship are a great sign that he may have what it takes to compete in next summer’s Olympics.