Michael Cornyn's Historic Triumph at the US Masters 2022

March 08, 2024

The second and final part of Michael's 2022 US Masters story.

After running 300m in under 52 seconds in a time trial to see if he was in fact up to speed, Michael Cornyn decided to go ahead with the trip to New York and take to the famous Armory track. 

On March 16th, Michael got on the plane, ready to take on the challenge that awaited him at the US Masters. The following day, he spent his time in his hotel room, capturing the essence of the New York St. Patrick's Day parade on television, immersing himself in the festive atmosphere from the comfort of his temporary abode.

Upon his arrival at The Armory, Michael delved into the atmosphere of the event. The ground floor, filled with souvenirs and athletic memorabilia, offered a glimpse into the rich history of the sport. The first floor served as the warm-up area, adorned with pictures of Irish athletic legends such as Eamonn Coghlan, Marcus O'Sullivan, and Ray Flynn, adding an extra layer of inspiration for Michael.

March 18th, the much-anticipated race day, dawned with Michael feeling fresh and ready to showcase his ability on an international stage. The surreal feeling of competing in a stadium far from home added to the excitement. Support came in the form of a friend, Ger Cremin, who had also traveled to compete and cheer on Michael.

Drawn in heat 2 of 3, Michael strategically observed the first race and felt confident in his ability to surpass the winning time. The medals were determined by the cumulative times from all three heats. With two laps to the 400m indoor race, Michael surged ahead, leading the pack and ultimately winning by 5-yards in an impressive time of 63.00 seconds.

The suspense lingered as Michael waited for the results of the third heat. The winning time was slightly faster at 62.75 seconds, but Michael's time in heat 2 surpassed the second-place athlete in the final heat. The realisation hit him when he heard his friend Ger shout, "you have got a medal." Michael had clinched the silver, marking a historic achievement as the first Irish athlete to travel from the Emerald Isle to the USA Masters and secure a medal.

The celebration continued as Michael, along with his friend Ger, reveled in their accomplishments. The journey took an unexpected turn when Michael was invited by his cousin Anne Reynolds to join the Yonkers St. Patrick's Day parade. Marching with The Leitrim People's Association, Michael experienced the warmth and enthusiasm of the crowd lining the streets, adding another layer of joy to his already unforgettable trip.

Michael Cornyn's journey to the US Masters in 2022 was nothing short of extraordinary. From the surreal experience of competing in an iconic stadium to the joy of winning silver, Michael's trip to New York will forever be etched in his memory. His historic achievement as the first Irish athlete to travel to the USA Masters and secure a medal is one which cannot and should not be understated.