Women’s 4x800 sets World Record; Chris O’Hare captures first NYRR Wanamaker Mile During 111th NYRR Millrose Games

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Women’s 4x800 sets World Record; Chris O’Hare captures first NYRR Wanamaker Mile During 111th NYRR Millrose Games

The USA 4x800 relay team of Chrishuna Williams, Raevyn RogersCharlene Lipsey and Ajee’ Wilson entered Saturday’s 111th NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory focused on a world record. They did just that as they left The Armory as new owners of a world mark.

The quartet’s magical time of 8:05.89 in the Jack & Lewis Rudin Women’s 4x800 Relay, broke the previous indoor world record of 8:06.24 set by Russia in 2011.

“Our coach said for us to believe in ourselves and we could get the record,” said Lipsey of Hempstead, N.Y., who ran the third leg. “I knew my teammates were going to run well. I just wanted to make sure I did my part.”

Wilson, who hails from Neptune, N.J., and is a regular at The Armory, ran the anchor leg and was inspired to finish strong by the sold-out crowd of 5,550 at the venerable track & field facility in Washington Heights. She credited the crowd’s deafening roars to giving her an extra push across the 200-meter track during her final lap.

“That is the loudest I’ve ever heard it,” Wilson said. “That’s the loudest I’ve ever felt it. That was insane. Every lap was high energy. The crowd definitely pushed me across on that last lap.”

The 4x800 USA team wasn’t the only world record on stage at The Armory on Saturday night.

Bahamian sprinter Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who won at last year’s NYRR Millrose games, set an indoor world record of 35.45 in the women’s 300m. She equaled the mark set by Irina Privalova of Russia in 1993. 

Chris O’Hare of Great Britain built up an insurmountable lead heading into the last lap of the night’s signature event, the NYRR Men’s Wanamaker Mile, to hold off runner-up Ben Blankenship andJosh Kerr. O’Hare finished with a 3:54.14 time to win his first Wanamaker Mile, just ahead of Blankenship’s 3:54.72 and Kerr’s 3:54.77.

“Lots of people come from far to watch and cheer me on, so it’s huge to perform and do so well having come so far,” O’Hare said. “I’ve done Millrose many a time and it’s very special to be able to win and makes all the other times I’ve competed even more worthwhile.”

In the NYRR Women’s Wanamaker Mile, middle distance sensation Colleen Quigley of St. Louis 4:30.05 outstretched last year’s runner-up Kate Grace at the finish line. Grace turned in a time of 4:30.08.

Aisha Praught-Leer took home one of the night’s tightly-contested titles when she won the Fred Lebow Women’s 3,000. Praught-Leer outlasted training partner Emma Coburn 8:41.10 to 8:41.16. University of Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer finished fourth, but her 8:41.60 set a new collegiate record bettering Jenny Simpson’s NCAA’s mark of 8:42.02 when she was at the University of Colorado in 2009.

Two of the most anticipated field events didn’t disappoint with its winners. Twenty-year-old high jump sensation Vashti Cunningham, the 2016 World Indoor champion, won the John Thomas Women’s High Jump with a best of 6 feet, 5 inches.

Olympic gold medalist Katerina Stefanidi of Greece won her third consecutive John and Margo Catsimatidis Women’s Pole Vault title, with a 15-feet, 5 ½ inches best vault. The expected duel between Stefanidi and USA 2016 Olympic silver medalist Sandi Morris never happened. Morris was unable to compete because she suffered a back injury during warmups.

Brodey Hasty, a high school senior from Brentwood High School in Tennessee, came within an eyelash of becoming the third high school runner to ever turn in a sub-4-minute performance indoors. Seconds after he crossed the finish line, the scoreboard flashed 4:00.05. Drew Hunter (2016) and Alan Webb (2001) both broke the 4-minute mark at The Armory.

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Coghlan Returns To NYRR Millrose Games, Delighted Classic Meet Is Alive And Well

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Coghlan Returns To NYRR Millrose Games, Delighted Classic Meet Is Alive And Well

By Elliot Denman, Photo by Ross Dettman

“The NYRR Millrose Games and the Wanamaker Mile, they’re alive and well.”

Take that from a man who should know – Eamonn Coghlan, the erstwhile “Chairman of the Boards” who won the classic Wanamaker Mile seven times, the first in 1977, the last in 1987. He ran a glory-filled romp through an era in which indoor track still ranked as a major spectator sport and whose exploits nearly personally filled Madison Square Garden time after time.

With no Coghlan on the scene in the years that followed his brilliant career at Villanova University, and then as an international runner – and finally as a Masters runner (he ran 3:58.15 at age 41 in 1994) – indoor track’s status as a spectator sport began a downward spiral and would eventually prove untenable at Madison Square Garden and other big-city arenas.

Although the scene of many epic races, the Garden’s 11-laps-to-the-mile banked board track was clearly slower than the 200-meter built-for-speed oval by then installed at The Armory in Washington Heights.

Still, many speculated that the Millrose Games’ inevitable move uptown to The Armory in 2012 represented the death knell of both the Millrose meet and its always-spotlighted Wanamaker Mile.

Fortunately, not Dr. Norbert Sander, the late-great visionary whose incredible efforts restructured The Armory from homeless shelter to brilliant center of world-class track and field activity. And, fortunately, not Eamonn Coghlan, the Flying Irishman and runner most identified with the glory years of the Millrose Games and Wanamaker Mile at Madison Square Garden (with his eighth Wanamaker Mile win in 2010, Bernard Lagat bested Coghlan’s total of seven;  Coghlan’s quickest at Millrose was 3:53.0 in 1981,Lagat’s 3:52.87 in 2005).

Yet another tradition, in the years since his last race, is a Coghlan visit from “across the pond" to the Millrose meet.

Thus, the former Irish senator was on hand as a celebrated guest at The Armory for the 111th edition of what is now the NYRR Millrose Games on this first Saturday of February 2018.

And as the honorary starter of the NYRR Wanamaker Mile, triggering the start of the 12-man race, slightly more than eight full Armory laps.

Rabbit Riley Masters did his job through 800 meters (1:56.86), before Scotsman and British Olympian Chris O’Hare, the former U.S. collegiate star at Tulsa, took over and the real running began.  Much as Coghlan did in his heyday – with his famed “one move and one move only” – this was the only move O’Hare would need.

He was never headed, going on to a 3:54.14 victory over five more under four minutes – fast-closing Josh Kerr (3:54.72), another Brit; Ben Blankenship (3:54.77), Charlie Grice (3:56.47), Nick Willis (3:57.72) and Kyle Merber (3:57.75.)

U.S. collegian Robert Domanic of Mississippi (4:06.02) was the final finisher and then it was time for Coghlan to  analyze the whole scene.

“It’s an honor just being here, at the 111th NYRR Millrose Games, and to be part of that history going back all those years,” he told you.

“We’ve had a fantastic NYRR Wanamaker Mile here tonight.

“Nobody was willing to go out with Chris O’Hare, as he was making sure he’d be part of that Wanamaker Mile tradition, too. 

“Most important, it’s wonderful to see The Armory hosting the event.

“Seven years ago, they thought it was going to die when it left the Garden, and I’m really so proud of the job they’re doing here now.  Now, I think it’s going to last forever.

“In terms of the crowd participation (The Armory was sold out to its 5,550 capacity) and the noise I heard, standing in the middle of that arena there as they ran that NYRR Wanamaker Mile, it was exactly the same (as Madison Square Garden.)

“I tell you, they were going berserk, there was no difference whatsoever. No question whatsoever.

“Chris O’Hare, he’s a good lad, he’s a Scottish lad, there’s no reason why he can’t be up there when they’re passing out the medals (i.e., Olympic Games and World Championships.)

“He’s relatively young and he’s tough mentally.

“But he’s got to stop looking around on that last lap.

“I know he wanted to win it really bad.”

As Coghlan himself did, in 1977 (4:00.2), 1979 (3:55.0), 1980 (3:58.2), 1981 (3:53.0), 1983 (3:54.4), 1985 (3:53.82) and 1987 (3:55.91.)

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NYRR Millrose Games Quotables

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NYRR Millrose Games Quotables

Emma Coburn, 2nd in Fred Lebow Women's 3000 with 8:41.16: "In steeplechase, we have visual items to break up the race, this is just about grinding. Ayesha and I had a plan going in that if the rabbit didn't take us through, we would work together. We do it in practice where we're neck-in-neck. She ran a beautiful race. When Ayessha wins, I win. We're very, very close friends."

Donovan Brazier,2nd in Mel Sheppard Men's 800 with 1:45.35: "I didn't think this race was going to be that fast! I thought me running 1:45 would win it! Would have been nice to go a little faster, but I'm happy with my time."

Emmanuel Korir,  1st in Mel Sheppard Men's 800 with 1:44.21: "I thought I did good. I am ready to run faster, and I am still training to run faster. I am pushing for 1:42. Aiming for my Gold record."

Lolo Jones, 7th in Howard Schmertz Women's 60m Hurdles with 8.37: "I did terrible! Good to get it under my belt though.”

Ronnie Baker, 1st in Joe Yancey Men's 60m Dash with 6.48: "Pretty good, I love the Millrose atmosphere, I've never been to the Armory before. Feels great to be able to open up the season at 6.48."

Karissa Schweizer, 4th in Fred Lebow Women's 3000 with 8:41.60: "Feels amazing, wasn't expecting that, I was competitive, knew I would take a fast past. Taking the lead wasn't the plan, but I just went for it!"

Gabrielle Wilkinson, 1st in New Balance Invitational Junior Girls' Mile with 4:42.94: "I worked very hard and all the work I put in paid off."

Colleen Quigley, 1st in Women's NYRR Wanamaker Mile with 4:30.05: "I've never broken tape before! And I've never run on the track before at the Armory. Was so exciting!"

Kate Grace, 2nd in Women's NYRR Wanamaker Mile with 4:30.08: "At the end I thought I could nip her, but looking back, I should have gone sooner. It's always good to learn. This was a tough race. It sucks not winning, but it's a reason to come back!"

Chris O'Hare, 1st in Men's NYRR Wanamaker Mile with 3:54.14: "Lots of people come from far to watch and cheer me on, so it's huge to perform and do so well having come so far."

Vashti Cunningham, 1st in John Thomas Women’s High Jump with 6’ 5”: "This was a really big confidence builder for me. This offseason has been slow for me, but glory to God for letting me come out here and have a good meet. To train, I've been lifting heavier than I had been, doing hills, and trying to get my form right."

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Meet Director Ray Flynn Serves Up Incredible  ‘Top 10 List’ For 111th NYRR Millrose Games

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Meet Director Ray Flynn Serves Up Incredible ‘Top 10 List’ For 111th NYRR Millrose Games

The 111th NYRR Millrose Games will feature 52 Olympians, 7 Olympic champions and 7 World Champions competing on Saturday, February 3 at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center in Washington Heights.

Ray Flynn, the NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director for the past seven years, anticipates plenty of unique story lines from the 111th NYRR Millrose Games edition. Ray has come up with his “Top 10 to Watch” list for Saturday’s schedule of events from 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. ET:

1. Will we see another high school athlete break 4 minutes in the mile? Watch as Brodey Hasty (Nashville) attempts to become the next one in the Men's Invitational Mile.

2. Can American Sandi Morris finally break the Millrose jinx and topple Greece’s Katerina Stefanidi in the John & Margo Catsimatidis Women’s Pole Vault? Stefanidi and Morris won gold and silver respectively at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

3. Olympian Lolo Jones returns to the track in the Howard Schmertz Women’s 60m Hurdles after just missing out on making the U.S. Bobsled team for the 2018 Winter Olympics. How will she respond?

4. In Saturday’s Fred Schmertz Men’s 60m Hurdles, World Record Holder (110mH) Aries Merritt returns to top form following his battle with a rare kidney disease that saw him receive a kidney transplant from his sister in late 2015.

5. Can anyone defeat the great Jamaican sprint Olympic gold medalist Asafa Powell in the Joe Yancey Men’s 60m?

6. In the John Thomas Women’s High Jump, look for 20-year-old Vashti Cunningham to attack the 1.96m (6’5”) barrier. The second year professional is already a World Indoor Champion (2016) at the event. Cunningham is also the daughter of former Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro quarterback Randall Cunningham, who will be here Saturday night.

7. Can local star Lalonde Gordon win on his home track in the NYAC Men’s 400m? The Trinidadian became a gold medalist this summer in London as a member of the 4x400m relay.

8. North Rockland High School sophomore sensation Katelyn Tuohy, just set the national HS record for 5k. Will she break 4.40 for the mile Saturday night in the New Balance Girls High School Mile?

9. On Saturday night we will see a World Indoor Record attempt in the Jack & Lewis Rudin Women’s 4x800m Relay by the U.S. quartet of Crishuna WilliamsRaevyn Rogers, Charlene Lipsey and Ajee’ Wilson.

10. No high school boy who has won the mile at the NYRR Millrose Games has ever gone on to win the NYRR Wanamaker Men’s Mile. On Saturday we could see it happen as either Kyle Merber or Robby Andrews could become the first in history to do so!

To get up-to-date 111th NYRR Millrose Saturday fields, please click HERE.

The 111th NYRR Millrose Games can be seen on USATF.TV from 11:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.  on Saturday and will be televised live by NBC from 4-6 p.m. There also is the USATF Cool Down show beginning at 6 p.m.

Fans can watch the meet for free at the NYRR Millrose Games viewing party from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the NYRR Run Center.  

 

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Olympic High Jumpers Vashti Cunningham, Inika McPherson Ready for Liftoff In John Thomas Women’s High Jump At 111th NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory

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Olympic High Jumpers Vashti Cunningham, Inika McPherson Ready for Liftoff In John Thomas Women’s High Jump At 111th NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory

Great heights will be reached in Washington Heights during the John Thomas Women’s High Jump at the 111th NYRR Millrose Games on February 3 at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center.

Olympian and 2016 IAAF World Indoor High Jump champion Vashti Cunningham joins fellow 2016 USA Olympian and amazing soaring sensation Inika McPherson in a much-anticipated high jump duel to be part of the national NBC Sports live coverage from 4-6 p.m.

In 2016, Cunningham jumped 6’-6” to win the United States Championship which became the top jump in the world that year and a World Junior Record.  In the Rio Olympics, Cunningham finished 13th overall and last year was a finalist in the World Championships.

“I’m really excited to be jumping in the upcoming NYRR Millrose Games and my first time ever in The Armory,” said Vashti Cunningham, who turned 20 earlier this month.

Her father is the former Philadelphia Eagles’ All-Pro quarterback Randall Cunningham and her brother Randall Cunningham II is a current three-time All-American at the University of Southern Cal and NCAA Outdoor Champion in the high jump.

She’ll be challenged by McPherson, who is a two-time qualifier for the World Outdoor and Indoor Championships, and, who at just 5’4” tall, has amazingly cleared 6’6”. No woman in history has ever jumped higher above her own height than McPherson.

The field also includes Priscilla Frederick, born in Queens, NY and a Pan American Games silver medalist as the National High School Champion local star Jenna Rogers from Rutherford, New Jersey.

This event is named to honor the late John Thomas, whose high-jump skills earned him a spot in the United States Track & Field Hall of Fame. As a 17-year-old freshman at Boston University, Thomas soared over the 7-foot mark indoors to become the first man to achieve that feat indoors. The Olympian also broke the world outdoor record three times with his highest being 7’-3 ¾”.

To purchase tickets for the 111th NYRR Millrose Games CLICK HERE.

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United States Quartet Eying World Record Chase in NYRR Millrose Games’ Jack & Lewis Rudin Women’s 4x800m Relay

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United States Quartet Eying World Record Chase in NYRR Millrose Games’ Jack & Lewis Rudin Women’s 4x800m Relay

Ajee’ Wilson (left) and Charlene Lipsey will be running on the same team with eyes on breaking the women’s 4x800 world record in the 111th NYRR Millrose Games. Photo By Ross Dettman

The Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 4x800 Relay is expected to be one of the 111th NYRR Millrose Games’ signature events when the world’s greatest track & field stars take centerstage on February 3 at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center in Washington Heights.

It’s anticipated a United States team will have a legitimate shot to surpass the world indoor record of 8:06.24 set in 2011 by Russia during the Russian Indoor Championships in Moscow. The talented USA quartet of Ajee’ Wilson, Charlene Lipsey, Raevyn Rogers and Chrishuna Williams, two of whom raced in the World Championships final in London last August, headline the 800-meter event.

“Never has the United States been so rich in its 800-meter depth of talent,’’ said NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn. “This will be one of the great races of this 111th NYRR Millrose Games."

Derek Thompson will coach this super USA 4x800 women’s squad.

Wilson became the first U.S. woman to run under 1.56 seconds for 800m, setting the American record in Monaco. Lipsey last year finished runner-up to Wilson in the USATF Outdoor Women’s 800 championship.

"It would be great to challenge the world record now that women's 800m running is so strong in the United States,” Wilson added.

During the US Outdoor Track Championships in Sacramanto, both Wilson and Lipsey, who are training partners, finished first and second, respectively. Wilson won with a time 1:57.78 just edging Lipsey’s 1:58.01 time. Rogers and Williams finished 4th and 5th in that same race.

Rogers is beginning her professional career following success at the University of Oregon where she won both the NCAA 2017 indoor and outdoor championship in the 800 and set a collegiate record in the 800 with a 1.59.10.

A multiple All-American at the University of Arkansas and member of NCAA champion distance medley relay team, Williams qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 800.

Expected to give Team USA a run for its money will be a very formidable Team Jamaica squad of Simoya Campbell; Kimarra McDonald, Natoya Goule and Fellan Ferguson as well as a strong New York/International All-Star team led by Lynsey Sharp from Scotland, Kendra Chambers, Ce’Aira Brown and Cecilia Barowski. Rounding out the 4x800 field will be top collegiate representatives from the University of Columbia, Iona College and University of Pennsylvania.

Both Goule and Campbell represented Jamaica in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Sharp is a two-time Olympian and turned in a personal best in the 800m of 1:57.69 during the finals of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The New York/International All-Star Team is coached by the legendary Frank Gagliano.

The event will be the second to last event of the day, followed by the NYRR Men’s Wanamaker Mile.

The Rudin Family is synonymous with supporting the sport of running and New York City.

“The Rudin Family is honored to continue our support of the New York Road Runners Millrose Games and this year’s Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 4x800 Relay” said Eric and Bill Rudin.  “Our fathers, Jack and Lewis, always wanted to bring the best to New York and we’re thrilled to see these world class athletes compete in our hometown.  There’s no better place for history to be made than New York City.”

Added Armory Foundation Co-President Rita Finkel: “The Armory is deeply appreciative of the continuing generosity of the Rudin Family to the NYRR Millrose Games. It is so exciting to have the next generation of one of New York City’s First Families of Running supporting the Jack and Lewis Rudin Women’s 4X 800 Relay, a race that promises to deliver as the women chase a world record.”

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Two-Time Olympic Medalist Nick Willis, Defending Champion Eric Jenkins and Team USA World Championship Members Brenda Martinez and Sara Vaughn to Highlight NYRR Wanamaker Mile Fields

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Two-Time Olympic Medalist Nick Willis, Defending Champion Eric Jenkins and Team USA World Championship Members Brenda Martinez and Sara Vaughn to Highlight NYRR Wanamaker Mile Fields

NYRR Wanamaker Mile Field to include 11 Olympians and two past champions racing at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory

Two-time Olympic medalist Nick Willis will race for his first title in six attempts against defending event champion Eric Jenkins in the men’s field and Team USA World Championship members Brenda Martinez and Sara Vaughn will lead the women’s field at the NYRR Wanamaker Mile, the signature event of the NYRR Millrose Games, on Saturday, February 3 at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory.

The prestigious indoor mile race has taken place every year on the men’s side since 1926 and on the women’s side since 1976. This year’s field will include 11 Olympians and two past champions, with the women’s and men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile races starting at 5:27 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. (ET), respectively.

Willis, 34, of New Zealand, finished as runner-up at the NYRR Wanamaker Mile three times (2009, 2015, 2016) and was third twice (2008, 2014). Last September, he won a record-tying fourth men’s title at the 5th Avenue Mile in New York, adding to his previous victories from 2008, 2013, and 2015. As a four-time Olympian, Willis won the silver medal in the 1500 meters at the Beijing 2008 Games, carried New Zealand’s flag at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony and returned to the podium with a bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the Rio 2016 Games.

Jenkins, 26, of Portland, OR, won the NYRR Wanamaker Mile last year in a last-lap sprint against Olympic 800-meter bronze medalist Clayton Murphy. The 2017 World Championship team member also narrowly defeated Olympic 1500-meter champion Matthew Centrowitz at the 2016 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile, winning by one-tenth of a second in 3:49.4, the fastest time ever by an American at the event.

Martinez, 30, of Big Bear, CA, was a Rio 2016 Olympian who made her third consecutive IAAF World Championship team in the 800 meters last summer. In her World Championship debut in 2013, she became the first American woman in event history to medal in the 800 meters, and the year prior won the 5th Avenue Mile in New York, outlasting a field that included seven Olympians. 

Vaughn, 31, of Boulder, CO, made her first World Championship team last summer after finishing third over 1500 meters at the USATF Championships. She is a two-time U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier who has also competed for Team USA at the World Indoor Championships and earned All-American honors while racing for the University of Colorado-Boulder.

The NYRR Millrose Games will highlight the year-round partnership between The Armory Foundation, which oversees the premier indoor track and field center in America, and New York Road Runners, the world’s premiere community running organization. NYRR has been the title sponsor of the NYRR Millrose Games since 2014, and for the third consecutive year the next generation of stars will share the same track as Olympians at the event. Media can apply for credentials to cover the NYRR Millrose Games by filling out the respective form here before 12:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 28. Tickets to the NYRR Millrose Games are available for purchase here.

NYRR Wanamaker Mile – Top Professional Men & Women

 

Name  

Mile Personal Best 

Twitter Handle 

Nick Willis, NZL

3:49.83

@nickwillis

Will Leer, USA

3:51.82

@william_leer

Kyle Merber, USA 

3:52.22

@TheRealMerb 

Charlie Grice, GBR

3:52.64

@CharlieGrice1

Chris O’Hare, GBR

3:52.91 (i)

@Chrisohare1500

Ben Blankenship, USA

3:53.04

@benfblankenship

Robby Andrews, USA 

3:53.16 (i)

@RA_Andrews 

Eric Jenkins, USA 

3:53.23 (i)

@_EricJenkins 

Robert Domanic, USA

3:54.73

@robertdomanic

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, CAN 

3:54.52

@Chuck_PT 

Josh Kerr, GBR

3:59.90 (i)

@joshk97

 

Name  

Mile Personal Best 

Twitter Handle 

Ciara Mageean, IRL

4:22.40

@ciaramageean

Brenda Martinez, USA

4:26.76

@bmartrun

Alexa Efraimson, USA

4:27.39

@AlexaEfraimson

Nicole Sifuentes, CAN

4:27.93 (i)

@ndsifuentes

Hannah Fields, USA

4:28.32

@runhannahfields

Kaela Edwards, USA

4:28.75 (i)

@kaelaAedwards

Gabriela Stafford, CAN

4:29.07 (i)

@gstafford13

Elinor Purrier, USA

4:29.44 (i)

@ellepurrier

Karisa Nelson, USA

4:31.24 (i)

@KaririNelson

Sara Vaughn, USA

4:34.29

@MomVaughn

Nikki Hiltz, USA

4:34.57 (i)

@Nikki_Hiltz

 

 

 

 

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 Olympic Medalists Stefanidi, Morris Renew Rivalry  At 111th NYRR Millrose Games’  John and Margo Catsimatidis Women’s Pole Vault

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Olympic Medalists Stefanidi, Morris Renew Rivalry At 111th NYRR Millrose Games’ John and Margo Catsimatidis Women’s Pole Vault

The Rio Olympic gold medalist Katerina Stefanidi of Greece and USA’s silver medalist Sandi Morris will renew their rivalry in a who’s who of pole vaulters at the 111th NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center in New York on February 3, 2018.

Four of the top seven vaulters in the world will be competing, in the John and Margo Catsimatidis Women’s Pole Vault with the inclusion of Katie Nageotte of the United States and Alysha Newman of Canada. Added in the mix is World indoor record holder and former Olympic champion Jenn Suhr.

Katerina Stefanidi and Sandi Morris were recently ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in the world for 2017 by Track & Field News, and have one of the strongest and most current rivalries in the sport.

Six months after Stefanidi narrowly defeated Morris at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the two great rivals were first and second in 2017 in both the NYRR Millrose Games and in the World Track and Field Championships in London. Stefanidi took the top spot in both events. They’ll return to the John and Margo Catsimatidis Women’s Pole Vault event at the 2018 NYRR Millrose Games.

The Greek national champion and Greek record-holder Stefanidi set her indoor personal best of 16-0 ¾ in 2016 at the NYRR Millrose Games, where she is now a three-time champion. "2018 will mark my fifth Millrose Games,” Stefanidi said. “I have won three consecutive years and can't wait to get back to New York City and The Armory runway."

She secured the gold at last summer’s World Championships in London with a 16-1 ¼ jump that means she’s in a tie for the fourth best performer in history.

Morris has jumped higher than her Greek rival, having cleared 16-4 ¾ (or 5.00m) outdoors as well as 16-2 ¾ indoors in 2016, and is the third best all time. 

“I am very excited to come back to NYC to compete at Millrose again,” Morris said. “I have yet to have the honor of winning the competition, and I hope to change that as 2018 is all about jumping high and winning meets. I am feeling strong and can’t wait to come to New York to put on a show with my fellow competitors!”

The U.S. outdoor record-holder and indoor and outdoor champion, Morris took silver ahead of Stefanidi’s bronze at the World Indoor Championships in 2016.

Katie Nageotte jumped 15-6 ¼ in 2017 after placing third at the NYRR Millrose Games and taking silver at the USATF Indoor Championships. She was ranked sixth among female pole vaulters by Track and Field News, and on Christmas Day (@ktnago13) tweeted “…BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER RANKED #6 IN THE WORLD!!!!”

Alysha Newman was ranked seventh for the year, in which she set a 15-7 personal best. The reigning Canadian champion and national record-holder represented her nation at the last Olympics and World Championships, and was fourth at the NYRR Millrose Games in 2017.

Jenn Suhr captured the 2012 London Olympic gold medal and also won the silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In 2016, Suhr established the indoor world record with a jump of 16-6 (5.03m).

“It is only fitting that the Upper Manhattan neighborhood near where the Catsimatidis family settled from Greece, would reach to new heights with this exciting competition,” said Margo Catsimatidis.

“Our family is so proud to support the historic NYRR Millrose Games and welcome world champions to NYC,” said John Catsimatidis.

Purchase tickets to the 111th NYRR Millrose Games on February 3, 2018 at tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org

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Asafa Powell Leads Strong Jamaican Contingent at NYRR Millrose Games

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Asafa Powell Leads Strong Jamaican Contingent at NYRR Millrose Games

Asafa Powell is looking forward to Armory debut in NYRR Millrose Games.  Photo by Victah Sailer.

Rio Olympic relay gold medalist Asafa Powell leads a stellar Jamaican contingent that will race at the 111th NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center in New York on February 3, 2018.

One of the all-time greatest sprinters in history, Powell will be joined by compatriots Natoya Goule, Simoya Campbell, Kimarra McDonald, Aisha Praught Leer, Kemoy Campbell and the previously-announced Omar McLeod, in addition to other athletes expected to be added to the lineup.

“It’s been a good few years since I’ve run at the NYRR Millrose Games,” Powell said. “This year will be my first with it being held at the Armory. I hear the Jamaican crowd there is amazing. I’m really looking forward to putting my mark down in a building with such history.”

Asafa Powell has represented Jamaica at the last four Olympic Games, taking 4x100m gold in 2016. He has earned outdoor World Championships medals in the individual 100m and 4x100m relay, including two relay gold medals.

He is the fourth-fastest male 100m athlete of all time, having run 9.72. He has run under 10 seconds 97 times; and under 9.90 a total of 43 times, more than any other athlete. His legendary fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt is second, with 35 sub-9.90 races.

At the NYRR Millrose Games, Powell will feature in a star-studded 60m, the distance over which he clocked a personal best of 6.44 at the Portland World Indoor Championships.

In New York, he will face Omar McLeod, the reigning gold medalist in the Olympic and World Championships 110m hurdles as well as the World Indoor Championships 60m hurdles. The former University of Arkansas standout McLeod has run 9.99 for 100m outdoors and 6.61 for the indoor 60m.

The two Jamaicans will also be challenged in the NYRR Millrose Games’ 60m by the previously-announced CJ Ujah of Great Britain, whose 4x100m team struck gold at the London 2017 World Championships.

For the first time at the NYRR Millrose Games, several Jamaican high schools will be sending their top runners to compete in multiple relays against some of America’s fastest high school relay teams.

Natoya Goule represented Jamaica in the 800m at the Rio 2016 Olympics and two indoor and three outdoor World Championships, including London 2017. She has an 800m personal record of 1:59.38 outdoors and 2:01.64 indoors.

Her fellow Rio Olympian Simoya Campbell, who has run 1:59.26 outdoors, will join her in the NYRR Millrose Games 4x800m.

Goule’s London World Championships teammate Kimarra McDonald, who ran 2:02:07 outdoors in 2017 and 2:04.72 indoors some years earlier, will also be part of that team.

The two women are no strangers to The Armory as both first raced there while in college. Goule ran for Louisiana State University and Clemson University in South Carolina, and McDonald for the University of Tennessee.

The Rio Olympic finalist Aisha Praught Leer is Jamaica’s 3000m steeplechase record-holder, having run 9:19.29 in 2017. That same season she ran 8:53.43 outdoors for the flat 3000m, for which she has run 9:03.23 indoors. The Illinois native and former Illinois State University athlete began representing her Jamaican father’s country starting with the 2015 World Championships.

She will compete in the 3000m at the NYRR Millrose Games, lining alongside training partner, the steeplechase World Champion and 9:02.58 American record-holder Emma Coburn of the United States, whose participation was previously announced.

Rio Olympian Kemoy Campbell was a finalist in the London 2017 World Championships 5000m and will run in the 3000m at the NYRR Millrose Games. The former University of Arkansas athlete’s 7:40.79 personal best for the distance indoors is his nation’s record, and was clocked at the 2016 Millrose Games.

For NYRR Millrsoe Games on February 3 tickets visit tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org/tickets

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Top International Athletes Target 111th NYRR Millrose Games

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Top International Athletes Target 111th NYRR Millrose Games

Lalonde Gordon, who in August won gold for Trinidad & Tobago in the World Championships, will compete in the 400m in February’s 111th NYRR Millrose Games. Photo by John Nepolitan.

After thrilling their compatriots at recent championships, several top international track and field stars will compete in the 111th NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center on February 3, 2018.

In the global city of New York that is home to the renowned NYRR Millrose Games, the athletes’ countries are well-represented in the local population.

CJ Ujah ran the lead-off leg in the British 4x100m team that seized victory in front of an ecstatic home crowd at the London 2017 World Championships. “GOLD!! unbelievable feeling being on the podium, singing the national anthem in front of a packed crowd,” he tweeted (@Chijindu_Ujah). He capped his year with the IAAF Diamond League title, running 9.97 seconds for the 100m. He will run the NYRR Millrose Games 60m.

Lalonde Gordon anchored Trinidad & Tobago’s 4x400m team to World Championships gold in August 2017, and was a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, individually over 400m and as part of the 4x400 relay team. Gordon lives and trains in New York City and holds the 300m record at The Armory, where he will run the 400m at the NYRR Millrose Games.

Xie Zhenye had a breakthrough 2017 season when he became the Chinese double national champion, lowering his own national 200m record after defeating the Asian champion Su Bingtian in a 10.04 personal best over 100m. A two-time Olympian, Xie will run the 60m in the NYRR Millrose Games. He was fourth with a 6.53 in the 60m at the 2016 World Indoor Championships in Portland, Ore.

Omar McLeod of Jamaica was the 2016 Olympic and 2017 World Championships gold medalist in the 110-meter hurdles and will be returning to the NYRR Millrose Games. The former three-time NCAA individual champion is the World Indoor 60m hurdles gold medalist.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo won 400m gold at Rio 2016 in dramatic fashion, diving across the finish line ahead of Allyson Felix. A two-time Olympian and native of the Bahamas, Miller-Uibo became her nation’s first world-record holder when she broke Felix’s straight 200-meter record in 2017. She was also a bronze medalist at the 2017 World Championships. At the NYRR Millrose Games, Miller-Uibo will run the 300m in which she holds the record at The Armory.

Justyn Knight became Canada’s second NCAA men’s cross country champion, and the first in over a decade, when he lifted the title for Syracuse University on November 18. An eight-time All-American at Syracuse, he was also a finalist in the 2017 London World Championships 5000m.

Emmanuel Korir made Kenya’s 2017 World Championships 800m team while a student at the University of Texas El Paso, after running 1:14.97 to set a world indoor 600m record in Albuquerque on January 20, 2017. He was also the 2017 NCAA indoor and outdoor 800m champion.

The international athletes confirmed to compete at the NYRR Millrose Games so far also include:

Ednah Kurgat of Kenya, who just won the NCAA Cross Country Championship individual women’s title with a new championship record and led her University of New Mexico team to victory.

Wesley Vasquez, who competed in the 800m at the last two Olympic Games representing Puerto Rico, and was also eighth at the 2014 Continental Cup.

Erika Kinsey, who represented Sweden in the high jump at the 2016 Olympics, the 2015 and 2017 World Championships, and the 2016 World Indoor Championships. She is also a former NCAA Division II indoor and outdoor high jump champion.

For NYRR Millrsoe Games on February 3 tickets visit tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org/tickets

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USA and International Gold Medalists Commit to 111th NYRR Millrose Games

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USA and International Gold Medalists Commit to 111th NYRR Millrose Games

Gold medalists Emma Coburn, Omar McLeod and Shaunae Miller-Uibo have announced they will compete at the 111th  NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center on February 3, 2018.

The NYRR Millrose Games has taken place in front of enthusiastic, sold-out crowds at The Armory during each of the past three years, as fans welcome the world's greatest athletes to New York City.

 “The NYRR Millrose Games has clearly reignited the excitement and traditions from its storied history”, said Meet Director, Ray Flynn.  “The best athletes are all asking to be included in this world famous track meet at The Armory.” 

Today’s announcement already assures three of the world’s top track & field athletes are coming to the 111th NYRR Millrose Games with many more to follow:

Coburn recently won Gold at the London World Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase en route to breaking the American Record.  Coburn is the only American woman in history to win a Gold Medal at the Olympics or World Championships in steeplechase.  She will be competing in the 3,000 meters at the NYRR Millrose Games.

McLeod, of Jamaica, was the Gold Medalist at the 2017 London World Championships and the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 110-meter hurdles.  McLeod is a 3-time NCAA champion and will compete in the NYRR Millrose Games.

Miller-Uibo won the 2016 Gold Medal at the Rio Olympics in 400 meters in dramatic fashion as she dove across the finish line 0.07 seconds ahead of Allyson Felix.  A native of the Bahamas, Miller-Uibo became her nation’s first world record holder when she broke Felix’s straight 200-meter record on June 4, 2017.  Miller-Uibo will run in the 300-meter event in the NYRR Millrose Games.

For NYRR Millrsoe Games on February 3 tickets visit tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org

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110th NYRR Millrose Games Recap

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110th NYRR Millrose Games Recap

A sellout, celebratory crowd of 5,000 filed out of the Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center Saturday evening following an action-packed 110th edition of the NYRR Millrose Games, and Dr. Norbert Sander was in an understandably upbeat mood.

The Armory Foundation's President and CEO – the man who had made all this possible at "the House That Norb Built" – was a total-smile as he recounted event after event that had made this latest renewal of the most venerable, most renowned of all indoor track meets one of the best yet.

"I would say that, in the annals of the Millrose Games, this was certainly one of the greatest," said former NYC Marathon champion Dr. Sander.

"You know, when you look at the records set, the quality of the races, how close they were; you know, it was one thing after another, it was spectacular.”

"You really couldn't ask for more, you really couldn't.”

"This is a great sport and we had a full house.”

"The atmosphere and the degree of excellence in general, the excitement was at such a level, and it stayed there. It wasn't all of a sudden just one big race, it was a continuation of terrific, outstanding performances.”

 "It started at 11:45 (a.m.) and it just kept going..."

Special tributes to Jack Rudin and Allan Steinfeld, immortal figures in the founding and growth of the New York Road Runners and in track and field, who'd passed away in recent months, were a major part of the proceedings, too.

Here's a recount of some of those gaudiest NYRR Millrose Games details:

No one – not even such immortals as Madeline Manning, Cheryl Toussaint, Joetta Clark Diggs and Hazel Clark – had ever won four consecutive Millrose women's 800-meter titles.

But Neptune, New Jersey pride and joy Ajee' Wilson did just that and in spectacular fashion Saturday with an American-record 1:58.27 four laps. With top rival Charlene Lipsey making a hard charge of her own, both dipped under the 2002 1:58.71 American record performance of Nicole Teter.

And for good measure, sixth-place finisher Samantha "Sammy" Watson crossed the line in 2:01.28, thus besting the USA national scholastic record of the famed Mary Decker that had endured since 1974.

With typical modesty, Wilson, the 22-year-old Temple University graduate and Olympic semifinalist, acknowledged, " of all the Millrose Games I’ve run in, it’s fun to see how far I’ve come."

The women's 500-meter race – two and a half laps around the Armory oval – was the setting for another American record. Rio 2016 4x400 relay gold medalist Courtney Okollo, out of Texas A&M, sped the route in 1:07.34, thus topping Shana Cox's 2010 mark of 1:08.70 from the AR charts.

The men's 500, though, was a great race but a near miss. Olympian Vernon Norwood (1:00.11) edged NYAC's Brycen Spratling (1:00.90) and so Spratling's 1:00.06 in 2014 stays in the book and the sport still awaits the first American to dip under the one-minute mark.

Per NYRR Millrose Games tradition – and a concept of meet director Ray Flynn, of "leaving the best for last" – the men's NYRR Wanamaker Mile was again a dazzler.

Flynn, Sander and the other 5,000 in the Armory had high hopes of someone emerging to put a scare into either the AR (Bernard Lagat's 3:48.99 in 2005) or the Armory and Millrose record (Matthew Centrowitz's 3:50.63 last year) but that's not the way the script evolved.

Instead, Eric Jenkins, the New Englander who'd transferred from Norheastern University to Oregon and come of age as a celebrity of his event by winning last September's Fifth Avenue Mile, outclassed and out strategized an all-star field to win in 3:53.23. No less than eight others bested the 4-minute mark.

“It’s historic,” said the delighted Jenkins. "The best people run in this race. It’s one of the good wins for me. I knew that I didn’t have the speed a lot of these guys have but I know I have the strength." And so he fought them all off.

Oh, and the second-echelon Invitation Mile delivered some additional sub-4 running when Christian Soratos (3:54.23) bested Penn's Christian Hatler (3:59.21.)

Holland's Sifan Hassan was another featured eight-lapper, lowering the NYRR Wanamaker women's mile record to a billiant 4:19.89.

The 2016 world indooor 1500-meter champion outdueled U.S, 800-meter Olympian Kate Grace, the Yale grad, and 2015-16 NYRR Millrose Games champion Shannn Rowbury – who was also the cover girl for the official Millrose program – and finally got the meet record under 4:20.

(But the women's world mile record remains the 4:17.14 run in 1990 by Romania's Doina Melinte at the fondly-remembered Meadowlands Invitation Meet which put East Rutherford, N.J. on the world sports map.)

When Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas won the women's Olympic 400 final in Rio, it took her a desperation tumble over the finish line to edge USA's Allyson Felix for the gold medal.

"No, that (the Rio tumble) wasn't planned; it just happened to happen that way," Miller continues to tell the track world. There were no tumbles needed at the Armory, either, as Miller zipped 300 meters to win in 35.71 over an illustrious field.

Leading the chase pack were Ashley Spencer (36.27), veteran Natasha Hastings (36.88) and Sydney McLaughlin (the Olympian now a senior at New Jersey's Union Catholic High School) in 37.09.

With Centrowitz opting to run The Paavo Nurmi two-mile, considerable spotlight focused on that event, too. But the NYC-rooted "Centro" was not quite in his Rio form and wound up seventh in 8:21.07 in the 16-lapper led by Dartmouth grad Ben True, the former cross country skiing star, in 8:11.32.

Sixty-meter straightaway titles went to sprinters Clayton Vaughn, 6.62, and Dezerea Bryant, 7.12, and hurdlers Omar McLeod, the Olympic champion from Jamaica, 7.46, and Canada's Phyllis George, 7.98.

The men's 60 sprint this year celebrated the great legacy of the New York Pioneer Club and Coach Joe Yancey, with Vaughn earning a special plaque presented by Pioneer Club star Harry Bright.

Two of the three field events on the Saturday card also attracted the best of Rio. Gold medalists Derek Drouin of Canada led the male high jumpers at 7-5 1/4 and pole vaulter Katerina Stefanidi of Greece the female pole vaulters at 15-9 3/4.

The Junior Men's Pole Vault, coordinated by "Flying Circus" mastermind Tim St. Lawrence, was a big hit, too. Louisiana high school sensation Armand DuPlantis won it with a brilliant 18-10 ¾ clearance. Just one other vaulter in the Millrose annals, of any age, has ever gone higher, and he's 2015 World Champion Shawnacy Barber of Canada.

A late scratch in the boys PV, though, was Texan Riley Richards, grandson of the famed Rev. Bob Richards, 11 times a Millrose vault winner and the only man ever to win consecutive (1952-56) Olympic vault titles.

One more sensational NYRR Millrose Games youngster was Carlisle, Pa.'s Noah Affolder, the boys high school mile winner in 4:07.24, time that finally bettered the meet mark of 4:08.0 that Kevin Byrne had set in 1977.

Shore Athletic Club's Jonathan Hallman continues proving himself the quickest young pedestrian in the nation. With a big charge over final two laps, 23-year-old Hallman won the Susan Rudin/USATF National Championship one-mile racewak in 6:04.29. It was his fourth Millrose walk win in five years, but it was never easy, either.

"It's always a long ride up here (he and his Dad annually drive up from their home in Liberty, S.C.) and I've been fighting a cold for a week," said Hallman. "And now we've got to turn around for the long ride back."

Impressive, too, was two-time Olympian and now four-time winner of the Susan Rudin women's mile walk, Long Islander Dr. Maria Michta-Coffey, in 6:31.85 over Olympic teammate Miranda Melville (6:36.82.)

More fun for Dr. Sander, a proud Fordham alumnus: His Ram successors won the Metro college 4x400 relay in 3:18.00 and ran a close second to Penn in the distance medley.

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Two American Records Set During 110th NYRR Millrose Games

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Two American Records Set During 110th NYRR Millrose Games

Ajee’ Wilson continues to shine at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center, her favorite running venue, winning Saturday’s Women’s 800 meters for the fourth year in a row during the nationally-televised 110th NYRR Millrose Games.

By winning with a 1:58.27 time, the 22-year-old former Neptune High School (N.J.) product, established a new American indoor record before a sold-out Armory crowd in Washington Heights. She eclipsed the 1:58.71 mark set by Nicole Teter in 2002.

 “This has been a progression to get where I am,” said Wilson, who resides in Philadelphia. “Of all the Millrose Games I’ve run in, it’s fun to see how far I’ve come.

“My coach (Derek Thompson) and I don’t try to go after records. But before the race he said, ‘Go run your race.’ It wouldn’t make sense to not take a crack at it. The last two weeks have been going really well and the training has been great. I know what kind of shape I’m in and it’s all about opportunities.”

She outlasted adidas teammate, Charlene Lipsey, whose 1:58.64 also broke Teter’s former record. In the same race, high school running sensation Samantha Watson broke the 43-year-old national high school mark in the 800 set by Mary Decker (Slaney) with a 2:01.28.

Speaking of American records, Olympic Gold Medalist Courtney Okolo set the Women’s Indoor 500m record with a 1:07.34 time, bettering Shane Cox’s 1:08.70 time in 2010.

The men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile, the signature event of the NYRR Millrose Games, belonged to Nike Oregon Project’s Eric Jenkins. He outlasted U.S. Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and local product Kyle Merber during the last 400 meters to win with a 3:53.23. Murphy (3:54:31) and Merber (3:54.67) finished second and third, respectively.

“It’s historic,” Jenkins said moments afterward, embracing the large Wanamaker trophy. “The best people run this race. It’s one of the good wins for me. I knew that I didn’t have the speed a lot of these guys have but I know I have the strength. I wanted to be in the front with 800 to go. I tried to pick up the pace when the rabbit got off. It really went well for me.

“This is big. This is one of my best races.”

Sifan Hassan, the World Indoor Champion in the 1500m in 2016, captured the Women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile, turning back runner-up Kate Grace and Nike Oregon Project teammate and two-time defending champion Shannon Rowbury. The 24-year-old Rio Olympian from the Netherlands won with a meet record 4:19.89 mark.

Olympic gold medalist Shaunae Miller captured the women’s 300 meters, one of the day’s most anticipated races. Miller won with a 35.71 in an outstanding field that included Olympic gold medalist Natasha Hastings (36.88) and New Jersey high school Olympian Sydney McLaughlin (37.09).

Olympic gold medalist Katerina Stefanidi and silver medalist Sandi Morris continued their friendly rivalry during the John Catsimatidis Women’s Pole Vault. And just like during the Olympics in Rio and during last year’s NYRR Millrose Games, Stefanidi prevailed. She cleared 15.9 ¾ while Morris finished with 15.5 ¾.

Earlier in the day, Sweden’s Armand Duplantis set the boys’ junior world pole vault mark (18 feet, 10 3/4 inches).

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10 Storylines to Follow at 110th NYRR Millrose Games at Armory on Saturday

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10 Storylines to Follow at 110th NYRR Millrose Games at Armory on Saturday

The 110th NYRR Millrose Games will feature 55 Olympians, 11 Olympic gold medalists and seven additional Olympic medalists competing on Saturday, February 11 at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center.

Ray Flynn, 2016 USA Track Field’s Meet Director of the Year, anticipates plenty of story lines from the 110th NYRR Millrose Games edition. Flynn is overseeing his sixth NYRR Millrose Games as Meet Director and has come up with his “Top 10 to Watch” list from the day’s schedule of events from noon-6 p.m.:

1. Can Matthew Centrowitz, 2016 Olympic 1500m Champion, win the NYRR Millrose Games’ Paavo Nurmi Two Miles against a star studded field, running twice the distance?

2. Who will win the 2016 Olympic Games Pole Vault Final rematch: gold medalist Katerina Stefanidi from Greece or Team USA’s Olympic silver medalist Sandi Morris in the John Catsimatidis Pole Vault.

3. Can DJ Principe become the 3rd high school boy to break 4 minutes for the mile, running in the Invitational mile (the previous two Alan Webb and Drew Hunter did at the Armory)

4. Can anyone beat Olympic Champion Tianna Bartoletta in the Women’s 60m?

5. Will Xie Zhenye from China score a major victory in the Men’s 60m? It would be a first Chinese victory at the NYRR Millrose Games.

6. Sydney McLaughlin, the high school Olympian, races Olympic champion Shaunae Miller, who famously dove across the line in Rio, and 2016 4x400m relay gold medalist Natasha Hastings. Does Sydney break the 300m National High School record?

7. There will be a first time Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile winner. Will it be Robby Andrews, Clayton Murphy or Leo Manzano?

8. Can Shannon Rowbury finally break the Women’s American Record in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile?

9. Can New York’s own 2016 Olympic Champion Dalilah Muhammed hold off Rio relay gold medalist and Boston Champion Courtney Okolo in the 500m?

10. Will 2016 Olympic Games high jump champion Derek Drouin jump above 7 feet 6 inches to win?

The NYRR Millrose Games – features track and field’s most prolific male and female stars as well as collegiate, high school, club and youth competitors – is scheduled for Saturday, February 11 from noon-6 p.m. with a live national television window on NBC from 4-6 p.m. at The Armory and streamed live on USATF.tv from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST.

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110th NYRR Millrose Games to Highlight New York Road Runners’ Partnership with The Armory Foundation, Showcasing Top Young Runners Alongside Olympians

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110th NYRR Millrose Games to Highlight New York Road Runners’ Partnership with The Armory Foundation, Showcasing Top Young Runners Alongside Olympians

NYRR Young Runners 800-Meter Finals to include top New York City youth; NYRR Wanamaker Mile to feature nine Olympians, with Shannon Rowbury going for a three-peat in the women’s race

NYRR Millrose Games to be broadcast live nationally on NBC from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (ET) and streamed live on USATF.tv from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (ET)

The 110th NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 11, at the New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory, will highlight the year-round partnership between The Armory Foundation, which oversees the premier indoor track and field center in America, and New York Road Runners, the world’s largest community running organization.

NYRR has been the title sponsor of the NYRR Millrose Games since 2014, and for the second consecutive year the next generation of stars will share the same track as Olympians at the event. The NYRR Young Runners 800-Meter Finals will feature the top NYRR Young Runners from New York City’s five boroughs just before the world’s top sprinters and Olympians compete in the iconic NYRR Wanamaker Mile.

“The NYRR Millrose Games serves as the perfect event to showcase New York Road Runners’ impactful partnership with The Armory Foundation,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. “The event will feature a talented group of runners of all ages, from our young runners here in New York City to Olympians from around the world, making for a memorable day for all participants.”

The NYRR Millrose Games will be broadcast live nationally on NBC this year from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (ET) as part of the USATF Championship Series. Fans can also catch the excitement on the live webcast from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST on USATF.tv. For those unable to attend the NYRR Millrose Games in-person, a viewing party will be held from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (ET) at the NYRR RUNCENTER.

“The 110th edition of the NYRR Millrose Games is shaping up to be an outstanding day of track and field, which sports fans across the country can watch on network television thanks to the USATF and NBC,” said Peter Ciaccia, president of events of New York Road Runners and the race director of the TCS New York City Marathon. “The fastest athletes on the track will be taking center stage, with the prestigious NYRR Wanamaker Mile featuring Olympic and U.S. medalists along with some of the best high school talent in America.”

The NYRR Young Runners 800-Meter Finals will include 15 boys and 15 girls who qualified for the event at January’s NYRR Millrose Games Trials at The Armory. The boys will take to the start line at 2:24 p.m., and the girls will line up at 4:14 p.m.

The youth participants are all part of NYRR Young Runners, a free distance-running program in which kids learn to run distances up to four miles while training together as a team. The program is offered to all New York City public schools and is also available for free to youth clubs and before and after-school programs in underserved communities.

There are 215,000 youth served nationally through NYRR’s free youth running programs and events, including 115,000 in New York City’s five boroughs.

NYRR has partnered with The Armory Foundation since 2007 and sponsors year-round events at the venue in support of the 125,000 kids it serves annually. NYRR is involved in many events and programs The Armory offers throughout the year, including the NYRR Millrose Games, the NYRR Thursday Night at the Races, its season-long high school training program, and several youth events.

At the NYRR Millrose Games, NYRR is also supporting the NYRR 4x200 and the

NYRR Fastest Kid on the Block events, with both races featuring inspiring youth runners who participate in NYRR’s free youth running programs across New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.

The NYRR Millrose Games will culminate with the NYRR Wanamaker Mile, the meet’s signature event which has taken place every year on the men’s side since 1926 and on the women’s side since 1976. This year’s field will include nine Olympians, including two-time defending champion Shannon Rowbury and Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy. Rowbury is the American-record holder in both the 1500 meters and 5000 meters, while Murphy set a personal best over 800 meters in Rio last year, running 1:42.93 to become the third-fastest American in history.

The women’s and men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile races will start at 5:27 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. (ET), respectively.

Tickets to the NYRR Millrose Games are available for purchase here.

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Sydney McLaughlin Running at Top of Her Game Heading Toward 300m at NYRR Millrose Games

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Sydney McLaughlin Running at Top of Her Game Heading Toward 300m at NYRR Millrose Games

High school Olympian Sydney McLaughlin of Union Catholic (Scotch Plains, N.J.) will have a prime chance to go after a national record in the 300 meters at the 110th NYRR Millrose Games on February 11 at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center.

McLaughlin's stature as one of the greatest high school athletes of all time was further cemented on Saturday in Boston when she contributed to a world record in the women's distance medley relay at the New Balance Grand Prix in Boston. Competing with three fellow, and older, U.S. Olympians, McLaughlin took the baton for the second leg of the relay.

“I'm so happy we came (here) and did what we wanted to do," McLaughlin said of the record-breaking relay, which included Emma Coburn, Brenda Martinez and Jenny Simpson.

McLaughlin's 2016 season was nothing short of magical as she broke a 32-year-old national high school record in the 400-meter hurdles at New Balance Nationals Outdoor in Greensboro, N.C. From there, she overcame the nerves and pressure of the Olympic Trials to run even faster and earn a spot on Team USA.

“This past year of my life has been a dream come true for me," McLaughlin said. “To make the Olympics at 16 is something I never really pictured myself doing. I'm very proud of everything I accomplished and what my coaches and family pushed me to do, and it's something I can always look back on and remember.”

McLaughin advanced to the semifinal round of the 400-meter hurdles in Rio de Janeiro.

“Being able to wear Team USA across my chest was definitely an honor," she said.

Last November, McLaughlin committed to the University of Kentucky.

At the NYRR Millrose Games, McLaughlin will line up against a field that includes Olympic 400 meters champion Shaunae Miller and U.S. Olympic 4x400 relay gold medalist Natasha Hastings

The national high school record for 300 meters is 36.96 seconds by Francena McCorory in 2006. McLaughlin ran a personal best 37.11 seconds at The Armory on Jan. 14, good for No. 2 all-time. 

Media requesting credentials need to click on 2017 NYRR media credential request form and fill out respective forms. Deadline is Monday, February 6.

Purchase your tickets at tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org/ticket 

 

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Legendary Coach Frank Gagliano Continues To Be Inspiration to Track & Field Athletes

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Legendary Coach Frank Gagliano Continues To Be Inspiration to Track & Field Athletes

If 55 years of coaching track and field have taught Frank Gagliano anything, it's to keep going.

The legendary coach, now in his seventh year at the helm of HOKA New Jersey New York Track Club  (NJNYTC) has three athletes competing in the in the NYRR Men's Wanamaker Mile at the 110th NYRR Millrose Games on Feb. 11 at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center.

Kyle Merber, Johnny Gregorek and Colby Alexander were announced as participants in the signature event of the NYRR Millrose Games on Tuesday.

But for the coach known as "Gags," this new year came with a few important changes and a resolve to keep doing what he loves.

“As long as my mind is in the sport for workouts, so I don't deprive the men and women that I'm coaching, I'll keep (coaching)," Gagliano said. “I try to keep as healthy as I can and we move on."

Gagliano will turn 80 in March. He got his start at Roselle Catholic High School in New Jersey and had a long distinguished college coaching career at Rutgers and Georgetown before becoming a professional coach for post-collegians.

Last year, 16 members of the HOKA NJNYTC qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials and steeplechaser Donn Cabral made the team and competed in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

In November, the club got a shot in the arm when HOKA ONE  ONE became the exclusive sponsor of the NJNYTC. Suddenly, the endless burden of fund-raising to keep the club running was eased. And the home base has moved, from Dunellen, N.J. to Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.

Gagliano lives nearby in Rye, New York. And his two assistants, Tom Nohilly and John Trautmann are also close by.

"(The move) has been really great because we all live within five miles of each other in Westchester County," Gagliano said. “We can come in (to The Armory) on the morning train. It's been a pleasure."

The club lost some athletes and added some new ones for the next four-year cycle. 

Gagliano's energy and expertise still drives the group.

“I've got to want it and they've got to want it to achieve their goals," Gagliano said. "All of them are college graduates and they've all given (me) four years."

Purchase tickets for the 110th NYRR Millrose Games before they sell out at tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org/tickets

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Defending Champion Shannon Rowbury and Olympic Medalist Clayton Murphy to Highlight NYRR Wanamaker Mile Fields at 110th NYRR Millrose Games

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Defending Champion Shannon Rowbury and Olympic Medalist Clayton Murphy to Highlight NYRR Wanamaker Mile Fields at 110th NYRR Millrose Games

(Left) New York Road Runners President and CEO Michael Capiraso, 2016 NYRR Wanamaker Mile women’s champion Shannon Rowbury and New York Road Runners President of Events and Race Director of TCS New York City Marathon Peter Ciaccia. Photo courtesy of Ross Dettman.

 

Three-time Olympian Shannon Rowbury will go for her third straight title in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile, while Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy will make his debut in the event at the 110th NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 11 at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center. The signature event at the NYRR Millrose Games has taken place every year on the men’s side since 1926 and on the women’s side since 1976. This year’s field will include five men and four women who have competed in the Olympic Games and will be broadcast live nationally by NBC Sports Group.

 

“The NYRR Wanamaker Mile is one of the most prestigious and historic track and field events in the world,” said Peter Ciaccia, NYRR president of events and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon. “This year’s fields are once again first class, with Shannon going for a three-peat and Clayton, one of Team USA’s newest Olympic medalists, making his much -anticipated debut in the event. Through our great partnership with The Armory, we’re honored to be able to recruit these amazing athletes to run at the New Balance Track and Field Center.”

 

Rowbury, 32, of Portland, OR, is the American record-holder in both the 1500 meters and 5000 meters, having taken the mark in the latter at last September’s Diamond League Final in Brussels, clocking a 14:39.92 to shatter Molly Huddle’s previous record. The two-time world bronze medalist ran away with the NYRR Wanamaker Mile title in 2015, winning by three seconds in 4:24.31, the No. 4 indoor time in the world that year. She defended her title last year, easily prevailing to take the tape in 4:24.39. Rowbury is a two-time 5th Avenue Mile champion who finished in fourth place in the 1500-meter final at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

 

“I’m so excited to be back at the NYRR Millrose Games, and to have another shot at the indoor mile American record,” Rowbury said. “Racing in NYC at an NYRR event is one of the highlights of my season. The atmosphere at The Armory and the quality of the competition never fails to impress, and I hope that I can do the same.”

 

Added NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn: "We witnessed the fastest men's mile in the world set last year. The NYRR Wanamaker Mile continues to be one of the great indoor races and this year's fields live up to ‎the great competition we've come to expect."

 

Murphy, 21, of New Paris, OH, was the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials champion over 800 meters and won bronze in the distance at the Rio 2016 Olympics. He set a personal best in Rio, running 1:42.93 to become the third-fastest American in history. Murphy, who won two NCAA titles in 2016 and a Pan American title in 2015, finished fourth the last time he was in New York City at September’s New Balance 5th Avenue Mile.

 

“To me the most prestigious indoor meet in the world is the NYRR Millrose Games, and the Wanamaker Mile is without a doubt, the feature event,” Murphy said. “I am looking forward to experiencing this historic event from the inside for a change. I have been enjoying myself since turning pro last summer and most of my success has come in the 800 meters, but I really feel my potential in the mile is untapped. I can't wait to show the fans in New York what I can do.”

 

Added NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn: "We witnessed the fastest men's mile in the world set last year. The NYRR Wanamaker Mile continues to be one of the great indoor races and this year's fields live up to ‎the great competition we've come to expect."

 

Additional Top Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances

  • Robby Andrews, 25, of Manalapan, NJ, qualified for his first Olympic team last summer after finishing second over 1500 meters at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. A 2011 NCAA champion at 800 meters, Andrews finished fourth in last year’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile.
  • Eric Jenkins, 25, of Portsmouth, NH, won the 2016 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile, outkicking Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz at the finish. He narrowly missed an Olympic berth with a fourth-place finish over 5000 meters at last year’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials. 
  • Leo Manzano, 32, of Austin, TX, became the first American to medal in the 1500 meters at the Olympics in 44 years in 2012. He placed fourth in the event at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, ending his 10-year streak of finishing in the top three in the event at the national championships.
  • Kate Grace, 28, of Sacramento, CA, won the 800 meters at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in a personal-best 1:59.10 and then ran a new personal best of 1:58.79 in the Rio Olympic semifinals before placing eighth in the finals. She also finished second at the 2016 New Balance Games Mile.
  • Brenda Martinez, 29, of Big Bear Lake, CA, made her Olympic Games debut last summer, competing in the 1500 meters in Rio. She finished fifth in the distance at last year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships and owns a bronze medal in the 800 meters from the 2013 IAAF World Championships.
  • Nicole Sifuentes, 30, of Canada, made her second Olympic team last summer, getting to the semifinals of the 1500 meters. The 12-time NCAA All-American at the University of Michigan was a bronze medalist in her signature event at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships.

 

Top Professional Men

Name

Mile Personal Best

Twitter Handle

Leo Manzano, USA

3:50.64

@leomanzano

Robby Andrews, USA

3:53.16

@RA_Andrews

Izaic Yorks, USA

3:53.89

@IzaicY

Charles Philibert-Thiboutot, CAN

3:54.52

@Chuck_PT

Kyle Merber, USA

3:54.57

@TheRealMerb

Colby Alexander, USA

3:54.94

@okaycolby

Johnny Gregorek, USA

3:55.27

@JohnnyGregorek

Eric Jenkins, USA

3:57.09

@_EricJenkins

Clayton Murphy, USA

3:57.11

@Clayton_Murph

Drew Hunter, USA

3:57.15

@drewhunter00

Henry Wynne, USA

3:58.74

@Hwynning

 

 

Top Professional Women

 

Name

Mile Personal Best

Twitter Handle

Shannon Rowbury, USA

4:20.34

@ShannonRowbury

Katie Mackey, USA

4:25.48

@KatiefMackey

Amanda Eccleston, USA

4:25.64

@AmandaEcc

Brenda Martinez, USA

4:26.76

@bmartrun

Lea O’Connor, USA

4:27.18

@LeahKayO

Heather Kampf, USA

4:27.23

@HeatherRaeKampf

Alexa Efraimson, USA

4:27.39

@AlexaEfraimson

Nicole Sifuentes, CAN

4:27.93

@ndsifuentes

Kate Grace, USA

4:28.30

@fastk8

Elinor Purrier, USA

4:29.71

@ellepurrier

Dominique Scott-Efurd, RSA

4:31.57

@domscottrunSA

Kaela Edwards, USA

4:32.14

@kaelaAedwards

Kate Murphy, USA

4:39.47

@trackmurph

 

 

Purchase tickets to the 110th NYRR Millrose Games on February 11 before they sell out at tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org/tickets

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