The World's Greatest Athlete headlines a star-studded list of athletes that are committed to appear at the 109th NYRR Millrose Games on February 20 at The Armory.
Decathlon world record holder and Olympic champion Ashton Eaton, like so many of the other top track and field athletes in the world, is in the lift-off phase to a career-defining 2016 campaign that includes a World Indoor Championships on U.S. soil and a much anticipated Olympic Games.
Tickets are on sale now for NYRR Millrose Games, one of the touchstone events in the sport of track and field any year, but a critically important momentum-building meet in 2016.
“Both events will play a significant role in the Olympic year and all point to the World Championships on March 18-20 for the very first time in Portland, Oregon,” Armory Foundation President Dr. Norbert Sander said. "All roads will pass through New York City and onto Portland toward Rio 2016. This year is going to be a memorable track & field season.”
The season reaches a crescendo at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, August 5-21.
To purchase tickets for the 109th NYRR Millrose Games please go to https://tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org/Tickets.
That stage is familiar to Eaton, who became the Olympic champion in 2012 in London.
Eaton is expected to compete in two events at NYRR Millrose -- the long jump and the 60 hurdles. The last time he competed at The Armory he caused shockwaves throughout the building when his momentum at the end of the hurdles race carried him up and over the mats at the east end of the track. He flew over them, backwards, and managed to drop 10 feet to the ground unharmed.
“I’m excited to be back at the Millrose Games which will be an integral meet in setting myself up for success at the World Indoor Championships and eventually the Olympic Games in Rio,” Eaton said. “The Millrose Games is one of my favorite competitions in the world. It's such an intimate meet with a crowd almost right on top of you creating an incredible atmosphere that brings out the best in us athletes.
“It is one of the top opportunities to compete against the best athletes in the world on U.S. soil, which is a privilege.”
Eaton recently was awarded the IAAF Athlete of the Year honor. He also placed third in the 60m hurdles last season with an identical time to David Oliver and only .01 behind Aleec Harris.
For Andre DeGrasse, the Canadian sprint star who recently turned pro after a stunningly successful season at Southern Cal, the situation is much different. DeGrasse, who some suspect may challenge Usain Bolt for global sprinting supremacy in Rio, will make his Millrose Games debut in the 60 meters.
New Jersey native Robby Andrews is also among the first entrants to be revealed in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile. Andrews is coming off his best season as a pro after making his first U.S. team for the 2015 World Championships. Chris O'Hare from Scotland, second at the 2015 Fifth Avenue Mile, is also entered.
Canadian Derek Drouin, the 2015 world champion in the high jump, will be entered in his specialty. And fellow countrymen Cam Levins is returning to the building where he has broken national records in the 2,000 meters and 2-mile. Levins headlines the 3,000 meters.
“Growing up in North America, Millrose was one of the few opportunities I had to watch my favorite track and field idols on a premier stage,” Drouin said. “Now I consider it a really special privilege to compete here and hopefully inspire the next generation.”
Aleec Harris will return to defend his title in the NYRR Millrose Games 60-meter hurdles. New York resident Lalonde Gordon, who won the bronze medal in the 400 meters for Trinidad and Tobago at the 2012 London Games, will go at his event.
Shannon Rowbury, the new American 1500m record holder, will defend her 2015 NYRR Women's Wanamaker Mile title against a much-anticipated superb field.
New pro sensation Jenna Prandini, who won the 2015 NCAA 100 meters for the University of Oregon and later won the U.S. title in the 200 meters, will make her NYRR Millrose Games debut. NCAA champion, Sandi Morris, formerly of Arkansas, headlines the field in the pole-vault.
Queen Harrison, the 2015 Pan Am Games champion, will compete in the 60-meter hurdles.
Ajeé Wilson, one of the brightest young stars in the sport and the fastest American over 800 meters in 2015, will return to Millrose.
"I am really looking forward to racing again at Millrose Games!" Wilson, a New Jersey native and former standout at Neptune High School, said. "It's one of my favorite meets as I can always count on great competition and high energy from the awesome fans!"
Molly Huddle, American record holder at 5,000 meters outdoors, will attempt the national indoor record at that distance. Kendall Baisden from the University of Texas, the 2015 Pan Am Games champion, will compete in the 400 meters.
Additional Olympic hopefuls Nicole Tully of NYAC, Oregonians Jordan Hasay & Eric Jenkins as well as Kerri Gallagher, a local favorite and up and coming star, will all compete at their specialties.