The USA 4x800 relay team of Chrishuna Williams, Raevyn Rogers, Charlene 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.