Allyson Felix in 109th NYRR Millrose Games

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Allyson Felix in 109th NYRR Millrose Games

Allyson Felix is returning to the NYRR Millrose Games for the first time since she was a teenager and racing in an exceptional 60-meter dash field that will help to launch her 2016 season. 

It has been 11 years since Felix competed at the NYRR Millrose Games and during that span she has become one of the most popular and successful track athletes in the world.

Felix is a four-time Olympic champion and a nine-time world champion in sprints ranging from 100 to 400 meters, plus relays. She last competed at the NYRR Millrose Games in 2004 and 2005, at age 18 and 19, and was fourth in the 60 meters both years. This year's 109th event will be held Feb. 20th at the New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory.

“The NYRR Millrose Games tradition is something so special and exciting about our sport and I look forward to the opportunity to compete in New York City, especially in such an important Olympic year," Felix said. "The women's 60 meters is going to have a loaded field and I cannot wait to compete against some of the best women in the world."

Tori Bowie, the 2015 World Championships bronze medalist in the 100 meters, and Tianna Bartoletta, the reigning world champion in the long jump, add even more star power to the 60-meter dash.

First-year pro Jenna Prandini, who won the Bowerman Award in December as the nation's top collegiate female athlete, is also entered. Prandini won the NCAA 100 meters for Oregon in 2015 and also the U.S. title in the 200 meters. In addition, former Alabama standout Remona Burchell, the 2014 and 2015 NCAA Indoor champion in the 60-meter dash, is also in the field.

The IAAF last week made an adjustment to the Olympic Games time schedule to allow a bit more time between the first round of the 200 meters and the final of the 400 meters. Felix has stated her intention to compete in the 200-400 double at Rio de Janeiro and the schedule change makes her attempt to medal in both events more feasible.

In 2002, when Felix was 16, she competed at The Armory in the National Scholastic Indoor Championships during her junior year at Los Angeles Baptist. She won the 60-meter dash title and also had a memorable showdown with Sanya Richards in the 200 meters final. Richards broke the national high school record and Felix was second.

TO PURCHASE TICKETS for the 109th NYRR Millrose Games please go to https://tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org/Tickets.

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Olympian Lolo Jones is Back on Her Feet for Great Feats At NYRR Millrose Games; Bills’ Goodwin Eager To Support His Claim as NFL’s Fastest Player

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Olympian Lolo Jones is Back on Her Feet for Great Feats At NYRR Millrose Games; Bills’ Goodwin Eager To Support His Claim as NFL’s Fastest Player

Olympians Lolo Jones and Marquise Goodwin are dual sport athletes with cross-over fan bases who are approaching the 2016 track and field season from vastly different perspectives. Their paths to Rio de Janeiro will intersect at the NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday February 20 at the New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory.

Jones, who is recovering from off-season surgery for a torn hip labrum, will run in a 60-meter hurdles event that is loaded with top-flight competitors Queen HarrisonNia AliBrianna Rollins and Jasmin Stowers.                                          

“I'm incredibly excited to be able to compete at the NYRR Millrose Games," Jones said. "If you told me two months ago that I would be competing in New York I would have said 'You're crazy.' I was just coming off my second surgery in less than a year and in my mind it was going to be close if I would even be ready in time for the Olympic Trials. So to be ready to race this early in the indoors is mind blowing to me."

Jones, who has represented the U.S. in both the summer and winter Olympics (as a member of the bobsled team) is a social media star who has shared her journey back from surgery with her 414,000 Twitter followers and 263,000 Instagram followers. 

“I have worked hard to get back," Jones said. "I was beyond religious with my rehab and I guess that work has paid off. I haven't competed at Millrose since I started (with) bobsled, so it will be great to be back competing in front of the passionate New York crowd."

Goodwin, who recently completed his third NFL season with the Buffalo Bills, was limited to two games in the 2015 season because of broken ribs. The self-proclaimed "fastest dude in the league" will compete in the 60-meter dash against World Championships bronze medalist Andre De Grasse, as well as in his specialty, the long jump.

Goodwin was a 2012 Olympian and finished 10th in the long jump final in London during his time at the University of Texas.

Goodwin does not shy away from his claim about being the NFL's fastest player.

“No doubt about it," Goodwin said. "For me being able to say I'm the fastest guy in the NFL is kind of like (New York Giants’) Odell Beckham saying he's the best receiver in the NFL. He has the numbers to say those kinds of things. My times compared to other guys in the NFL are better. Until you race me and beat me I don't consider you to be faster."

Goodwin ran 4.27 seconds for 40 yards in the 2013 NFL draft combine, which was the third fastest ever.

He made a big splash again in the long jump at the U.S. Track and Field Championships in Eugene in 2015 when he jumped a career-best 27-5.50 for fourth place. 

The opportunity to make another Olympic team holds strong appeal, even though it may encroach on the start of football season. 

“Words barely can describe the feeling of being at the Olympics," Goodwin said. "It was one of the best times of my life. I tried to treat it like just another meet, but it wasn't. I get emotional thinking about it."

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TO PURCHASE TICKETS for the 109th NYRR Millrose Games please go to https://tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org/Tickets.

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Kynard vs. Drouin, Wilson vs. Martinez Should Excite Armory with Familiar `Rivalry’ Anticipation

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Kynard vs. Drouin, Wilson vs. Martinez Should Excite Armory with Familiar `Rivalry’ Anticipation

Facing the toughest competition and performing when it counts most is the goal of every track & field athlete in 2016, and the head-to-head matchups at the 109th NYRR Millrose Games feature clashes that could resonate all year. 

A handful of the top competitive rivalries in the sport will be on display at the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory on February 20, including a men's high jump that features 2012 Olympic medalists Erik Kynard and Derek Drouin, and a women's 800 meters that features Olympic medal contenders Ajee' Wilson and Brenda Martinez.

Kynard and Drouin are the top North Americans in the high jump, an event that has been set ablaze globally by the arrival of young, supreme talents over the past several years. These two began a rivalry in college, when Kynard was at Kansas State and Drouin at Indiana University, which fueled them both.

“Derek Drouin is in fact my greatest rival,” Kynard said.  “We have been competing against each other since the Pan American Junior Games in 2009 where he took first and I finished second.  This rivalry continued into college and now into the professional and major championship realm.”

In 2012, Drouin denied Kynard a rare chance at an NCAA Division I three-peat. A couple of months later in London, Kynard of the U.S. took silver and Drouin of Canada earned bronze. Their back and forth battles have continued in the years since. In 2015 at the IAAF World Championships final in Beijing, Drouin won the world title and Kynard was eighth. 

The high jump has been a historical fixture of the NYRR Millrose Games since 1915. All-time greats such as John Thomas, Valery Brumel, Dwight Stones, Franklin Jacobs and Hollis Conway are part of the meet's fabric, a fact that will be celebrated on the eve of the meet at the New York Athletic Club. 

In the women's 800, Wilson, the NYRR Millrose Games defending champion, and Martinez, a world bronze medalist, both seek confidence-building victories in their build up to the Olympic Trials. Martinez, 28, won bronze at the 2013 World Championships. Wilson, 21, has been viewed as the future of the event. She ran the fastest time in the world in 2014 and is returning from an injury that curtailed her 2015 season. Wilson, who prepped in Neptune, N.J., has won the 800 meters at the NYRR Millrose Games the past two years. 

Martinez and Wilson have both run sub-1:58 outdoors, indicating Olympic medal potential. 

“I am so excited to participate in the historic NYRR Millrose Games,” Martinez said. “The amazing competition and spectators at The Armory's New Balance Track and Field Center make this a wonderful event to be a part of.” 

To purchase tickets for the 109th NYRR Millrose Games please go to https://tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org/Tickets.

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Andre De Grasse, Molly Huddle highlight speed, endurance at 109th NYRR Millrose Games

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Andre De Grasse, Molly Huddle highlight speed, endurance at 109th NYRR Millrose Games

North America's next sprint superstar and an American long distance runner with Olympic medal aspirations are two of the headliners at the 109th NYRR Millrose Games to take place February 20 at The Armory.

Toronto native Andre De Grasse, who recently signed an $11 million deal to join Puma, quickly rose to stardom in his one season at the University of Southern California. The new professional will make his NYRR Millrose Games debut in the 60 meters.

“I am definitely looking forward to the hype,” De Grasse said from his new training residence in Arizona. “I've heard good things about the Millrose Games in the past so I want to see how I match up against some of these fast 60-meter runners. This will definitely be a great test for me.”

De Grasse set the sprint world ablaze last year at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. where he ran wind-aided times of 9.75 seconds in the 100 meters and 19.58 seconds in the 200. Those performances ranked among the top 10 all-time under any conditions and immediately thrust him into the conversation of whether he could be the future heir to Usain Bolt's global dominance. 

He went on to claim two gold medals at the Pan Am Games at home in Canada before competing at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, where he tied for the bronze medal in the 100 meters.

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. To purchase tickets for the 109th NYRR Millrose Games please go to https://tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org/Tickets.

Molly Huddle, who grew up in Elmira, N.Y., is near the peak of her career and has become a dominant figure on the track and also the roads. With a great field assembled, the possibility of a new U.S. indoor record in the 5,000 meters at the NYRR Millrose Games is real. Huddle broke the outdoor record in 2014.

Huddle won the 2015 United Airlines NYC Half last March with a personal best 1:08.31, becoming the first American winner, male or female, in the event's history. 

After missing out on a IAAF World Championships bronze medal last summer by one step, Huddle is focused on making amends at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero. Following her fourth place in Beijing, Huddle swept the four U.S. road titles at distances of 5K, 10K, 12K and 20K. 

This year will be a truly unique NYRR Millrose Games. The nation’s most recognized indoor track & field meet will be the starting point of a spectacular 2016 lineup that will follow with  the 16th IAAF World Championships in Portland on March 17-20 – for the first time in nearly 30 years on U.S. soil – and the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro August 5-21. 

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World’s Greatest Athlete Ashton Eaton Joins Many Top Commitments for 109th NYRR Millrose Games

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World’s Greatest Athlete Ashton Eaton Joins Many Top Commitments for 109th NYRR Millrose Games

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.

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There Was Glory in it For Everybody That Day: 108th NYRR Millrose Games Recap

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There Was Glory in it For Everybody That Day: 108th NYRR Millrose Games Recap

As one famed football coach once told a vanquished loser, "there was glory in it all for everybody today."

Change sports, change seasons and change speakers, but the message rang just as true at The Armory to the nearly 5,000 fans gathered for the 108th edition of the NYRR Millrose Games on Valentine's Day. 

As veteran track writer Frank Litsky, who'd covered the meet for The New York Times for decades and can be called president emeritus of the New York Track Writers Association put it, "It was marvelous. l love Millrose. The field in the Wanamaker Mile was sensational, and the race ended up sensationally, too. Now, I can't wait until next year."

Sensational events abounded, from the beginning of the meet to the big windup.

It was a wonderful-wonderful Saturday at The Armory for James Wreh II and Kcaysha Medas-King. They were the "fastest kids on the block" in the track and field spectacular many have called "The Indoor Olympics."

Young Wreh dashed down the middle of the Armory track in 8.11 seconds, the precocious Medas-King in 8.48.

It was a very big day for Jonah Gorevic and Lauryn Heskin, too. Gorevic lowered the NYRR Youth Boys 800-meter record to 2:18.20; Heskin led all Youth Girls 800 runners in 2:28.04.

There was plenty of glory at The Armory, as well for James Burke and Catherine Pagano. Port Jefferson, LI's Burke ran off with the New Balance High School Boys Mile in 4:11.25; Northern Highlands, NJ's Pagano outran all her girls high school rivals in 4:50.66.

Along with everyone else, the Syracuse Track Club quartet of 60-somethings had plenty to smile about. They took their Masters upper-bracket men's 4x400 relay in a stepping-lovely 4:27.67.

Thus, the bottom line to all of this was that, yes-yes-yes, the fourth edition of the NYRR Millrose Games to be held at the Armory (since moving from Madison Square Garden in 2012) was win-win-win for all cast members as well as the whole sport of track and field.

The internationally assembled pros of the open division understandably grabbed the bulk of attention.

Oh, for sure, the spotlight shined most brightly on men's Wanamaker Mile luminaries Matthew Centrowitz, Nick Willis, Pat Casey and Bernard Lagat; on women's Wanamaker Mile champion Shannon Rowbury; on Brycen Spratling, who demolished all records in the men's 500 meters; on Erik Sowinski and Robby Andrews, who delivered a down-to-the-wire 1000 meters; on college teammates Eric Jenkins and Will Geohegan, who led the way in the 3000 meters; on Lopez Lomong and Ryan Hill who ran 1-2 in a moderate-pace 5000 meters; and women's racing winners Phyllis Francis in the 400, Ajee' Wilson in the 800, and Sally Kipyego in the 3000.

The Schmertzes, dad Fred and succeeded by son Howard, had been the chieftains of the NYRR Millrose Games for long years going all the way back to the 1920s. But now the Millrose reins are in the capable hands of former mile star Ray Flynn and Armory Track Foundation president and CEO, Dr. Norbert Sander, and they're doing a masterful job of it.

"I was delighted," said meet director Flynn, the former Irish mile star. Gratefully delighted, you might say." 

"We had some great races," said Flynn. "We had some great performances by great competitors, who really engaged the crowd."

"Wonderful, wonderful meet," said Armory Track Foundation president and CEO Dr. Sander.

The classic Wanamaker Mile – first staged at Millrose in 1915, when it actually was a two-mile race – produced a 3:51.35 triumph. His second at Millrose – by local hero Matthew Centrowitz. 

Centro won it over Nick Willis, the Michigan-grad New Zealander (3:54.36), with Oklahoma State alumnus Casey (3:54.36) leading eight others under four minutes. But it was fourth-place Bernard Lagat (who was 40 in mid-December) stealing the show from all his younger rivals. His 3:54.91 absolutely mauled all records in masters miling.

Eamonn Coghlan's masters best-ever of 3:58.15 at age 41 in 1994 was good as gone before the race even started. 

Seven-time Wanamaker champion Coghlan was in from Ireland – where he is a member of his nation's Senate – to lead the cheering for Lagat.  

"All credit to Bernard," said Coghlan. "I had no doubts he was going to break my record, and then he went out and did just that." 

Lagat won his first Wanamaker Mile in 2001, added his others in 2003, 2005-6-7-8-9-10, but hadn't entered the Wanamaker Mile in four years, running the longer distances.

"Eamonn told me I was going to run 3:54. And it exactly happened."

Centrowitz's first seven laps went 29.52, 27.58, 29.09, 29.75, 29.72, 29.74, 29.15 and he kicked home in 26.84, thus regaining the Millrose title he'd won in 2012 at 3:53.94. 

However, beating the world record (Hiham El Guerrouj's 1997 3:48.15 for Morocco), the American record (Lagat's 3:49.89 at Fayetteville, Ark. in 2005) or the Millrose and Armory record (Lopez Lomong's 3:51.21 in 2013) wasn't happening.

"I wanted a faster time, but it was a big deal for me to win a second title," said Centro.

"Matthew hit another gear to hold me off," said Willis. "I always thought I'd catch him, but he was saving something for me."

Trailing back of Lagat were Evan Jager in 3:55.25; Englishman Chris O'Hare in 3:55.35, for the 100th sub-4 in history at the Armory; 2012 Olympic silver medalist Leonel Manzano, 3:56.05; five-time NCAA longer-distance champion racer Edward Cheserek of Oregon, fomerly of St. Benedict's Prep, 3:56.43; Lagat’s training partner Lawi Lalang in 3:57.15, and Columbia grad Johnny Gregorek, now of Oregon,10th in 3:57.47.

Spratling, the University of Pittsburgh graduate, raced to the fastest 500 meters in indoor track history, 1:00.06, holding off Michael Berry (1:00.43) and Bershawn Jackson (1:00.70), with Belgium's Jonathan Borlee fourth (1:00.76).

Duke grad Rowbury had run 4:22.66 in a flat-track meet in Winston-Salem, N.C. last week, but settled for a 4:24.32 win over Trenier Moser (4:27.39), as Bronxville's Mary Cain, now based in Portland and training with the Nike Oregon Project, wound up eighth (4:31.21).

Iowan Sowinski and New Jerseyan Andrews gave the fans an exciting 1000 meters; Andrews' huge charge around the final turn falling just short, 2:21.18 to 2:21.23.

Neptune, NJ's Ajee' Wilson had no real problem winning the women's 800 in 2:01.57, with Charlene Lipsey's 2:02.05 sufficing for second. 

Canadian Cam Levins was sizzling at the Armory Collegiate Meet two weeks ago (a 3:54.74 mile win followed by an 8:15.38 two-mile, just half an hour apart) but was unable to find his rhythm in the Millrose 5000 meters.

The race named for Finnish great Paavo Nurmi went to Lopez Lomong (13:28.60) over Ryan Hill (13:27.80), Suguru Osako (13:28.00), Donn Cabral (13:28.64) and Andrew Bumbalough (also 13:28.64), all just 64/100ths apart. Levins settled for sixth in 13:33.35. 

There's nothing like a hometown athlete to stir fans stirring and Phyllis Francis surely did. Cardozo High School of Queens grad Francis, the NCAA champion and record-breaker last year for Oregon, fought off Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross to win the two-lapper, 53.14 to 53.71.

Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton placed third in the men's 60 hurdles (his 7.51 was just 1/100th back of winner Aleec Harris and Jason Richardson) and then grabbed another third (at 25-3 1/4) back of long jump winner Damar Forbes' 26-4 1/4. Oh, and he also did a disappearing act, leaping over the fence at the end of the mid-track straightaway, then leaping right back to message the fans that he'd not been hurt.

Jesse Williams, the 2011 world champion high jumper, won his specialty at 7-7 with Mike Mason also sailing 7-7, but on his third attempt, to Williams' first.

Kipyego, the Kenya Olympian out of Texas Tech, ran off with the women's 3000-meter title in 8:41.72, where NCAA cross country champion Kate Avery of Iona College was sixth in 8:53.12.

Susan Rudin 1-mile race walking titles went to Shore AC's Jonathan Hallman, with an eye-opening 5:53.58 win in the men's race over Olympians Trevor Barron and Andreas Gustafsson; and Olympian Maria Michta-Coffey, in a 6:34.47 breeze.

Hallman and his dad, Thomas Hallman, had driven all the way from Liberty, S.C. for the meet; soon as it was over, they drove right back.

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Centrowitz Claims Second NYRR Wanamaker Mile At NYRR Millrose Games

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Centrowitz Claims Second NYRR Wanamaker Mile At NYRR Millrose Games

With the near capacity crowd on their feet and the decibel level rising, Matthew Centrowitz claimed his second NYRR Wanamaker Mile title in dramatic fashion here at the 108th NYRR Millrose Games. Breaking the tape a step ahead of New Zealand's Nick Willis in 3:51.35, Centrowitz's performance capped off a jam-packed evening of exciting races.

Entering tonight's mile, Centrowitz had two things on his mind: take home the win, and attempt to set an American record. From the gun, Centrowitz went with rabbit Mark Wieczorek, passing the quarter mile in under 56 seconds, and the halfway point in about 1:55. The only one to stay relatively close with Centrowitz was Nike Oregon Track Club member Pat Casey.

"It was kind of hard to tell if anyone was behind me," said Centrowitz. "I just wanted to get out controlled. I wanted a faster time today."

As Wieczorek stepped off the track just past the 1000 meter mark, Centrowitz looked comfortable, right where he wanted to be in the pole position. While the pace wasn't quite up to American record standards, it was still fast, Centrowitz pressing on with the patient Casey hot on his heels.

Sitting in third was Willis, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist and current world leader. Lap by lap Willis chipped away at the gap up to Centrowitz and Casey, thinning it to less than a second with a quarter mile to go. Shortly thereafter he'd pass Casey.

As the bell sounded, Willis and Centrowitz were primed for a battle that would go down in NYRR Millrose Games history. Down the backstretch and around the final bend, Willis came up on the outside of Centrowitz's shoulder. Side by side, whoever got the inside around the bend would have a slingshot advantage.

"Once Willis came up on me on the backstretch I knew if I let him by me at that point then it was game over," said Centrowitz, who managed to gain a slight advantage as the crowd's roars grew louder. "I pretty much gave a hard effort there, I would say close to [being] all out just to fight him to the corner. I think at that point, the last 50, [between] him and I it was whoever could hold on at that point."

At the line it would be Centrowitz stopping the clock in 3:51.35, just off Lopez Lomong's 2013 meet record of 3:51.21. Willis took runner-up honors in 3:51.46, just topping his own national record.

"It's a big deal," said Centrowitz, moments after hoisting the winner's trophy, a large silver cup that bears a resemblance to hockey's Stanley Cup. "This is a second home to me, competing in front of my family and friends. Millrose is a big deal, it's a big race in the indoor season. To me it's kind of like the U.S. Championships for indoors."

Centrowitz drew inspiration from Eamonn Coghlan, the seven-time NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion who was on hand here tonight. Watching replays of Coghlan's wins before tonight's race, Centrowitz said he dug down deep hoping to recreate the magic Coghlan once brought to the track.

Despite running a personal best and national record, Willis was disappointed and frustrated.

"I really really wanted to win this race. It's a historic event, the Wanamaker Mile, and I've yet to come away with a win," said Willis. "I've gotten second twice and third twice, and this is the closest I've been. A really good race but Matt was too strong for me down the backstretch."

While the cheers for Centrowitz's performance were loud, they were just as emphatic when it was announced that 40-year-old Bernard Lagat had broken the indoor world masters record for the 1500m and mile. Finishing fourth in 3:54.91, Lagat eclipsed Coghlan's mile time of 3:58.15.

"I've never been in a race that was as stacked as that," said Lagat, whose 1500m en route time of 3:40.20 also broke the existing indoor world masters record of 3:44.12. "I am going home so content with what I did today. Really happy because I haven't done a mile indoors in a long time and coming back, doing 3:54 after four years of not running [the mile indoors], to me that is not bad."

Surrounded by media members, Lagat praised Centrowitz for his gutsy performance up front, and made a bold prediction: that Centrowitz would take home gold at the IAAF World Championships 1500m this summer in Beijing. Lagat also feels Centrowitz will break his American indoor mile national record next year.

As for his thoughts on Lagat, a mentor and friend, Centrowitz joked around.

"When I'm 40 I'll probably be bench pressing like 300 [pounds] in the weight room and I don't know if I'll even be running a mile at that point," he said with a laugh before offering his congratulations to his fellow Nike athlete.

University of Oregon teammates Edward Cheserek and Johnny Gregorek both broke four-minutes for the first time in their careers, running 3:56.43 and 3:57.47 for eighth and tenth place, respectively.

"I was dreaming about it all the time," said Cheserek. "I was like 'Hey coach can you give me a chance to go run four minutes.' It's a dream come true."

Sixth place Chris O'Hare clocked the 100th sub-4:00 mile at The Armory; he was timed in 3:55.35.

The Nike Oregon Project swept the NYRR Wanamaker Women's Mile titles, as Shannon Rowbury took home the women's crown in 4:24.32, though not without a little drama. Like Centrowitz, Rowbury got out strong, settling in right behind the rabbit, Melissa Salerno. Set to split 880 yards in under  2:10, the only athletes to go with the pacesetter were Rowbury, teammates Jordan Hasay, Treniere Moser, and Mary Cain, as well as Arizona State's Shelby Houlihan.

At halfway Rowbury found herself right where she wanted to be, powering each step out front with her eyes on the clock. Feeling strong, she'd begun to gap Hasay and Moser.

By the time the bell sounded, it was Rowbury against the clock, or so many thought. With 50 meters remaining, Rowbury's legs locked up. Slowing mightily, the 30-year-old reached her arms out a bit and gritted her teeth. For an instant it looked as if she may fall to the track.

"I tried to start moving and I think it just caught up to me in the end," said Rowbury with a chuckle. "I just had that elephant on my back the last 50 meters or so."

Rowbury remained calm and composed, shuffling across the line in 4:24.32, still managing to break the ceremonial finisher's tape.

"I knew I had an American record in me today, but, well, I thought I did," Rowbury said before assuring everyone she did not feel injured. "I'd love to have another opportunity to go after it because I know I'm capable. Just today wasn't the day."

Behind Rowbury, Moser moved up for second in 4:27.49, with Stephanie Charnigo finishing third in 4:28.02. Hasay and Morgan Uceny rounded out the top five in 4:28.27 and 4:29.39, respectively, with Cain a distance eighth in 4:31.31.

Whenever Bowerman Track Club's Lopez Lomong returns to his home state, he aims to put on a show for his loyal supporters. That he did in the men's 5000m, relying on a finely-timed kick to secure the title in 13:27.60.

While teammate Ryan Hill and Japan's Suguru Osako did most of the front-running, it was Lomong sitting in the catbird's seat biding his time. With a World Championships-qualifying time likely out of the picture, no one wanted to make too-bold of a move until the final 400 meters came.

It was Lomong's final 200 meter circuit that proved to be the deciding factor, as the two-time Olympian recorded a 27.45 second last lap, holding off both Hill and Osako.

"I grew up in this beautiful state, I grew up in Upstate New York, and this is my second time running Millrose Games in my professional life," said Lomong, saying the meet is like a trip to Disney Land. "I've always wanted to come and win [here] because this is the state that really supported me at a young age and all through my professional life."

Reflecting on Lomong's victory and Hill's 13:27.80 hard fought second place, coach Jerry Schumacher smiled and laughed.

"Lopez loves Millrose," Schumacher told Race Results Weekly. "It was a pretty exciting race, right? Eight, six guys in it with a lap to go, that's what racing is all about. Those are the best races."

Osako took third in a Japanese national record of 13:28.00. Two weeks after winning a pair of races at the Armory Track Invitational, Cam Levins placed sixth in 13:33.35.

In the women's 3000m, Olympic silver medalist Sally Kipyego and former Iowa State standout Betsy Saina battled valiantly over the final 400 meters, trading the lead at the bell. Coming to New York directly from training stints in their native Kenya, the pair exchanged surges before Kipyego gained an advantage around the final bend.

Finishing in a meet record and world lead of 8:41.72, Kipyego said the victory demonstrated a lot about her current form. She is building up for a half marathon next month.

"I was in Kenya for about seven weeks and it was fantastic," she said. "I think today, this is a good showing about where I am with my training because I have been doing a lot of strength work."

Eric Jenkins of the University of Oregon won the men's 3000m in 7:44.91, nearly the fastest time ever run by an American collegiate athlete. Sporting retro Oregon singlets, Jenkins and teammate Will Geoghegan took first and second ahead of Bowerman Track Club's Andy Bayer.

"It was a good race, I'm pleased with it nonetheless," said Jenkins, a native of New Hampshire. "It means a lot to come back East and run well... The training's been great and you can't ask for anything more than to train with the guys we've been training with."

In the men's 1000m, New Jersey native Robby Andrews surged hard with 150 meters remaining, giving Nike's Erik Sowinski a run for his money. Rounding the final bend step for step, it would take all Sowinski had to hold off Andrews at the line. That he did, prevailing by five-hundredths of a second 2:21.18 to 2:21.23.

"I was nervous, I mean that guy can close off a pace like that," said Sowinski. "I'm happy with the win, every time you get a win it's good. It's my third race [of the season] but I feel like it's the first where I actually got to race... It's the first race I got to sit in there and actually race at the end so I'm excited about that."

Ajee' Wilson earned her third victory of the season at The Armory, winning the 800m going away in 2:01.57. She is unsure whether she'll race the 600m or 1000m at the USA Championships in two weeks time.

The Boys and Girls High School miles were swept by athletes from New Jersey, as James Burke claimed the Boys win in 4:11.25 and Catherine Pagano the Girls in 4:50.66.

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Centrowitz and Lagat Applauded After NYRR Wanamaker Mile

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Centrowitz and Lagat Applauded After NYRR Wanamaker Mile

Matthew Centrowitz won the men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile title in the 108th NYRR Millrose Games, but it was eight-time champion Bernard Lagat who garnered a larger spotlight and louder applause at the packed Armory New Balance Track & Field Center Saturday night.

Lagat, 40, finished fourth in the Wanamaker Mile but turned in a time of 3:54.91, a masters world record eclipsing Eamonn Coghlan’s previous mark of 3:58.15 in 1994.  Coghlan, owner of seven Wanamaker titles, was one of the first to congratulate Lagat.

“Being able to run my best and run with the young guys, to me that’s a humbling experience,” Lagat said afterward. “For people to yell `Go Kip, Go Kip,’ that really touches me and I want to show them that I can perform very well.”

“Age is just a number and I believe that …I had a lot of plans for this event. I’m leaving here knowing I achieved everything I wanted to do,” Lagat added.

Centrowitz, the 2012 Wanamaker Mile champion, battled New Zealand’s Nick Willis down the stretch. His winning time of 3:51.35 was good enough to edge Willis (3:51.46) at the finish line.

“I didn’t look behind me at all the whole race, but it definitely felt fast at the start. I wanted a faster time for myself, it wasn’t ideal for me to run an xyz, but it was my best effort. It’s a big deal for me to win a second title out of my three attempts at the Wanamaker Mile.”

Ten of the 12 men runners in the race turned in sub-4 minute mile performances, including Chris O’Hare (3:55.35) who became the 100th person to post a sub-4 minute mile at The Armory.

Two-time Olympian Shannon Rowbury continued her strong performance of late to capture the women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile with a 4:24.32 time ahead of runner-up Treniere Moser (4:27.49) and Stephanie Charnigo (4:28.02).  Defending champion Mary Cain finished eighth with a 4:31.31.

“I am disappointed,” Rowbury said. “I knew I had an American record in me today. I’d love to have another opportunity to go after it because I know I’m capable.”

The American record is 4:20.5 by Mary Decker in 1982.

Lagat wasn’t the only one to achieve a world record. Brycen Spratling established the world's best in the 500m with a 1:00.06 time, ahead of Ken Lowery’ 1987 mark of 1:00.17.

“I didn’t know I was on pace (to break the record) honestly,’’ Spratling said. “I felt like I relaxed a little too much early on in the race. When I saw the time, I mean I looked disappointed. I really wanted to go 59 (seconds). But if that’s the best ever ran and then I just missed out, then I’m OK with it.”

Local favorite Phyllis Francis recorded a memory for the scrapbooks in her professional debut, overtaking 2012 Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross at the finish line with a 53.14 time. Richards-Ross turned in a 53.71 time.

“This is mind blowing right now,” Francis said. “I wasn’t expecting run that time. I told myself to go for it (down the stretch). If I pass out then I’ve got medics right there. So I said to myself to just go for it and I did. I’m lost for words right now. I’m ecstatic and happy. (Richards-Ross) is an amazing competitor. I looked up to her as a little girl and my parents told me to look at Sanya … for me to be running at that level and to be running with her is an honor,” Francis added.

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Quotes From the 108th NYRR Millrose Games

Bernard Lagat 4th in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile (3:54.91)

Running a masters world record: “Being able to run my best and run with the young guys, to me that’s a humbling experience. For people to yell `go Kip, go Kip,’ that really touches me and I want to show them that I can perform very well.” 

Competiting at the age of 40: “Age is just a number and I believe that. I train with Lawi Lalang and we always talk about the same thing: `age is just a number, just go and do the work.’ I’ve been able to do the work in training and have to be serious whenever I do this. I have to be serious. There is no going in there and (thinking) `Well, let me see what I can do.’ I’m going to win or I’m going to do this. I had a lot of plans for this event. I’m leaving here knowing I achieved everything I wanted to do. My training is good, I’ve been able to train well and I ran a 3:54. I’m really pleased with that.”

Being comfortable: “Relaxation is the key. If you worry too much … I was thinking about this race, but I wasn’t too worried. I didn’t have nervousness or the pressure. I was calm and that calmness helps you relax yourself where you can actually plan the race as it develops. I was planning  this race tonight – as we were running I’m telling myself everyone is falling back because they started going crazy at the beginning. I was right there, maybe at No. 8 even No. 10 and I could actually see how I was going to run. Those guys were going to come back. I was able to work on my plan because I knew what I was capable of doing. Because of the relaxed mind I was able to do that.”

NYRR Millrose Games 2016: “The guy who has a master plan for me in the Millrose Games is David Monti. He has a plan for me next year, but I can’t tell which one. He’ll tell me maybe in March. He’ll say, ‘So Kip…’ The story continues and he’s good with that.”

Matthew Centrowitz’ career: “With him being with Alberto (Salazar) and the other guys that are mature, you know what, he matured with them. He no longer wants to be best in the country, he wants to be best in the world.”

Matthew Centowitz won the NYRR Wanamaker Mile (3:51.35)

Not looking back: "I didn't look behind me at all the whole race, but it definitely felt fast at the start. I wanted a faster time for myself, it wasn't ideal for me to run an xyz but it was my best effort. It's a big deal for me to win a second title out of my three attempts at the Wanamaker mile. My loss to Lopez still leaves a sour taste in my mouth. The Armory is a second home to me, competing in front of my family and friends. This is one of favorite indoor tracks to run on in the nation. The crowd is electric, there's nothing quite like it."

Nick Willis second in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile (3:51.46)

Giving Centro a run for his money: "Very good race in Matt Centrowitz and he deserved to win today, but I gave him a good run for his money at least."

Shannon Rowbury won the NYRR Wanamaker Mile (4:24.32)

Nearly missing the American record: "I am disappointed, I knew I had an American record in me today. I'd love to have another opportunity to go after it because I know I'm capable."

Competing with her training partners: "I know I have to bring my A-game when the rest of the Oregon Project toes the line."

Jordan Hasay 4th in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile (4:28.27)

Going up against Rowbury: "I got a bit further this year and the goal was just to keep up with Shannon, since I knew this year she was definitely the one to beat."

Phyllis Francis won the AT&T 400m (53.14)

Being in good enough shape to win: “I was a little surprised because it’s early in my training right now. I wasn’t expecting to run that time, but I’m happy with it. My coach said I might surprise myself and I did.”

Beating her hero: “This is mind blowing right now. I wasn’t expecting run that time. I told myself to go for it (down the stretch). If I pass out then I’ve got medics right there. So I said to myself to just go for it and I did. I’m lost for words right now. I’m ecstatic and happy. (Sanya Richards-Ross) is an amazing competitor. I looked up to her as a little girl and my parents told me to look at Sanya … for me to be running at that level and to be running with her is an honor.”

Sanya Richards-Ross second in the AT&T 400m (53.71)

The energy at The Armory: "Phyllis ran a great race. I honestly feel blessed to still be running and have my competitors tell me they used to watch me as a kid. I feel I didn't tweak my training enough for the indoor track. The crowd here at The Armory, the energy and music were great, but ultimately my legs felt heavy at the end."

Ekaterina Stefanidi won the Fred Schmertz Pole Vault (15' 1")

The win: “This was good (finishing first). I’m training for the European Championships and that’s the big goal.”

About Jenn Suhr having to pull out because of injury: “Every competitor is a competitor. It’s cool to be around Jenn. She’s the world indoor record holder and I like her, I really like her and we all get along. It was nice seeing her in Boston last week.  I come and try to do my best for me and if she kicks my ass she kicks my ass.“

Performing at The Armory: “It’s cool. I was actually here two years ago and just out of college. I was very inexperienced and I was like freaking out. But I definitely handled it better this time.”

Ajee Wilson won the EmblemHealth 800m (2:01.57)

Her strength: “I’m a lot stronger than I was last year. I feel more comfortable. I’m excited for the rest of the year because the work we’ve been doing is for June, for making the team.”

Feeling comfortable at The Armory more than anywhere else: “Definitely. I’m used to it here. It’s an easy drive up and all my family comes out to support.”

Ashton Eaton 3rd in the Howard Schmertz 60m Hurdles (7.51)

Jumping over the wall: “I landed on my feet somehow. After the race I was so jacked up being right next to David Oliver. I thought I had won or had gotten second and I knew it was a fast time because he’s fast. So from the finish line to the wall I was thinking just about that, and the wall came and I casually jumped over it. I didn’t judge it very well, but I landed on my feet.”

Erik Sowiniski won the Mel Sheppard 1,000m (2:21.18)

Consistently winning at The Armory: "It feels great to once again win at The Armory. It's where my track and field career really got started. I feel like I almost have a home field advantage when I compete here. I'm a little disappointed the race wasn't faster, but I'm happy with the win." 

Brycen Spratling won the NYAC 500m (1:00.06)

Setting the 500m indoor world record: "I didn't know I was on pace. Honestly I felt like I relaxed a little bit too much early on in the race. When I saw the time, I mean ... I really wanted to go 59. But if that's the best ever ran and I just missed out, then I'm ok with it."

Realizing he's a world record holder: "It hasn't really hit me yet. It's kind of crazy to think that of all the greatest athletes that have ran track, which are some of the best athletes in the world, that no ones been able to run that fast at that distance. So it means a lot to me. I'm definitely going to cherish it and hold onto it."

Sally Kipyego won the Paavo Nurmi 3,000m (8:41.72)

Enjoying the NYRR Millrose Games vibes: "I wanted to enjoy the crowd and be able to enjoy the atmosphere and just compete to my best ability, and I think I did that."

 

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Nicole Tully Will Have Large Cheering Section at 108th NYRR Millrose Games

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Nicole Tully Will Have Large Cheering Section at 108th NYRR Millrose Games

On February 14th, Nicole Tully will toe the line of the 108th NYRR Millrose Games NYRR Wanamaker Mile at The Armory. She’ll go up against a deeply talented field including Nike Oregon Project stars, Mary Cain and Jordan Hasay as well as 1500m World Championship bronze medalist, Shannon Rowbury.

Though the competition will be stiff, Tully’s extensive experience from competing at The Armory and Millrose Games will surely give her an advantage.

Her first Armory experiences came while competing at the University of Villanova, where she earned All-American honors three times. Her first Millrose Games experience was as good as it gets, as she anchored an NYAC team to victory in the 2012 Club Championship Distance Medley Relay. 

At last year’s Millrose Games Tully came off of a foot injury to shave 11 seconds off of her personal best 3,000m time, taking 8th place in 9:00.84.

“The Armory has a home court advantage feel for me,” said Tully. “Because I’m so comfortable racing at The Armory, I feel like it’s a good place to showcase the fitness level that I’m in now and just get it done.”

Another advantage for Tully will be her cheering section from NYAC and NJ-NYTC club and teammates. But cheering loudest of all will surely be her parents Jane and Ken Schappert, especially her father, who is also a Villanova alumni and competed for the NYAC at several past Millrose Games.

“My dad’s from New York, so Millrose Games has been a big name in our house for a very long time,” said Tully. “My parents love coming to the Games and it’s something that I’ve developed such a respect for.”

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Solomon, Sowinski, Andrews Focused on 1,000m Showdown

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Solomon, Sowinski, Andrews Focused on 1,000m Showdown

One of the many must watch match-ups of the 108th NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 14 at the Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center will be the 1000 meter race between American middle-distance stand-outs Duane Solomon, Erik Sowinski and Robby Andrews.

Since running the second fastest 800 meter time ever by an American to take fourth at the 2012 Olympic Games, Solomon has become one of the biggest names in the middle-distance world.

“The 1000 is really new to me, but at the same time I’m ready for it,” said Solomon. “I want people to know that I have a lot of weapons in my arsenal.”

Sowinski rose among the middle-distance ranks after breaking the 600 meter American record at the 2013 Millrose Games. Solomon, who Sowinski overtook during that race’s final turn, was the record’s previous owner.

Though there is a bit of a rivalry between Solomon and Sowinski, the two teamed up last year to help break the 4x800 meter world record at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. Andrews was also a competitor in that race and led his team to a second-place finish that was also under the previous world record.

Of the three, Andrews has the most history with The Armory. The New Jersey native’s name can be found on The Armory’s record wall under the high school 800 and 1000 meter records as well as the collegiate 800 meter record. He also took second in the 2008 Millrose Games High School Mile.

“The Armory is where I got my start,” said Andrews. “I definitely have a soft spot for The Armory and definitely want to run well every time I step on that track.”

Declan Murray – who helped his Irish team secure a national record in the distance medley relay at January’s Armory Track Invitational – will also be a major player in the Games’ 1000 meters. Murray’s team finished just behind Team USA, which was led by Sowinski to a world record.

But no one should discount 2012 Olympic 1500m bronze medalist Adelaati Iguider from Morocco who will have his sights on the big win in New York.

Pierre-Ambroise Bosse set the Millrose Games’ 1000m record at 2:17.63 during the 107th NYRR Millrose Games.  Solomon, Sowinski and Andrews each have reported they’re in good enough shape to run under that mark, which is not too far off the American record of 2:16.76.

The NYRR Millrose Games, part of the USATF Championship Series, is scheduled to be televised live nationally by NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) from 6-8 p.m. USATF.tv will carry live as well.

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Marielle Hall is in the Right Place for 108th NYRR Millrose Games

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Marielle Hall is in the Right Place for 108th NYRR Millrose Games

Marielle Hall catapulted into the national running conciousness in a big way in 2014, lowering her 5,000 meters PR by more than a minute and capturing the NCAA title in her last race for the University of Texas. 

In the months that followed, she returned to her high school coach, Derek Thompson, and began a training partnership with Ajee Wilson, the 2014 world leader in the 800 meters.

It's been a whirlwind year for Hall, who is now a professional rookie and will compete at the NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday in the 3,000 meters.

In the aftermath of her NCAA victory, a surprising win over seven-time national champion Abbey D'Agostino of Dartmouth, Hall needed to chart a new course for her post-season career.

She got an opportunity to go to Europe for one race in Ireland and two in Belgium.

"The fields over there were larger and more aggressive than what I was used to," Hall said. "I learned a lot. I was happy with (the trip). For me, just to get to go was a lot."

Coincidentally, Hall was paired with Wilson in their Belgium hotel. The two knew each other but only as acquaintances. 

When she returned to states, Hall went to Austin to pack up her things and then moved back to New Jersey. 

She knew it was time to pay Thompson a visit. She needed a coach. 

"I went with my dad to his house," Hall said. "I asked him if (coaching me) was something that he would be willing to do. I knew he'd been working with Ajee and was obviously successful with that."

Thompson said yes.

"That was good," Hall said. "Finding a coaching situation (that fits) is one of the hardest things you have to do after you finish (college)."

Hall, a 2010 graduate of Haddonfield HS (N.J.), won the mile at the National Scholastic meet at The Armory her senior year in 4:59.16. She also was on the USA team that competed in the World Youth Championships in 2009. 

At Texas, her career proceeded at a steady -- if unspectacular -- pace. As a junior and senior she placed inside the top 30 at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. She entered her senior year of track with a 5,000 meters PR of 16:22.83 (from 2012).

Few saw it coming when she ran 15.19.22 at the Stanford Invitational last April. 

After years of mental and physical challenges during her first three years at Texas, it all came together as a senior. 

Now, in Philadelphia, Hall and Wilson are part of a small group that includes Lucy Yates of Great Britain (a former student-turned-graduate assistant at La Salle) and Jamaican Kimara McDonald. There are also a couple of men in the group, Alfredo Santana (formerly of La Salle) and Charles Ross, who ran at Pitt.

It's a varied group that includes strenghts from the 400 to 10,000. 

"Derek says we can all help each other," Hall said. "There are some days where I'm hanging on the best I can (in speed workouts). There are other days where I'll lead the workouts. It's been a good matchup for people step up in their roles."

Even though Hall is older than Wilson, she is learning from someone who has quickly risen into the stratosphere of global track and field. Wilson was sixth at the 2013 World Championships as an 18-year-old.

"It's been nice to see how she trains and how she works," Hall said. "It's been good to fall in line and learn from her. Her attitude, it's really laid back but she's always working hard. She's a cool person, calm about everything. It sort of makes you forget (how good she is) and then she'll blast one (interval) on you so you wake up and remember."

Hall is confident that she's in the right place, with the right people, to make significant improvement and justify her professional shoe contract with Nike. 

"The work that I'm doing I know is a lot different from anything I've done in college," Hall said. "I'm no longer trying to peak for June, now it's looking at possibly the end of August or September. But the biggest thing is that I'm confident in my coach and what he can do. You roll with it, especially when you know the people around you are good."

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Sanya Richards-Ross on Style and Relationships

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Sanya Richards-Ross on Style and Relationships

Sanya Richards-Ross will be one of many athletes to look out for at the 108th NYRR Millrose Games on February 14th. She's a four-time Olympic gold medalist, five-time World Championship gold medalist and owner the 400m American and Armory records. She's also an accomplished buisness manager, fashionista and star of her own televison reality series, Sanya's Glam and Gold. We spoke with track and field's most "fast and fashionable" athlete about style, relationships and staying focused:

How have you used your personal style to distinguish yourself on the track?

I’ve always loved the beauty and fashion industries. As an athlete there were times I felt like it wasn’t appropriate to express that, but as I got older I embraced my femininity and love for fashion. Now it’s a part of who I am. I always say, ‘Look good, feel good, run good!’ When I feel good about myself, and fashion and beauty are only a small part of that, I feel ready to compete at my best!

How have your relationships with family and friends helped you develop in your career?

My relationships have been integral to my success. If it weren’t for my parents, coaches, and support system I wouldn’t have been able to get better, stay focused, and ultimately accomplish my goals. I’d advise people to find positive, supportive people that are committed to helping them be their best and then trust them to do their part.

How does a superstar like yourself manage to stay focused and drama free?

Thank you! I believe I've been able to stay drama free for a couple reasons. For sure my faith has kept me grounded and humble. I know my blessings come from God and although it's not always easy I've tried to stay humble and keep things in proper perspective. My family has also kept me on track, literally! Their unconditional love and guidance have constantly reminded me what's important and I do my best to focus on that.

Your husband plays in the NFL. What have you two learned from each other as professional athletes?

We’ve definitely taught each other how to bounce back from disappointments. We’ve both enjoyed some amazing highs but also suffered some painful lows; together we’ve both been able to bounce back because of the other’s support. I’m blessed to have him in my life. 

Who dresses better, Mrs. or Mr. Ross?

Definitely my dapper husband! He has a natural knack for fashion and everything looks great on him! 

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Edward Cheserek Returns to Armory for NYRR Wanamaker Mile

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Edward Cheserek Returns to Armory for NYRR Wanamaker Mile

It’s been two years since Edward Cheserek raced at The Armory, and as much of a high school sensation as he was then, he’s even bigger now.

Cheserek was the dominant high school cross country and distance running athlete in the country during his three-year stay at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J. after moving from his native Kenya. 

Now at the University of Oregon, “King Ches” has taken college distance running by storm. He is already a two-time NCAA cross country champion and has three track titles under his belt – and he’s still getting started. 

Even in the context of Oregon’s rich heritage of distance running – from Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight and the birth of Nike to athletes such as Steve Prefontaine, Alberto Salazar and Galen Rupp – Cheserek’s growing list of accomplishments stand apart.

“I love seeing anyone at Oregon do well,” said Galen Rupp, who won six NCAA distance titles in 2008-09. “Edward handles it with class. I’ve met him several times. Oregon is lucky to have a guy like that.”

Rupp and Cheserek are among 15 current or former Oregon Ducks who are on the starting lists for the NYRR Millrose Games on Feb. 14

Cheserek, who broke the national high school record in the 2-mile at the 2013 Millrose (8:39.15), is entered in the Wanamaker Mile against three previous champions – Bernard Lagat, Matthew Centrowitz and Will Leer. Cheserek has not yet joined the sub-four mile club, but figures to go well under in his Armory homecoming.

Rupp, who will head the field in the 5,000 meters, believes that Cheserek could end up being the most decorated distance runner in NCAA history, not just the University of Oregon.

“What he’s been doing right now, I think he will have the best (college career),” Rupp said. “What he did as a freshman, indoors and out, was a great way to start off a college career. There’s no reason why he can’t go all four years winning everything.”

Cheserek won his second NCAA title in cross country last fall, going 1-2 with teammate Eric Jenkins. Jenkins, who transferred from Northeastern, is one of five current Oregon Ducks entered in the men’s 3,000 meters at Millrose. 

Cheserek split 3:57.98 on the anchor leg of Oregon’s DMR victory at the Penn Relays last April. The Wanamaker will be his first chance to race in an actual mile since the 2013 high school mile at the adidas Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium, where he ran 4:05.36.

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Oliver, Eaton, Richardson Among 5 Olympians In NYRR Millrose Games 60m Hurdles

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Oliver, Eaton, Richardson Among 5 Olympians In NYRR Millrose Games 60m Hurdles

The five Olympians, three of them medalists, highlight one of the most star-studded events in this year's 108th NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center.

As athletes, ambassadors for track and field, and cross-over personalities, it's hard to beat a 60m men’s field that includes David Oliver, Jason Richardson, Jeff Porter and Ashton Eaton.

Oliver, who responded from a disappointing Olympic Trials in 2012 by coming back to win the 2013 IAAF World Championships title in the 110-meter hurdles, opened 2015 with a third-place finish at the Hilton Invitational/Camel City Elite Races in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Jan., 31, running 7.69 seconds.  

A week later, also at Winston-Salem's JDL Fast Track, was the David Oliver Invitational – a high school event that the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist is actively involved with as an initiative to give back to the sport.

Richardson, the Olympic silver medalist in 2012, placed second at the Hilton/Camel City meet with 7.60. Aleec Harris, another entrant in the Millrose field, won that race with 7.55 seconds, second-best in the world so far in 2015. Harris ranked sixth in the world in 2014 in the 110 hurdles outdoors.

Jeff Porter, a 2012 Olympian and 2013 Millrose Games winner, manages a full-time job, training and is pursuing a PhD degree at the University of Michigan.

Eaton, a world-class elite in a handful of his 10 decathlon events, returns to the 60 hurdles at The Armory after placing fourth last year. Eaton, the world's greatest athlete by virtue of his world record in the decathlon, is one of the most popular and engaging athletes in the sport.

“What could be better than the in-form Ashton Eaton, the world’s greatest athlete, taking on two world champions David Oliver and Jason Richardson in the 60-meter hurdles,” NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn said.

Additionally, Syracuse grad Jarret Eaton, third at Millrose last year, is part of a field that also 2014 world indoor champion Omo Osaghae, who lives and trains in Texas, and Barbados Olympian Greggmar Swift.

Earlier this month, USA Track & Field announced that both the Armory Track Invitational, held last weekend, and the NYRR Millrose Games will make up half of this season’s indoor USATF Championship Series. The NYRR Millrose Games is scheduled to be televised live nationally by NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) from 6-8 p.m. USATF.tv will carry live events from both meets as well.

This year’s NYRR Millrose Games promises to be one of the best ever and features the likes of 2014 World 800m leader Ajee' Wilson along with the “fast and fashionable” Sanya Richards-Ross, who will attempt to break her own Armory Track record of 50.89 in the 400m, Olympic pole vault gold medalist Jenn Suhr, Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp in the 5,000m with last week’s ATI champion Cam Levins, The men’s all-time NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion Bernard Lagat will try to win his ninth title in the elite mile field that includes defending champion Will Leer, 2012 champion Matthew Centrowitz and five-time NCAA champion Edward Cheserek, while the women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile will feature defending champion Mary Cain and her Nike Oregon Project teammates Shannon Rowbury, Treniere Moser and Jordan Hasay.

This marks the fourth NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory and will include the country’s premier professional, college and high school track & field athletes competing on one stage.

Tickets for the NYRR Millrose Games can be purchased at http://Tickets.NYRRMillroseGames.org. 

Further questions about both meets can be answered by calling The Armory at (212) 923-1803 ext. 7200.

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A Look Back at the 2005 Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile

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A Look Back at the 2005 Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile

The latest track at Madison Square Garden was not known for yielding fast times, but no one told Bernard Lagat. Confident that he would have no trouble winning his 3rd Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games, and with an eye on the beautiful Waterford Crystal trophy that went to the meet's Outstanding Performer, Lagat set his sights on Eamonn Coghlan's 24-year old hand-timed meet record of 3:53.0.  

A quick 55.8 first-quarter split by pacer Elkanah Angwenyi left Lagat well ahead of Laban Rotich, who had beaten Lagat the previous week in Boston, and Alan Webb, who was making his long-anticipated Millrose debut. Lagat followed Angwenyi closely through the 1/2-way point (1:54.3-1:54.5) and was all alone as he went through the 3/4-split in 2:52.8. 

Needing a 60.1 final 1/4 to break Coghlan's record, Lagat did just that to close out his 3:52.87 winning performance. He also took down Noureddine Morceli's Madison Square Garden Record of 3:52.99, set at the U.S. Indoor Nationals in 1991. Rotich finished a distant 2nd in 4:00.33, with Webb in 3rd at 4:00.91.

Lagat will compete for his ninth NYRR Wanamaker Mile title at the 108th NYRR Millrose Games. Find more information on the Mile field at http://www.armorytrack.com/gprofile.php?mgroup_id=45586&do=news&news_id=313215

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Bernard Lagat and Mary Cain Featured in NYRR Wanamaker Mile

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Bernard Lagat and Mary Cain Featured in NYRR Wanamaker Mile

New York, February 2, 2015—Eight-time champion Bernard Lagat of Tucson, AZ, and New York native and defending champion, Mary Cain, 18, of Portland, OR, will star in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile at the 108th NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 14, it was announced today by Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners. Lagat will chase his ninth event victory and the masters indoor world record of 3:58.15 against defending champion Will Leer of Marina Del Rey, CA, and 2012 champion Matthew Centrowitz of Portland, OR. Cain, racing in front of her hometown crowd, will face three Oregon Project teammates—Shannon RowburyTreniere Moser, and Jordan Hasay, all of Portland, OR—in an attempt to become the first woman since 2009 to win back-to-back NYRR Millrose Games titles at the distance.

“NYRR is a proud partner of the Armory and is once again excited to support this wonderful New York City time-honored track and field tradition,” said Wittenberg. “The NYRR Wanamaker Mile is renowned for its history of great athletes and memorable races. Bernard is one of the most distinguished runners in American history, the master of the NYRR Wanamaker Mile, and a New Yorker at heart. We also welcome home Mary to the iconic track that launched her early career success and now has her poised to become one of America’s great track and field stars. Bernard and Mary lead two incredibly talented NYRR Wanamaker Mile fields that provide inspiration for people of all ages to get moving and dream big.”

Lagat, 40, is the king of the NYRR Wanamaker Mile with a record eight titles in nine attempts, recording six consecutive victories from 2005 to 2010. The 2011 NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile champion’s decorated career is highlighted by podium finishes at 13 global championships, including five IAAF World Championship titles, an Olympic 1500-meter silver medal in 2004, and an Olympic 1500-meter bronze medal in 2000. The four-time Olympian holds six individual American records—three indoor (1500 meters, 2000 meters, 3000 meters) and three outdoor (1500 meters, 3000 meters, and 5000 meters); he set the 2000-meter record at last year’s NYRR Millrose Games.

“I am extremely excited to race another NYRR Wanamaker Mile in front of some very loyal New York fans,” said Lagat. “New York has been great to me. The energy I get from the crowd pumps me up like it's my first professional race! This year's race will be challenging, but I'm up for it. My training has been going well, and I'd like another win. While eight is great, nine would suit me just fine!”

Lagat will be targeting the masters indoor world record of 3:58.15, held by Ireland’s Eamonn Coghlan, the previous record-holder for the most NYRR Wanamaker Mile titles, with seven; Lagat took ownership of the record with his eighth win in 2010. In addition to Leer and Centrowitz, Lagat will also face 2008 Olympic 1500-meter silver medalist Nick Willis of New Zealand, who lives in Ann Arbor, MI, 2012 Olympic 1500-meter silver medalist Leo Manzano of Austin, TX, 3000-meter steeplechase American record-holder Evan Jager, of Portland, OR, and the University of Oregon’s five-time NCAA champion Edward Cheserek of Kenya, who lives in Newark, NJ.

“I see Mr. Eamonn Coghlan as one of the all-time greats in track and field, so I don't think about breaking his records,” said Lagat. “He made the records and broke the boundaries for people like myself to follow. Age is only a number, and he made us all believe it. I'm still listening and learning.”

Growing up just north of New York City in Bronxville, NY, defending NYRR Wanamaker Mile champion Cain is the reigning World Junior champion at 3000 meters; that victory last year made her the first American athlete ever to medal at the World  Junior Championships in a race 1500 meters or longer. The 1000-meter world junior record-holder also holds four national junior records: outdoor 1500 meters and indoor 1500 meters, mile, and two miles. In 2013, she became the youngest American to represent the United States at an IAAF World Championships and the youngest athlete ever to qualify for an IAAF World Championships 1500-meter final; she finished 10th in that race. As a student at Bronxville High School, she set multiple high school national records and became the first high school female to break the two-minute barrier in the 800 meters.

“I am extremely excited to be returning for this year's NYRR Millrose Games,” said Cain. “It's always fun to run on my home track, and even more exciting to have the chance to defend my title! The Armory always has the best crowd because I know that it's always filled with my friends and family.”

The women’s and men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile will start at 7:20 p.m. and 7:53 p.m., respectively. Last year, Will Leer won the men’s race with a time of 3:53.48 and Mary Cain won the women’s race with a time of 4:27.73.

The NYRR Millrose Games, part of the USATF Championship Series, will be presented live on NBCSN from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST, featuring the NYRR Wanamaker Miles, the girls’ NYRR Fastest Kid on the Block, and more. Fans can also catch the excitement on the live webcast all day beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST on USATF.tv. Tickets to attend the NYRR Millrose Games, which will take place in New York City from 1:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Armory (216 Fort Washington Avenue), can be purchased on the event website at https://tickets.nyrrmillrosegames.org/Tickets.

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Olympic Gold Medal Winner Jenn Suhr Will Add To NYRR Millrose Games’ Rich Pole Vault Tradition

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Olympic Gold Medal Winner Jenn Suhr Will Add To NYRR Millrose Games’ Rich Pole Vault Tradition

The pole vault has been one of the cornerstone events at the NYRR Millrose Games going back 90 years and once again the fields assembling for February 14 at the Armory New Balance Track & Field Center promise another great aerial show.

Fredonia, New York native Jenn Suhr, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, returns to The Armory for the first time since the 2013 Millrose, when she edged fellow American Kylie Hutson to win at 15 feet, 3 inches because of fewer misses at earlier heights.

Suhr and Hutson own the building record at 15-3. This time, Suhr faces a talented field that includes two more of the top 10 vaulters in the world last year -- American Mary Saxer and Greek champion Ekaterina Stefanidi.

The tradition of men's vaulting at the NYRR Millrose Games, now in its 108th year overall, stretches back to 1925 and includes the most influential names in the sport. Three-time Olympic medalist Bob Richards won 11 consecutive Millrose titles from 1947-57. Earl Bell won six times between 1976 and 1990.

In 2009, Australian Steve Hooker smashed the meet record with 19-8 ½ in Madison Square Garden and then took square aim at the world record with attempts at 20-2.

Nobody has cleared 19 feet at The Armory, at least not yet.

But there is rising talent at the high school level right now and a couple of young stars will be on hand in the junior boys pole vault. Armand "Mondo" Duplantis, the freshman sensation from Lafayette, La., has already broke the national class record for ninth graders by more than a foot and brings a personal best of 16-8.

Mondo Duplantis started breaking world records for his age when he was 7 and is the son of former standout vaulter Greg Duplantis. In his first year of high school vaulting, Duplantis has been one of the most talked-about vaulters in the country this winter.

Tommy Dial of Norman, Okla., the son of 1980s great Joe Dial, is also one of the top high school prospects in the country. Dial cleared 17-1 ½ last year at the Kansas Relays.

And national leader Paolo Benavides, from Franklin High in El Paso, Texas, is a late addition to the field. He cleared 17-6 ½ on Jan. 24 in Albuquerque, N.M.

The 11 boys entered in this year's competition come from seven different states and six of them are state champions.

The junior girls’ pole vault, scheduled for Thursday, February 12 at The Armory, also features six state champions from seven states. Two-time Florida champion Nikki Carroll, who cleared a new personal best 13-0 on Jan. 24, is the top entrant in that field.

Earlier this month, USA Track & Field announced that both the Armory Track Invitational and the NYRR Millrose Games will make up half of this season’s indoor USATF Championship Series. Both meets at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center are scheduled to be televised nationally by NBC Sports Network (NBCSN): Armory Track Invitational, 4:30-6:30 p.m. January 31 and NYRR Millrose Games 6-8 p.m. USATF.tv will carry live events from both meets as well.

This year’s NYRR Millrose Games promises to be one of the best ever and features the likes of world champion hurdlers Jason Richardson and David Oliver, 2014 World 800m leader Ajee' Wilson along with the “fast and fashionable” Sanya Richards-Ross, who will attempt to break her own Armory Track record of 50.89 in the 400m. Ashton Eaton, the decathlon and indoor pentathlon world record holder, should add plenty of excitement to the New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory along with many more of the sport’s most decorated athletes yet to be announced.

This marks the fourth NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory and will include the country’s premier professional, college and high school track & field athletes competing on one stage.

Tickets for the NYRR Millrose Games can be purchased at http://Tickets.NYRRMillroseGames.org. Further questions about both meets can be answered by calling The Armory at (212) 923-1803 ext. 7200.

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Olympic Silver Medalist Galen Rupp Returns to Armory For Both ATI and 108th NYRR Millrose Games

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Olympic Silver Medalist Galen Rupp Returns to Armory For Both ATI and 108th NYRR Millrose Games

The last time Galen Rupp came to The Armory he was a senior at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore.

On Saturday, January 31, the Olympic silver medalist in the 10,000 meters and the centerpiece of the Nike Oregon Project will return to The Armory. He is due to race at the Armory Track Invitational (ATI) on Saturday and will return for the 108th NYRR Millrose Games on Feb. 14. His indoor season will conclude in Birmingham, England a week after that.

Rupp had very little experience running on banked tracks (there are none in Oregon), but he had loads of talent and a very good reason to be in New York City. His coach, Alberto Salazar, was part of a gala lineup that The Armory assembled for the occasion of the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame dedication on Jan. 24, 2004.  

In the New Balance Games that day, Rupp took on another high school standout, Josh McDougal, and aimed for the national high school record in the 2-mile.

“The only thing I remember is that I died pretty hard,” Rupp said. “I think we were both talking about going after the 2-mile indoor record and we went for it. But I felt miserable those last couple of laps. I can’t remember what we ran, but (McDougal) beat me pretty good.”

McDougal, of Peru, N.Y., ran 8:50.40. Rupp ran 8:54.45.

Rupp has enjoyed plenty of success indoors the past couple of winters. Last January he broke American records in both the 2-mile (8:07.41) and 5,000 meters (13:01.26). Near the start of 2013, he ran an indoor mile in 3:50.92.

“The last couple of years January has been a pretty good month for me,” Rupp said.

The biggest change in 2015 may be the fact that Rupp is now a father. He and wife Keara welcomed twins Grayson and Emmie last summer.

“Honestly, training is about the same,” Rupp said. “Things haven’t changed too much. I’m lucky that Keara is so amazing with (the babies). She has always understood the things that I need to do as far as my training goes. So just like any family would, with jobs, we make it work.”

Rupp traveled back and forth from meets to Beaverton, Ore. to be with his wife and the two newborns as often as he could last summer. In the fall, the Rupps mapped out how to accommodate schedules and make sure the twins had the care they needed. Two sets of grandparents nearby also came in handy.

“I definitely have to be more disciplined and balance my time better,” Rupp said. “You can’t sit around and play video games (any more).”

That sense of added responsibility and focus on family is something that Rupp takes pride in.

“Focusing on track, it’s a selfish profession,” Rupp said. “You do what you have to do and that’s it. Getting married, having kids, that’s something I’ve looked forward to since I was a little kid. Two great babies that are healthy, I couldn’t ask for more. When you have a bad day or things aren’t going great … then you hear a baby’s laugh or something, it changes everything.”

Rupp has out-fitted his little ones in Oregon Ducks on Saturdays last fall and he said they have recently outgrown their first set and moved up to the six-month sizes.

Rupp is a deeply loyal Oregon football fan and traveled to Dallas to watch his alma mater take on Ohio State in the first NCAA national championship game.

The result didn’t turn out as he’d hoped. The Ducks went in as slight favorites but lost 42-20.

“Obviously, that was hard,” Rupp said. “I thought it would be (our) year.”

Rupp will turn 29 in May and the six-time U.S. 10,000 meters champion has another chance to make it his year. With an IAAF World Championships on the horizon this summer, and Rio de Janiero looming in 2016, Rupp is focused on trying to improve upon his 2012 silver in London.

This week at The Armory, and again on Valentine's Day at the NYRR Millrose GamesRupp will aim to show that he’s come a long way these past 11 years.

Earlier this month, USA Track & Field announced that both the Armory Track Invitational and the NYRR Millrose Games will make up half of this season’s indoor USATF Championship Series. Both meets at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center are scheduled to be televised nationally by NBC Sports Network (NBCSN): Armory Track Invitational, 4:30-6:30 p.m. January 31 and NYRR Millrose Games 6-8 p.m. USATF.tv will carry live events from both meets as well.

The Armory Track Invitational (ATI) is a new event featuring some of the country’s finest professional, collegiate and high school athletes and replaces the former Collegiate Invitational. More than 40 collegiate teams and hundreds of high school competitors will compete in the ATI.

Highly-touted middle-distance performers Mary Cain, and Ajee Wilson will clash in the 800m. Matthew Centrowitz, a world silver medalist (1500m), will represent a USA team on a leg of the much-anticipated international distance medley along with teams from Kenya, Ireland, New Jersey-New York TC, and college DMR squads from Columbia, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Duke and Princeton.

Tickets for the Armory Track Invitational are available at tickets.armorytrack.com.  

This year’s NYRR Millrose Games promises to be one of the best ever and features the likes of Olympic gold medalist in the pole vault Jenn Suhr, world champion hurdlers Jason Richardson and David Oliver, 2014 World 800m leader Ajee' Wilson along with the “fast and fashionable” Sanya Richards-Ross, who will attempt to break her own Armory Track record of 50.89 in the 400m. Ashton Eaton, the decathlon and indoor pentathlon world record holder, should add plenty of excitement to the New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory along with many more of the sport’s most decorated athletes yet to be announced.

This marks the fourth NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory and will include the country’s premier professional, college and high school track & field athletes competing on one stage.

Tickets for the NYRR Millrose Games can be purchased at http://Tickets.NYRRMillroseGames.org. Further questions about both meets can be answered by calling The Armory at (212) 923-1803 ext. 7200.

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Olympians McCorory, Richards-Ross Prepare  For Round 2 in Super 400m at NYRR Millrose Games

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Olympians McCorory, Richards-Ross Prepare For Round 2 in Super 400m at NYRR Millrose Games

One of the great matchups of the 108th NYRR Millrose Games on February 14 at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center features the two Olympians who finished first and second in the women's 400 meters at the 2014 USA Track & Field Championships last June.

Francena McCorory got the better of Sanya Richards-Ross that day, winning the U.S. title in a personal best 49.48. Richards-Ross was second in 49.66.

It was a big year for McCorory. Not only did the Hampton, Va. native win the U.S. title after three second-place finishes and a third since 2010, she also won the 2014 world indoor title.

Richards-Ross is the reigning Olympic champion in the 400 meters and that is a title she is not going to part with without a fight. At 29, there is every reason to believe she will be in Rio de Janeiro to defend her Olympic gold in 2016.

Richards-Ross broke the national high school record in the indoor 400 meters in 2002, running for St. Thomas Aquinas of Florida. Four years later, McCorory broke that record.

The rivalry only exists to a point. Richards-Ross and McCorory were teammates on the gold-medal winning U.S. 4x400 relay in London in 2012.

"This is one of the best matchups of the NYRR Millrose Games with two of the world's best 400-meter athletes going head to head," Meet Director Ray Flynn said.

Is there an even younger challenger who can take both of them down? Keep your eye on 22-year-old Phyllis Francis, who will be making her pro debut after a sensational college career at the University of Oregon.

The Queens native is the collegiate record holder in the 400 meters -- a record previously held by McCorory.

This year’s NYRR Millrose Games promises to be one of the best ever and features the likes of Olympic gold medalist in the pole vault Jenn Suhr, world champion hurdlers Jason Richardson and David Oliver and 2014 World 800m leader Ajee' Wilson. Ashton Eaton, the decathlon and indoor pentathlon world record holder, should add plenty of excitement to the New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory along with many more of the sport’s most decorated athletes yet to be announced including the men’s and women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile.

This marks the fourth NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory and will include the country’s premier professional, college and high school track & field athletes competing on one stage. This year’s event is part of the USA Track & Field Championship Series and will be televised live nationally on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) from 6-8 p.m. on February 14. USATF.tv also will carry live coverage.

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