NEW YORK, January 21, 2020 – The Armory and New York City continue to pave the way for track & field athletes to the NYRR Millrose Games. A long legacy of athletic talent hailing from the Big Apple and Metropolitan area will play a major role in the February 8th 113th NYRR Millrose Games at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center.
“The Armory has given thousands of kids from the New York and New Jersey schools the opportunity to develop on the fast track,” NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn said. “It is fitting to see many of those same athletes now return as the stars of the NYRR Millrose Games.”
Here are some local names to watch for at next month’s most recognized indoor track & field meet:
· Ajeé Wilson (Neptune, NJ; Women’s 800m): Wilson is the defending NYRR Millrose Jack & Lewis Rudin Women’s 800m champion, as well as a two-time World Athletics Championships medalist and the 800m indoor and outdoor American record-holder. Wilson is coached by Derek Thompson, who Wilson has been with since her prep school days in New Jersey. Wilson, who has many signature wins at The Armory and is considered an Armory fan favorite, will defend her NYRR Millrose title against a field that includes Laura Muir and Natoya Goule.
· Rai Benjamin (Mt. Vernon, NY; Men’s 300m): At the 2019 World Championships, Benjamin won the silver medal in the 400m hurdles, before running a leg on the gold medal-winning 4x400m relay team. He is also one of only four men in history to break 47 seconds in the hurdles. Benjamin starred at Mt. Vernon High School, winning numerous championships at The Armory. He will return to the facility by headlining the 300m.
· Robby Andrews (Manalapan Township, NJ; Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile): Andrews is the 2017 national champion in the 1500m and the 2011 NCAA champion in the 800m. While in high school, Andrews set national records at The Armory in both the 800m and 1,000m, the latter stands to this day. Andrews will compete in the NYRR Millrose Games’ signature event, the men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile.
· Deajah Stevens (Queens, NY, Mt. Vernon, NY and New Rochelle, NY; Women’s 60m): Stevens is a 2016 Olympian and the 2017 national champion in the 200m. She was an eight-time All-American while competing for the University of Oregon. Stevens ran at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Queens, winning three New York state championships and enjoyed much success at The Armory. She will go up against Felix, English Gardner and Teahna Daniels in the 60m.
All four of these athletes can trace their roots in track & field to the New York City area, and many other athletes taking part in the NYRR Millrose Games have previously raced at The Armory, whether in the New Balance Nationals Indoor or at other competitions. The NYRR Millrose Games aims to uphold the proud legacy of track and field in the nation’s largest city, and The Armory Foundation is proud to partner with NYRR in this effort.
The NYRR Millrose Games is the most storied event in indoor track and field. Stay tuned for more announcements, as the remaining athletes and fields for this year’s event will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Already announced is six-time Olympic gold medalist and 13-time world champion Allyson Felix competing in the women’s 60m and a thrilling shot-put duel between 2016 Olympic gold medalist Ryan Crouser and 2019 World Championships gold medalist Joe Kovacs, as well as:
● An amazing men’s 60m hurdles that includes world champion Grant Holloway, Olympic champion Omar McLeod, defending NYRR Millrose Games champion Devon Allen and outdoor national champion Daniel Roberts.
● Olympian and 2018 champion Chris O’Hare of Great Britain, 2017 champion Eric Jenkins of the United States, four-time Olympian Nick Willis of New Zealand, and world championship medalist Filip Ingebrigtsen of Norway who all will headline a talented NYRR Wanamaker Mile men’s field;
● World champion and American record-holder Donavan Brazier and defending NYRR Millrose Games champion and NCAA record-holder Michael Saruni in the men’s 800m;
● World record-holder Keni Harrison, who will open her season in the 60m hurdles;
● Newly-crowned NCAA Cross Country champions Edwin Kurgat (Iowa State University), Weini Kelati (University of New Mexico) in the men’s and women’s 3,000m respectively, along with 2016 Rio Olympic silver medalist Paul Tanui and women’s defending NYRR Millrose Games champion Alicia Monson (University of Wisconsin).
The Millrose Games moved to The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center in Washington Heights in 2012 after having called Madison Square Garden home from 1914 to 2011. The Games – established by employees of Wanamaker’s Department Store – features track and field’s most prolific male and female stars as well as collegiate, high school, club and youth competitors.