High anticipation transforms into reality this Saturday as the famed 113th NYRR Millrose Games takes place at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center.
“I don’t think there is any other atmosphere in the entire world like the Millrose Games when it comes to track & field,” 800m World champion and American record-holder Donavan Brazier said. “That’s why I always come back. I love to go to New York – they do a great job putting on the meet for the high schoolers and the professionals as well.”
More than one outstanding signature event is earmarked for the 113th NYRR Millrose Games. Meet Director Ray Flynn points to 13 high-volume elite track & field events to stimulate deafening roars from a sold-out Armory.
Flynn, the two-time Irish Olympian and owner of 89 sub-4-minute miles, believes this 113th NYRR Millrose Games edition is on track to have an all-time assemblage of world-class talent.
“This year,” says Flynn, “could be one of the best ever.”
A sold-out Armory and an NBC nationally televised audience will witness such a memorable day of indoor track & field.
“I love competing there,” said Olympian and World champion sprinter Nia Ali, who went to high schools in nearby Philadelphia and New Jersey. “I grew up competing at The Armory and it’s like home to me. I know all the meet officials and everyone who works there. I know all the plaques on the wall.
“It’s home and it’s always cool to go back home and compete at The Armory.”
A special ambiance embraces the 113th edition of this meet, recognized as the world’s premier indoor track & field event.
Around the corner after the NYRR Millrose Games and Toyota USATF Indoor Championships are the Olympic Trials and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Elite athletes participating Saturday at The Armory understand it’s getting close to their Super Bowl, their World Series. The NYRR Millrose Games will hopefully catapult many of them to a summer to remember.
Following are Ray Flynn’s “baker dozen” of signature events at the 113th NYRR Millrose Games:
- In the George Hirsch Men’s 60 Hurdles, new star and World champion Grant Holloway will go up against Olympic champion Omar McLeod from Jamaica and U.S. champion Daniel Roberts.
- The Howard Schmertz Women’s 60m Hurdles will feature World Record holder Keni Harrison against World champion Nia Ali, who won in Boston last month, and NCAA champion Janeek Brown of Jamaica.
- Who will soar higher in the New York Athletic Club Women’s Pole Vault, 2018 World Indoor champion and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist Sandi Morris or fellow Olympian and four-time NCAA champion Lexi Jacobus?
- Local and world-renowned star No. 2 Rai Benjamin in the Jane & David Monti Invitational Men’s 300m Dash versus Justin Robinson, who is the World U18 record holder.
- The NewYork-Presbyterian Invitational Men’s 800m Run will be one of the most intriguing races with World champion Donavan Brazier against NCAA champion Bryce Hoppel and Isaiah Harris, who won last month at the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge at The Armory.
- In the Cheryl Toussaint Invitational Women’s 400m Dash, World leader Wadeline Jonathas will try to hold off recent World 200m silver medalist Brittany Brown.
- Both the Mike Frankfurt Invitational Women’s 3,000m Run and Dr Sander Invitational Men’s 3,000m Run include NCAA champions Weini Kelati of the University of New Mexico and men’s winner Edwin Kurgat of Iowa State alongside strong fields that include defending Women’s NYRR Millrose champion Alicia Monson of the University of Wisconsin and on the men’s side Olympic silver medalist Paul Tanui, NCAA runner-up Joe Klecker of the University of Colorado, U.S. Olympian Hassan Mead and former Syracuse University NCAA champion Justyn Knight of Canada.
- Ajeé Wilson, the 800m American record holder, on her favorite track against Pan Am Games Gold medalist from Jamaica Natoya Goule in the Jack & Lewis Rudin Women’s 800m.
- The women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile features German star and defending champion Konstanze Klosterhalfen and new Canadian star Gabriela DeBues-Stafford and Elinor Purrier, who was the winner last month in the New Balance Grand Prix in Boston.
- How about the fastest man in the meet? U.S. Indoor 60m champion Derek Kemp against World Indoor bronze medalist Ronnie Baker in the Men’s 60m Dash.
- In the Women’s 60m Dash, six-time Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix, the most decorated athlete in track & field, against current U.S. champion Teahna Daniels.
- The most exciting event of the World Championships in Doha, Qatar featured an epic shot put battle between 2016 Rio Olympic champion Ryan Crouser and 2019 World champion Joe Kovacs. The world’s top two in the shot put again will perform on center stage in the infield at The Armory during the Jam Shakwi Men’s Shot Put.
- Not to be outdone, the signature event of the NYRR Millrose Games, the NYRR Wanamaker Mile, will showcase two former winners, Chris O’Hare and Eric Jenkins, two-time Olympic medalist Nick Willis and from the new first family of middle distance running Norwegian Filip Ingebrigtsen.
Overall, 31 Olympians will be competing in the 113th NYRR Millrose Games.
“I’ve been running at the Millrose Games and The Armory since high school and college,” Brazier added. “This is going to be my fourth year running there in a row professionally. I’m hoping to have better luck than the past four years. I haven’t won there, but hopefully I can bring one home this year.”