NYRR Wanamaker Mile Draws Top International Field
Two past race champions and 11 Olympians expected at the Armory's New Balance Track & Field Center on Saturday, February 3
NEW YORK — Two-time Olympic medalist Nick Willis will race for his first title in six attempts against defending event champion Eric Jenkins in the men’s field, whileTeam USA World Championship members Brenda Martinez and Sara Vaughn will lead the women’s field at the famed NYRR Wanamaker Mile, the signature event of the 111th NYRR Millrose Games, on Saturday, February 3 at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory.
The prestigious indoor Mile race has taken place every year on the men’s side since 1926 and on the women’s side since 1976. This year’s field will include 11 Olympians and two past champions, with the women’s and men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile races starting at 5:27pm and 5:50pm (ET), respectively.
“I am very excited to come to New York and defend my NYRR Wanamaker Mile title. There’s no place like The Armory when it comes to racing. The energy from the crowd is on a whole other level and winning there is something I plan to keep doing,” Eric Jenkins said.
Willis, 34, of New Zealand, finished as runner-up at the NYRR Wanamaker Mile three times (2009, 2015, 2016) and was third twice (2008, 2014). Last September, he won a record-tying fourth men’s title at the 5th Avenue Mile in New York, adding to his previous victories from 2008, 2013, and 2015. As a four-time Olympian, Willis won the silver medal in the 1500 meters at the Beijing 2008 Games, carried New Zealand’s flag at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony and returned to the podium with a bronze medal in the 1500 meters at the Rio 2016 Games.
Jenkins, 26, of Portland, OR, won the NYRR Wanamaker Mile last year in a last-lap sprint against Olympic 800 meter bronze medalist Clayton Murphy. The 2017 World Championship team member also narrowly defeated Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz at the 2016 New Balance 5th Avenue Mile, winning by one-tenth of a second in 3:49.4, the fastest time ever by an American at the event.
Martinez, 30, of Big Bear, CA, was a Rio 2016 Olympian who made her third consecutive IAAF World Championship team in the 800 meters last summer. In her World Championship debut in 2013, she became the first American woman in event history to medal in the 800 meters, and the year prior won the 5th Avenue Mile in New York, outlasting a field that included seven Olympians.
Vaughn, 31, of Boulder, CO, made her first World Championship team last summer after finishing third over 1500 meters at the USA Championships. She is a two-time U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier who has also competed for Team USA at the World Indoor Championships and earned All-American honors while racing for the University of Colorado-Boulder.
The NYRR Millrose Games will highlight the year-round partnership between The Armory Foundation, which oversees the premier indoor track & field center in America, and New York Road Runners, the world’s premiere community running organization. NYRR has been the title sponsor of the NYRR Millrose Games since 2014, and for the third consecutive year the next generation of stars will share the same track as Olympians at the event. Media can apply for credentials to cover the NYRR Millrose Games by filling out the respective form here before 12:00pm ET on Sunday, January 28. Tickets to the NYRR Millrose Games are available for purchase here.
For the complete Wanamaker Mile field listing go to: nyrr.org/media-center/