MEET PREVIEW: 2020 NYRR Millrose Games

Collegians have a rich and storied history at NYRR Millrose Games, which is billed as “The World’s Longest-Running and Most Prestigious Indoor Track & Field Competition.”

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There have been a number of collegiate records set and all-time marks turned in over the years at both Madison Square Garden from 1914 to 2011 and The Armory, where it has resided since 2012.

Here are the events we have an eye on this weekend!

Men’s Wanamaker Mile

Collegiate Record: Edward Cheserek, Oregon – 3:52.01 (2017)

When top collegians get invited to the Men’s Wanamaker Mile, they run fast.

How fast? Well, seven of the top-9 performances were turned in at The Armory, including marks that sit No. 2 (3:52.88), No. 3 (3:52.98), No. 4 (3:54.54), No. 5 (3:54.56) and No. 6 (3:54.72).

The next mark comes in at No. 8 with a read-out of 3:54.83, an effort that Oliver Hoare turned in last year. That made Hoare the sixth fastest performer with the eighth fastest performance.

Hoare returns to the NYRR Millrose Games this year with fellow collegians Geordie Beamish of Northern Arizona and Carlos Villarreal of Arizona in tow. Beamish won the indoor mile last year at NCAAs and has a PR of 4:06.94, while Villarreal has a more robust PR of 3:57.27.

The collegiate record of 3:52.01, set by Edward Cheserek in 2017, might be out of reach – but we could see some top-10 marks when all is said and done.

Women’s Wanamaker Mile

Collegiate Record: Jenny Barringer, Colorado – 4:25.91 (2009)

Of the 17 collegiate records owned by women in events contested at the NCAA Championships, only two remain from before 2010: Jenny Barringer’s mile standard of 4:25.91 in the mile and Brittany Riley’s all-time best of 25.56m (83-10¼) in the weight throw.

It might be high time for one of those marks to be updated.

Two collegians will have a chance to get after Barringer’s near 11-year-old record this weekend in the Women’s Wanamaker Mile: Dani Jones of Colorado and Danae Rivers of Penn State.

This marks the 2020 debut for Jones, who last raced at the NCAA Outdoor Championships this past June and won the 5000-meter crown. Jones enters the meet with a mile PR of 4:31.82 and a 1500 best of 4:10.74, which converts to a 4:31.70 mile.

Rivers isn’t a stranger to the bright lights of the NYRR Millrose Games as she raced her last year. The Penn State standout went 4:29.47 to become the 10th fastest performer in collegiate history.

The fastest time run by a collegian in the Wanamaker Mile is 4:28.31, clocked by Vicki Huber of Villanova 32 years ago. That also stood as the collegiate record for 21 years.

Women’s 3000 Meters

Collegiate Record: Karissa Schweizer, Missouri – 8:41.60 (2018)

Can you name the winner of this race last year?

Here’s a hint: She’s back to defend her title in 2020.

That would be Alicia Monson of Wisconsin.

Monson pulled off the major upset inside The Armory last year when she held off a host of talented professionals on her way to the victory. She crossed the finish line in 8:45.97 to become the third fastest performer in collegiate history.

The collegiate record of 8:41.60 set by Karissa Schweizer at this meet two years ago is well in reach for Monson as well as Weini Kelati of New Mexico, who is also entered in the field.

Earlier this season Kelati proved that she can turn in a blistering mark over 5000 meters. Kelati finished third at the Boston University Season Opener in 15:14.71, which is the fourth fastest performance in collegiate history (She also owns the seventh fastest performance as well).

This should be an exceptionally fast race.

Men’s 3000 Meters

Collegiate Record: Alistair Cragg, Arkansas – 7:38.59 (2004)

Strong fields usually pull collegians to fast times at the NYRR Millrose Games.

That’s especially the case in the men’s distance events, where seven of the top-10 marks in the 5000 and four of the top-10 marks in the 3000 were clocked.

We saw two top-5 marks turned in last year in the 3000 as Grant Fisher of Stanford and Morgan McDonald of Wisconsin went 7:42.62 and 7:42.76 for No. 3 and No. 4 on the all-time collegiate chart.

This year the attention turns to Edwin Kurgat of Iowa State and Joe Klecker of Colorado.

Earlier this season, Kurgat enjoyed a spell as the 10th fastest performer in collegiate history in the 5000 until Tyler Day pushed him further down the list. Then just last weekend, Klecker became the fastest person to ever run a mile on Colorado soil when he went 4:01.00.

Kurgat and Klecker aren’t strangers, either. The former won the individual national title during the cross country season, while the latter finished runner-up.

The collegiate record of 7:38.59 has stood since 2009. It would take 7:45.22 to crack the top-10.