Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Millrose Games deliver with two world records, American mile record

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NEW YORK – World records fell in the men’s 2-mile and women’s 60m hurdles Sunday at the Millrose Games, which delivered a historic show.

Great Britain’s Josh Kerr ran the men’s 2-mile in 8 minutes and 0.67 seconds, beating countryman and Olympic legend Mo Farah’s previous mark of 8:03.40 by nearly three seconds.

And former World Indoors silver medalist Devynne Charlton of The Bahamas broke the women’s 60m hurdles world record with a scorching time of 7.67 seconds.

The U.S. women’s mile record fell, too, as Elle Purrier St. Pierre won her third Women’s Wanamaker Mile with a record 4:16.41.

Yared Nuguse won his second straight Men’s Wanamaker Mile with a time of 3:47.83, just missing the world record by 0.82 seconds.

Plus, U.S. Olympic hopeful Christian Coleman defended his 60m Millrose Games crown with a third consecutive win, and 22-year-old St. Lucian phenom Julien Alfred won the women’s 60m easily.

“The Millrose Games never disappoint,” the public address announcer reminded the sold-out crowd at The Armory in New York at the conclusion of the event.

He’s right – especially this year. The packed event lasted six hours and featured 54 events. Here’s how the day went down:

A look inside this year’s Millrose Games

Now in its 116th edition, the Millrose Games feature a dizzying but delicious combo platter of record-chasing Olympians and promising youth stars. It all unfolds in a regal yet charming building: The Armory in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood.

Built in 1911, The Armory’s sleek, modern track is rimmed by old-school seating in which spectators are piled on top of the action – and it gets loud. The building also houses the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, which features countless plaques, trophies and mementos of legends of the past.

For the first three hours of the Millrose Games, high school and college athletes take center stage, and The Armory becomes a madhouse. Eager runners warm up by running laps just outside on West 169th Street. Athletes mosey around the concourse congratulating and consoling each other, stretching, crying, socializing, eating – just about anything you can imagine.

This year’s Millrose Games sold out of tickets quicker than any Games in over a decade, so a massive crowd weaves in and out of the athletes.

The youth events are entertaining, but the fuel to that sellout was the afternoon’s pro events, which brought Olympians past and present to New York.

Given that it’s an Olympic year – plus, the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships are three weeks from now in Glasgow, Scotland – the urgency to deliver at Millrose was ramped up.

Men’s 2 mile: Josh Kerr smashes Mo Farrah’s world record

Kerr entered this year’s Millrose Games with one goal in mind: to break Mo Farrah’s indoor 2-mile world record of 8:03.40. After taking the Subway to The Armory this morning, Kerr sent the crowd into a state of mayhem as he beat the record by nearly three full seconds with a time of 8:00.67.

Kerr beamed and pumped his fists energetically at the finish line as his new record flashed on The Armory’s video board. Kerr was the Tokyo Olympic bronze medal-winner in the 1500m and now has a new record next to his name.

“Mo Farrah’s records are the most difficult ones to beat,” Kerr said after the race. “Hopefully, there’s more to come.”

Kerr confirmed his Subway ride to The Armory – and that he almost got lost on his way.

“It’s the quickest way to get here, right?” Kerr said. “I almost went the wrong way. I tried to be a New Yorker today.”

Women’s 60m hurdles: Devyne Charlton stuns crowd, wins world record

Charlton won silver at the 2022 World Indoors Championships in the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.81 seconds. On Sunday, she blew past that with a world-record time of 7.67, sending The Armory crowd into bedlam.

Charlton beat Swede Susanna Kallur’s 2008 world record by one hundredth of a second.

Minutes after her career-best run, the 28-year-old Bahamian sprinter wrapped her nation’s flag around herself and held back tears as she embraced her parents next to the track.

“When they announced the time, it shocked me,” Charlton said in a post-race media scrum. “I couldn’t have done anything differently. It was all about executing.”

Charlton edged Jamaica’s Danielle Williams (7.784) and U.S. sprinter Tia Jones (7.786) for the emphatic win.

Men’s 60m: Christian Coleman cruises to victory for third straight Millrose Games win

Coleman, the heavy favorite in the men’s 60m, won this year’s event in 6.51 seconds, edging Japan’s Hakim Sani Brown (6.54) and Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake (6.55) to seal his victory. Tokyo Olympic 200m silver medalist Andre De Grasse also headlined the event, but the Canadian finished eighth with a time of just 6.62.

Coleman is still the world record-holder in the 60m with a time of 6.34 seconds, run back in 2018. 

“This is a blessing,” Coleman said. “The Millrose Games is a historic event. Any time you can get a victory here, you feel really good about it. Everyone is expecting good results, so that was the plan to show them what they came to see.”

Coleman’s parents were among those in The Armory crowd to watch their son keep his title as world’s fastest man in the 60m.

As Coleman gears up for the U.S. Track and Field Trials in June and – he hopes – the 2024 Paris Olympics, he knows that Noah Lyles is his top competition. Coleman edged Lyles at last year’s Millrose Games, but Lyles sat out this year’s event after running a 6.44 60m last week at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston.

When Coleman was asked about Lyles during Friday’s pre-race press conference, he turned around and left.

The two will duel again at next week’s USA Track and Field Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which air Saturday from 4-6 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.

Women’s 60m: Julien Alfred announces herself with sensational time

Alfred became the first woman in the world to break the 7.00-second mark this season. The University of Texas standout dashed to victory in just 6.99 seconds, beating out a veteran field that featured four Olympic medalists.

Shashalee Forbes of Jamaica (7.14) and Destiny Smith-Barnett (7.16) of the U.S. finished far behind Alfred.

Alfred has emerged as a star in the women’s sprint game. She has smashed NCAA records at Texas and impressed at the 2023 World Championships. With the World Indoors looming next, Alfred is firmly on the world’s radar.

“It means a lot,” Alfred said. “This feels like my first professional race, and I feel really proud of it.”

Women’s Wanamaker Mile: Elle Purrier St. Pierre runs third-fastest women’s mile ever

The Wanamaker Mile is the Millrose Games’ flagship and final event. It’s named for department store owner Rodman Wanamaker, whose employees founded the Millrose Games in 1908.

In the women’s race, St. Pierre entered with two Wanamaker Mile championships on her mantle. She craved more, and on Sunday, St. Pierre edged Australian rival Jessica Hull by three seconds to win her third – in record time of 4:16.41, the fastest women’s mile in American history.

St. Pierre gave birth to her son, Ivan, just 11 months ago. Today, she ran one of the best races of her life.

“This is for all the moms out there,” St. Pierre said after the race.

The Armory calls itself “the fastest track in the world,” and it lived up to the name as records fell.

Men’s Wanamaker Mile: Yared Nuguse repeats as champion, falls short of world record

Nuguse had a target on his back this year after announcing in December his intention to break the world indoor mile record (3:47.01) at this year’s Millrose Games. Nuguse faced a loaded field stacked with 20-year-old U.S. phenom Hobbs KesslerGeorge Mills of Great Britain and more.

Nuguse lived up to the hype, however, winning his second consecutive Wanamaker Mile with a time of 3:47.83, edging Kessler (3:48.66) and Mills (3:48.93).

Great Britain’s Adam Fogg ran a time of 3:49.62, meaning that a shocking four men ran under the 3:50 mark. Previously, only two men in history (including Nuguse) had accomplished the feat at the Millrose Games.

Other results: Yaroslava Mahuchikh wins women’s high jump and more

The stacked Millrose Games schedule featured a slew of other notable results:

  • Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Yaroslava Mahuchikh traveled to New York to compete in the women’s high jump. The Ukrainian and defending world champion edged U.S. jumper Vashti Cunningham by leaping to a height of 2.00m, setting a Millrose Games record in the process.

  • In a razor-thin duel, Chris Nilsen edged U.S. countryman KC Lightfoot in the first men’s pole vault at Millrose since 2010.

  • Unsponsored underdog Dylan Beard stunned the field to win the men’s 60m hurdles in 7.44 seconds.

  • Tokyo Olympic 1500m silver medalist Laura Muir of Great Britain won the women’s 2-mile with a time of 9:04.84, setting a national record.

Full results are available here.

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