Millrose Games Event by Event Preview

Posted by: Watch Athletics

The 115th edition of the Millrose Games in New York will be highlighted with head-to-head clashes between Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman in the men’s 60 meters and Aleia Hobbs and Melissa Jefferson in the women’s 60 meters. The field events will have a men’s shot put showdown between Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs.

Men’s 60 metres: 

Noah Lyles will headline the 60 metres line-up. The two-time 200 metres world champion will take on world indoor record holder and Millrose Games last year’s winner Christian Coleman and 2018 world indoor bronze medallist Ronnie Baker in one of the most anticipated races of the entire meeting. 

Lyles will be aiming to win the men’s 60 metres race for the first time in his career at the Millrose Games in New York after finishing second in 2018, third in 2017 and fourth in 2022. Lyles won the 60 metres in his PB of 6.51 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston last week, edging Trayvon Bromell by just two-hundredths of a second in a close photo finish. 

Last year Lyles won two World Indoor Tour races in Staten Island with 6.56 and in Birmingham in 6.55. Lyles won his second consecutive world outdoor gold medal in Eugene breaking Michael Johnson’s US record with 19.31 and his fourth Diamond League title in the 200 metres. Lyles, the 2022 USATF Athlete of the Year, is working on his speed to double up in the 100 metres and the 200 metres at the World Championships in Budapest. 

Coleman won the 60 metres at last year’s edition of the Millrose Games in 6.49 and was edged by Marcell Jacobs in 6.41 in a very close men’s 60 metres final at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade. Coleman broke the world indoor record with 6.34 and won the world indoor gold medal in 6.37 in Birmingham in 2018. Coleman won two world outdoor gold medals in the 100 metres in 9.76 and in the 4x100 relay with 37.10 and three world silver medals in the 100 metres in London 2017 and in the 4x100 in London 2017 and Eugene 2022. 

Baker is the third fastest sprinter in history in the indoor 60 metres with his PB of 6.40 and won two editions of the Millrose Games in 2018 and 2020. He will make his comeback this year after being sidelined by an injury problem for almost the entire 2022 season. Baker placed fifth in the Olympic 100 metres final in Tokyo in 9.95. 

The line-up also features Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake, who placed third at the Jamaican Championships in 9.93 in the 100m, won the NACAC Championships in Freeport in 9.98 and reached the semifinal at the World Championships in Eugene last year, Josephus Lyles, who finished fifth in the 200m in 19.93 at the US Championships in Eugene and finished second in the 60m in 6.61 in Gainesville ahead of his brother Noah this year, 2014 world indoor champion Kendal Williams, who beat Lyles in Gainesville last January, Miles Lewis, Puerto-Rican record holder in the 60 metres with 6.61 at the Armory Track in New York in 2022. 

Women’s 60 metres: 

Melissa Jefferson will clash against Aleia Hobbs in a women’s 60 metres showdown between the top two finishers in the 100 metres at last year’s US National Championships in Eugene. Both sprinters were part of the US 4x100 relay, which won the gold medal at the World Championships in Eugene in 41.14. 

Hobbs set the fastest time in the World in the 60 metres clocking 6.98 in Fayetteville last January, becoming the 13th woman to break the 7 seconds barrier. The 2018 NCAA and US national champion will seek her second World Indoor Tour Gold win this year after claiming first place in Boston in a meeting record of 7.02 last Saturday. Hobbs won the 60 metres at the Millrose Games in New York in 7.11 the previous year. She placed second at the US outdoor National Championships in a wind-assisted 10.72 and sixth at the World Championships in Eugene. Last summer Hobbs won the second Diamond League race of her career in Lausanne in the 100m in 10.87 and placed second in Chorzow in 10.94, fourth in Monaco in 10.81 and Brussels in 10.91. 

Jefferson won the NCAA indoor title in the 60 metres last year in 7.09 in Birmingham and the US National Outdoor Championships in a wind-assisted 10.69 after improving her PB to 10.82 in the semifinal. Last week, she started her 2023 season with seventh place in 7.26 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston. 

Shawnti Jackson, the daughter of former 400m hurdles world champion Bershawn Jackson, will be looking to improve her high school record of 7.18 that she set at the Milrose Games last year, when she placed third. Jackson improved her PB to 36.73 in the 300 metres in New York in her first race of the 2023 season. She won the gold medal in the 4x400 relay and finished second in the 4x100 and third in the 100m at the World Under 20 Championships in Cali. 

The line-up will also feature world silver medallist Mikiah Brisco and Celera Barnes, who placed second and third in Boston behind Hobbs, world indoor bronze medallist Marybeth Sant Pryce and 2016 US Olympic Trials 100m champion English Gardner. 

Men’s shot put: 

Double Olympic gold medallist and world record holder Ryan Crouser will go head-to-head against two-time world champion Joe Kovacs in an eagerly awaited men’s shot put clash at the Millrose Games in New York. 

Crouser won two back-to-back Olympic gold medals in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and Tokyo 2021 and set world indoor and outdoor records in 2021. He defended his Olympic title with 23.30m in Tokyo, launching all six attempts beyond his previous Olympic record. The shot putter from Boring in Oregon won the first world outdoor gold medal of his career in Eugene with 22.94m beating Kovacs by five cm. Crouser won at the Millrose Games three times. The 30-year-old shot putter has thrown over the 22 metres barrier 189 times in his career. In 2022 he went beyond this barrier in 12 competitions. 

Ryan Crouser: “I am excited to make a return to the Millrose Games. The meeting is always the best meeting of the indoor circuit and always a highlight for me. The shot put has hit new levels in the past few years and I see no slowing down for the event. I am pushing every day to break new ground and I hope to show that at the Millrose Games on 11 February. I am working on a pretty big change to my technique in training. I won’t introduce it right now”.

Kovacs beat his friend and rival Crouser by just one cm with 22.91m at the World Championships in Doha 2019. The shot putter of Hungarian origin won the Wanda Diamond League in Zurich in 2022 setting the second-best performance in history with 23.23m, just 14 cm off Crouser’s world record. Kovacs threw beyond the 22 metres barrier 11 times in 2022 and beat Crouser at the Athletisima meeting in Lausanne, in the Diamond League final in Zurich and at the Galà dei Castelli in Bellinzona.

Joe Kovacs: “The Millrose Games is the most historic indoor track meeting on US soil. I am honored to be a part of its 115th-year history and am excited to make history at this shot put show”.

Crouser leads 34-9 in his head-to-head clashes against Kovacs, who beat his rival three times on Swiss soil last year in Lausanne, Zurich and Bellinzona.

The line-up also features Adrian Piperi, who won the World under 18 gold medal in Cali 2015 and two NCAA outdoor titles in 2019 and 2022, and Italy’s Nick Ponzio, who placed seventh at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade with 21.30m and fourth at the European Championships in Munich with 20.98m in 2022.

Women’s shot put:

Chase Ealey won the world indoor title in Belgrade and her first world outdoor gold medal with 20.49m missing her PB by just 2 cm. The US shot putter crowned her successful 2022 season with her first Diamond League title in Zurich with 20.19m. Ealey won four US titles and is looking to clinch her first Millrose Games victory.

Chase Ealey: “I am excited to have the Millrose Games as my first competition in the USA as a World Champion. I hope that with the success of the male and female competition, people will love our event indoors.

Ealey will face 2021 Diamond League champion and two-time World Championships finalist Maggie Ewen, Sarah Mitton from Canada, fourth in the World Championships in Eugene and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, and Jessica Woodard, eighth at the World Championships in Eugene and second at the NACAC Championships.

Women’s 60 metres hurdles:

Olympic 100m hurdles silver medallist Kendra Harrison leads the line-up in the women’s 60 meters hurdles. Harrison, who held the previous world record in the 100m hurdles with 12.20, returns to the Millrose Games in New York, where she won in 2020 in the 60m hurdles in 7.90. Harrison won the world indoor title in Birmingham in 2018, setting the US Indoor record with 7.70.

Harrison will take on 2016 Olympic silver medallist and 2019 world champion Nia Ali, Anna Hall, world bronze medallist in the heptathlon in Eugene 2022 with 6755 points and two-time NCAA indoor champion in the pentathlon in 2021 and 2022, world indoor silver medallist Devynne Charlton from the Bahamas, who won at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston in 7.87, and Cindy Sember from Great Britain, European Indoor silver medallist in Torun 2021 and fifth place in the 100m hurdles at the World Championships in a wind-assisted 12.38 in Eugene last year, and Anna Cockrell, double NCAA champion in the 100m hurdles and in the 400m hurdles in 2021.

Women’s pole vault:

The women’s pole vault features Greece’s Ekaterini Stefanidi and US Katie Moon, who won the last two editions of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and Tokyo 2021 respectively, Bridget Williams and Gabriela Leaon, who placed first and second in Boston last week.

Nageotte added the world gold medal in Eugene to her collection, including the Olympic title in Tokyo. Nageotte also won two NCAA titles at Division II Ashland University and three national championships.

Katie Nageotte: “The Armory is one of the best facilities in the country with some of the highest jumps on American soil. I am excited to come back and jump there”.

Morris won back-to-back world indoor titles in Birmingham 2018 and Belgrade 2022, silver medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and three consecutive editions of the World Championships in London 2017, Doha 2019, and Eugene 2022. The six-time US champion won two editions of the Millrose Games and set the meeting record with 4.91m in 2020.

Morris switched coach in 2020 and joined Nageotte in the group of athletes trained by Brad Walker. Nageotte and Morris train together in Atlanta, pushing each other to new heights.

Bridget Williams won her first two pole vault competitions of the year with 4.60m at Iowa City and 4.77m at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston.

Women’s 300 metres:

Abby Steiner, Jenna Prandini and Brittany Brown will headline the women’s 300 metres.

Steiner won four NCAA titles for the University of Kentucky in her breakthrough 2022 season, including two wins in the 200m indoors in 22.16 and outdoors with 21.80 and set a US indoor record and outdoor NCAA record in the 200 metres. She improved her PB to 21.77 to win the US 200 metres title in Eugene, qualifying for the World Championships in Eugene, where she finished fifth in the 200 metres final and won two gold medals in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. She holds the 300m NCAA record of 35.80 and is chasing the US national record of 35.71 held by Quanera Hayes in his first race as a professional athlete. Steiner clocked an impressive 50.59 in her first-ever indoor 400m race. Shaunae Miller Uibo and Irina Privalova with 35.45 share the 300m world indoor record. Miller Uibo clocked this time at the Millrose Games in 2018.

Abby Steiner: “I am beyond excited to be running at this historic meeting for the first time in my professional career. I look forward to the atmosphere, fans and great competition that Millrose Games always provide”.

Steiner will take on Jenna Prandini, world champion with the 4x100 relay in Eugene, Olympic silver medallist and three-time NCAA champion for Oregon University. Prandini teamed up with Steiner to win the 4x100 gold medal at the World Championships in Eugene.

The other top names are Brittany Brown, who won the world silver medal in the 200 at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, and Cynthia Bolingo from Belgium, European indoor silver medallist in Glasgow in the 400m and Belgian 400m record holder with 50.19 in Brussels last September.

Women’s Wanamaker Mile:

The Millrose Games will close with the traditional women’s and men’s Rudin Wanamaker Mile. The signature event of the New York indoor meeting boasts over a century of tradition.

Laura Muir made her US indoor debut in Boston with a win in the 3000 metres in 8:40.34 last Saturday.

Muir won the Olympic silver medal in the 1500 metres with the British record of 3:54.50 in Tokyo 2021 and the world bronze medal in Eugene 2022 with 3:55.28. The Scottish middle distance runner has won six European gold medals (two back-to-back outdoor titles in Berlin 2018 and Munich 2022 and two consecutive indoor doubles in the 1500m and 3000m in Belgrade 2017 and Glasgow 2019) and two Diamond League Trophies in 2016 and 2018. Last summer Muir also won the gold medal in the 1500 metres and the bronze medal in the 800 metres at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022. She holds six British indoor and outdoor records (2:30.82 in the 1000m in Monaco in 2020, 3:54.50 in Tokyo 2021 outdoors, 2:31.93 in Birmingham in 2017, 3:59.58 in the 1500m in Liévin, 8:26.41 European indoor record in the 3000m in Karlsruhe in 2017 and 14:49.12 in the 5000m in Glasgow in 2017).

Muir won the Fifth Avenue Mile on the roads of New York last September, setting a course record with 4:14.8. She could attack the Wanamaker Mile record held since 2020 by US middle distance runner Elinor Purrier St. Pierre with 4.16.85, which is the US indoor record and the third fastest indoor time in history behind Genzebe Dibaba’s 4:13.31 in Stockholm 2016 and Gudaf Tsegay’s 4:16.16 in Torun on Wednesday.

Muir will take on her teammate Jemma Reekie, who finished fourth in the 800m Olympic final in Tokyo, and US champion Sinclaire Johnson.

Laura Muir: “This will be my first time racing at the Millrose Games, so I am excited as it has been a competition that I have wanted to do for a long time. I have fond memories of racing in New York City, and I cannot wait to return and tackle the same distance indoors”.

The other athletes to watch are Sinclaire Johnson, US 1500 champion in 2022 and World Championships finalist Jemma Reekie, who finished fourth in the Olympic final in the 800 metres in Tokyo 2021 and set the British indoor record with 4:17.88 at the Wanamaker Mile race, won by Purrier St. Pierre in 2020.

Men’s Wanamaker Mile:

Ollie Hoare will defend his Wanamaker title won last year. The Australian middle distance star won the mile race at the Millrose Games in February 2022, improving the Oceanian indoor record with 3:50.83. He won the Commonwealth Games 1500m gold medal last year in 3:30.12 in Birmingham.

Ollie Hoare: “I am thrilled to be able to come back and defend the Wanamaker Mile. It will be great to be out there competing at one of my favorite meetings”.

Hoare will take on 2021 Cole Hocker, US 1500m champion, sixth place in the Olympic final over this distance, National champion in the 1500m and 3000m and three-rime NCAA champion, Mario Garcia Romo from Spain, fourth in the 1500m at the 2022 World Outdoor Championships in Eugene, European bronze medallist in Munich and NCAA champion, Yared Nuguse, who won the NCAA outdoor title in the 1500m in 2019 and recently set the US indoor record in the 3000 metres with 7:28.24 in Boston last January. Nuguse is aiming to break Bernard Lagat’s US mile record of 3:49.89.

Yared Nuguse: “Ollie Hoare and I are both here to win the race regardless of what happens. We are great teammates, and we are good friends”.

The other names to watch are Eliud Kipsang, NCAA record holder in the 1500m with 3:33.74, and Johnny Gregorek, who clocked 3:49.87 in the mile and reached the 1500m final at the 2017 World Championships in London, Sam Tanner, three-time New Zealand champion, and Neil Gourley from Great Britain, World Championships semifinalist and World seasonal leader with 3:52.84 in Boston.

Women’s 3000 metres:

Alicia Monson is looking to defend her title in the women’s 3000 metres race against 5000m European 5000m champion Konstanze Klosterhalfen from Germany.

Monson won the 3000m in last year’s edition of the Millrose Games, setting the meeting record with 8:31.62. This performance was a springboard for more success for the 24-year-old US middle-distance runner, who set PBs in the 3000m, 5000m and 10000m. She reached the finals in the 3000m at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade and in the 5000m at the World Outdoor Championships in Eugene. She performed very well in the Diamond League circuit finishing fourth at the Memorial Kamila Skolimowska in Chorzow in the 3000m in 8:41.81, second in the 3000m at the Athletissima meeting in Lausanne in a lifetime best of 8:26.81 and fifth in the 5000m at the Bislett Games in Oslo in a PB of 14:31.11.

Monson could attack the US 3000m indoor record held by Karissa Schweizer with 8:25.70.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Alicia Monson: “I am looking forward to returning to defend the 3000m this year. Last year’s Millrose Games was an electric moment for the On Athletics Club, with three wins from myself, Ollie Hoare and Geordie Beamish. The atmosphere in the Amory makes for an awesome start to the track season, and it will also be special to have my teammates back defending last year’s wins”.

Klosterhalfen won the European gold medal in the 5000 metres on home soil in Munich, the world bronze medal over this distance in Doha 2019, two European Indoor silver medals in the 1500m in Belgrade 2017 and in the 3000m in Glasgow 2019. The German athlete won the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games in 2019 and set the national record and the tenth fastest time in history in the 3000m clocking 8:20.07 in Stanford in 2019. She holds eight German titles in the outdoor mile, 3000m, 5000 metres, 10000m and indoor 1500m, mile, 3000m and 5000m.

The other athletes to watch are Fantaye Belayneh, Ethiopian champion and African Championships silver medallist in the 5000 metres, last year’s NCAA cross country champion Katelyn Tuohy, and three former NCAA champions Ellie Henes, Courtney Wayment and Whittni Orton Morgan.

Tuohy set the NCAA indoor mile record in 4:24.26 in a race won by Monson in 4:23.55 at the Dr. Sander Invitational in New York.

Women’s 600 metres:

World 800m indoor champion Ajée Wilson will try to extend her winning streak in the 600 metres. Wilson has won 17 consecutive races at the Armory since her defeat against Alicia Montano in the 600 metres at the 2013 Millrose Games. She has won 15 straight races, including her recent victory in the 800 metres in the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston in 2:00.46.

Wilson is the second fastest woman in history in the 600 metres and could attack the World all-time best of 1:23.41 set by Keely Hodgkinson in Manchester.

Wiison will take on former 400m hurdles world silver medallist Shamier Little, who clocked 1:24.65 in the 600 metres this year.

Men’s 800 metres:

Eighteen-year-old Noah Kibet from Kenya will face Bryce Hoppel in a rematch of last year’s World Indoor Championships in Belgrade. Kibet and Hoppel finished second and third in the Serbian capital. Hoppel won the 800m at last year’s edition of the Millrose Games and finished fourth in the World Championships in Doha 2019.

The line-up is completed by 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Clayton Murphy, world indoor finalist Isaiah Harris, two-time European medallist and Irish record holder Mark English, Kyle Langford from Great Britain, 1:43.44 outdoor performer Tonatiu Lopez from Mexico, and Cade Flatt, the second fastest US high school 800m runner.

Men’s 3000 metres:

Geordie Beamish and Cooper Teare finished first and second in the men’s 3000 metres last year and will return to the Armory track on Saturday. The line-up also features 1500m Olympic bronze medallist Josh Kerr and Luis Grijalva from Guatemala, who finished fourth in the 5000m at the World Championships in Eugene, Joe Klecker and Nico Young.

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