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Lagat, Cain Highlight Millrose Mile Fields

NYRR Wanamaker Mile at the 108th NYRR
Millrose Games to Feature Eight-time Winner Bernard Lagat and Defending
Champion Mary Cain of New York

 

40-year-old American track and field legend Bernard Lagat will attempt an unprecedented ninth NYRR Wanamaker Mile victory and chase the masters world record against two former champions

 

Defending champion Mary Cain will face three Oregon Project
teammates on her quest to become the first woman since 2009 to win
back-to-back NYRR Wanamaker Mile titles

 

      

Credit: Ross Dettman                                                                                                                      
Credit: John Nepolitan

 

New York, February 2, 2015‰ÛÓEight-time champion Bernard Lagat of
Tucson, AZ, and New York native and defending champion, Mary Cain, 18,
of Portland, OR, will star in the NYRR Wanamaker Mile at the 108th NYRR
Millrose Games on Saturday, February 14, it
was announced today by Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York
Road Runners. Lagat will chase his ninth event victory and the masters
indoor world record of 3:58.15 against defending champion
Will Leer of Marina Del Rey, CA, and 2012 champion Matthew Centrowitz of Portland, OR. Cain, racing in front of her hometown crowd, will face three Oregon Project teammates‰ÛÓShannon Rowbury,
Treniere Moser, and Jordan Hasay, all of Portland, OR‰ÛÓin
an attempt to become the first woman since 2009 to win back-to-back NYRR
Millrose Games titles at the distance.

 

“NYRR is a proud partner of the Armory and is once again excited to
support this wonderful New York City time-honored track and field
tradition,” said Wittenberg. “The NYRR Wanamaker Mile is renowned for
its history of great athletes and memorable races. Bernard
is one of the most distinguished runners in American history, the
master of the NYRR Wanamaker Mile, and a New Yorker at heart. We also
welcome home Mary to the iconic track that launched her early career
success and now has her poised to become one of America’s
great track and field stars. Bernard and Mary lead two incredibly
talented NYRR Wanamaker Mile fields that provide inspiration for people
of all ages to get moving and dream big.”

 

Lagat, 40, is the king of the NYRR Wanamaker Mile with a record eight
titles in nine attempts, recording six consecutive victories from 2005
to 2010. The 2011 NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile champion’s decorated career is
highlighted by podium finishes at 13 global
championships, including five IAAF World Championship titles, an
Olympic 1500-meter silver medal in 2004, and an Olympic 1500-meter
bronze medal in 2000. The four-time Olympian holds six individual
American records‰ÛÓthree indoor (1500 meters, 2000 meters, 3000
meters) and three outdoor (1500 meters, 3000 meters, and 5000 meters);
he set the 2000-meter record at last year’s NYRR Millrose Games.

 

“I am extremely excited to race another NYRR Wanamaker Mile in front of
some very loyal New York fans,” said Lagat. “New York has been great to
me. The energy I get from the crowd pumps me up like it’s my first
professional race! This year’s race will be challenging,
but I’m up for it. My training has been going well, and I’d like
another win. While eight is great, nine would suit me just fine!”

 

Lagat will be targeting the masters indoor world record of 3:58.15, held
by Ireland’s Eamonn Coghlan, the previous record-holder for the most
NYRR Wanamaker Mile titles, with seven; Lagat took ownership of the
record with his eighth win in 2010. In addition
to Leer and Centrowitz, Lagat will also face 2008 Olympic 1500-meter
silver medalist
Nick Willis of New Zealand, who lives in Ann Arbor, MI, 2012 Olympic 1500-meter silver medalist
Leo Manzano of Austin, TX, 3000-meter steeplechase American record-holder
Evan Jager
, of Portland, OR, and the University of Oregon’s five-time NCAA champion
Edward Cheserek of Kenya, who lives in Newark, NJ.

 

“I see Mr. Eamonn Coghlan as one of the all-time greats in track and
field, so I don’t think about breaking his records,” said Lagat. “He
made the records and broke the boundaries for people like myself to
follow. Age is only a number, and he made us all believe
it. I’m still listening and learning.”

 

Growing up just north of New York City in Bronxville, NY, defending NYRR
Wanamaker Mile champion Cain is the reigning World Junior champion at
3000 meters; that victory last year made her the first American athlete
ever to medal at the World  Junior Championships
in a race 1500 meters or longer. The 1000-meter world junior
record-holder also holds four national junior records: outdoor 1500
meters and indoor 1500 meters, mile, and two miles. In 2013, she became
the youngest American to represent the United States at
an IAAF World Championships and the youngest athlete ever to qualify
for an IAAF World Championships 1500-meter final; she finished 10th in
that race. As a student at Bronxville High School, she set multiple high
school national records and became the first
high school female to break the two-minute barrier in the 800 meters.

 

“I am extremely excited to be returning for this year’s NYRR Millrose
Games,” said Cain. “It’s always fun to run on my home track, and even
more exciting to have the chance to defend my title! The Armory always
has the best crowd because I know that it’s always
filled with my friends and family.”

 

The women’s and men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile will start at 7:20 p.m. and
7:53 p.m., respectively. Last year, Will Leer won the men’s race with a
time of 3:53.48 and Mary Cain won the women’s race with a time of
4:27.73.

 

The NYRR Millrose Games, part of the USATF Championship Series, will be
presented live on NBCSN from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST, featuring the
NYRR Wanamaker Miles, the girls’ NYRR Fastest Kid on the Block, and
more. Fans can also catch the excitement on the
live webcast all day beginning at 2:00 p.m. EST on
USATF.tv
. Tickets to attend the NYRR Millrose Games, which will take
place in New York City from 1:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Armory (216
Fort Washington Avenue), can be purchased on the event website at
www.nyrrmillrosegames.org.

 

Additional Athlete Backgrounds and Notable Performances

 

·        
Leer, 29, is the reigning NYRR Wanamaker Mile
champion. He won both the mile and 3000 meters at the 2013 USATF Indoor
Track and Field Championships and finished second in the mile at the
same event the following year. As a senior
at Pomona College, he became the first Division III men’s athlete to
win the 1500 meters and 5000 meters in the same NCAA Outdoor Track and
Field Championships.

·        
Centrowitz, 24, captured the bronze medal at the
2011 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships 1500 meters,
becoming the youngest American ever to medal in the event; he improved
to silver in 2013, and finished fourth
in the event at the 2012 London Olympics. The 2012 NYRR Fifth Avenue
Mile champion and Wanamaker Mile champion is the seventh-fastest
American of all time in the 1500 meters (3:31.09). He won the USATF
Outdoor Track and Field Championships 1500-meter title
in 2011 and 2013.

·        
Willis, 31, has had a decorated career over 1500
meters, including an Olympic silver medal in 2008, two Commonwealth
Games bronze medals (2010 and 2014), and a Commonwealth Games gold medal
in 2006; that victory made him the first
athlete from New Zealand to win the event at the Commonwealth Games. In
2014, the three-time Olympian and two-time NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile
champion (2008, 2013) set the 1500-meter Oceania record with a time of
3:29.91.

·        
Manzano, 30, is the 2012 Olympic 1500-meter silver
medalist and a two-time 1500-meter national champion (2012, 2014). His
personal best of 3:30.98 is the fifth-fastest American performance of
all-time, and he has placed in the
top three in the 1500 meters at the USATF Outdoor Track and Field
Championships every year since 2006. The nine-time All-American won four
Division I NCAA titles: two in the mile indoors (2005, 2007), and two
in the 1500 meters outdoors (2005, 2008).

·        
Jager, 25, bettered his own American steeplechase
record in 2014 with a time of 8:04.71 and owns the top five American
performances in history. The three-time national steeplechase champion
finished sixth at the 2012 Olympic Games,
fifth at the 2013 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships, and
second at the IAAF Continental Cup in the event. He also represented
the United States at the 2009 IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field
Championships (5000 meters).

·        
Cheserek, 21, has already garnered five Division I
NCAA Championship titles as a sophomore at the University of Oregon: the
10,000 meters outdoors in 2014, the 3000 meters and 5000 meters indoors
in 2014, and cross country in
2013 and 2014. The six-time All-American was named the USTFCCCA Indoor
Track and Field Runner of the Year, the USTFCCCA Cross Country Runner of
the Year, and a Bowerman Award Finalist. At the
2013 NYRR Millrose
Games, he broke the national high school two-mile record with
a time of 8:39.15.

·        
Rowbury, 30, is the 2009 IAAF World Outdoor Track
and Field Championships 1500-meter bronze medalist and a two-time
Olympian (2008 and 2012). In 2014, she became one of only six American
women in history to break four minutes
in the 1500 meters with a time of 3:59.49, and she ran the
fourth-fastest American time in the 5000 meters (14:48.68).

·        
Hasay, 23, a two-time USATF Outdoor Track and Field
Championships 10,000-meter runner-up, qualified to represent the United
States for the first time at the 2013 IAAF World Outdoor Track and
Field Championships. This past fall,
the 16-time NCAA Division I All-American won the Tufts Health Plan 10K
for Women over a world-class field in a personal-best time of 31:38.
Similar to Cain, she was a high school standout, competing in the 2008
Olympic Trials at the age of 16.

·        
Moser, 33, of Portland, OR, is a four-time
1500-meter champion at the USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships
(2005, 2006, 2007, 2013) and the winner of the same event at the 2006
USATF Indoor Track and Field Championships.
At the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships, the 2014
NYRR Wanamaker Mile runner-up and 2014 NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile
third-place finisher took fifth in the 1500 meters, her highest place in
international competition.

Men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile

 

Name

Personal Best Mile

Twitter Handle

Bernard Lagat

3:47.28

@Lagat1500

Nick Willis

3:49.83

@nickwillis

Matthew Centrowitz

3:50.53

@MattCentrowitz

Leo Manzano

3:50.64

@Leomanzano

Will Leer

3:51.82

@william_leer

Pat Casey

3:52.62

@patkc13

Lawi Lalang

3:52.88

@LawiLalang1

Chris O’Hare

3:52.98

@chrisohare1500

Evan Jager

3:53.33

@EvanJager

Kyle Merber

3:54.76

@TheRealMerb

Johnny Gregorek

4:01.65

Edward Cheserek

4:02.21

@KingCheserek

*Field subject to change

 

Women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile

 

Name

Personal Best Mile

Twitter Handle

Shannon Rowbury

4:20.34

@ShannonRowbury

Mary Cain

4:24.11

@runmarycain

Jordan Hasay

4:28.37

@JordanHasay

Treniere Moser

4:28.86

@TreniereMoser

Heather Kampf

4:30.18

@HeatherRaeKampf

Morgan Uceny

4:30.57

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