February 9: Olympic Medalists Clayton Murphy and Nick Willis and World’s Fastest Miler of 2018 Edward Cheserek to Headline NYRR Wanamaker Mile Men’s Field at 112th NYRR Millrose Games

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Press Release
January 9, 2019

New York — Olympic medalists Clayton Murphy and Nick Willis, along with the world’s fastest miler indoors or outdoors last year, Edward Cheserek, will headline the NYRR Wanamaker Mile men’s field at the 112th NYRR Millrose Games on Saturday, February 9 at The Armory’s New Balance Track and Field Center. The signature event at the NYRR Millrose Games has taken place every year on the men’s side since 1926 and was won last year by Chris O’Hare, and this year it will be broadcast live nationally on NBC for the third consecutive year.

“The NYRR Wanamaker Mile is revered as one of the world’s greatest mile races and this year’s men’s field in the 112th NYRR Millrose Games looks to be one of the best ever,” said NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn.

Murphy, 23, of New Paris, OH, was the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials champion over 800 meters and won bronze in the distance at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The University of Akron graduate set a personal best in Rio, running 1:42.93 to become the third-fastest American in history. Murphy, who won two NCAA titles in 2016 and a Pan American title in 2015, finished second in a personal-best time in his NYRR Wanamaker Mile debut in 2017 and was fifth over 800 meters at last year’s NYRR Millrose Games.

“I am very excited to be back in New York and race the prestigious NYRR Wanamaker Mile,” Murphy said. “I’m sure the fans will be loud and cheering us on, and I am looking forward to putting on a show for everyone.”

Willis, 35, of New Zealand, finished as runner-up at the NYRR Wanamaker Mile three times (2009, 2015, 2016), was third twice (2008, 2014) and took fifth last year. As a four-time Olympian, the University of Michigan graduate and Ann Arbor, MI resident 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. In 2017, he won a record-tying fourth men’s title at the 5th Avenue Mile, adding to his previous victories on Manhattan’s most famous thoroughfare from 2008, 2013, and 2015.

“I started my career as a big underdog, and now as a 35-year-old, I am embracing this mindset again as I return to the NYRR Millrose Games for my seventh attempt at the historic NYRR Wanamaker Mile title,” Willis said. “New York has been a second home for my racing career, having raced in the Big Apple over 25 times, so I can’t wait to return once again to the familiar ‘boards’ of The Armory, coincidentally the first track I ever raced at on U.S. soil back in 2001.”

Cheserek, 24, of Kenya was a 17-time NCAA national champion at the University of Oregon who recorded the second fastest indoor mile in world history last year in 3:49.44 at the Boston University David Hemery Valentine Invitational. Cheserek attended high school at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J., and has a strong connection to the New York area, having raced at The Armory dozens of times. He’s now a U.S. resident, living in Flagstaff, AZ.

“The NYRR Millrose Games has been one of my favorite meets since high school,” Cheserek said. “I haven’t been back since college, and I’m excited to race the NYRR Wanamaker Mile there for the first time. I know I need to prepare well as it’s always a fast race.”

The NYRR Wanamaker Mile women’s field and rest of the men’s field will be announced later this month.

The NYRR Millrose Games highlights the year-round partnership between The Armory Foundation, which oversees the premier indoor track and field center in America, and New York Road Runners, the world’s largest community running organization.