Jenny Barringer Running Mile, Maggie Vessey-Phoebe Wright Racing at New Balance Games in NYC

By Victor Sailer
January 20, 2010

Jen Simpson (newly married last October) the AR holder at the steeplechase, will make her NYC Armory racing debut on January 22nd at the New Balance Games at the Armory Track and Field Center in NYC. Last year on signing a contract with New Balance, Jen expressed a desire to race on the Armory track... and that time is here on Saturday. It will not be "easy" for the illustrious Colorado graduate with 2008 USA Olympic credentials in the steeplechase who can go the distance with anyone at a mile, 3000, 5000m as well as the steeplechase! Determined to upset the proverbial applecart amongst a deep field of 14 will be 2005 champion Carmen Douma-Hussar (Canada), fellow Villanova graduate Frances Koons(USA), now training in New Jersey with legendary coach Frank "Gags" Gagliano, and making her debut in New York the 19 year old sensation from Ireland, Ciara Mageean. Ciara surprised the world at last year's World Junior Championships with a silver medal in the 1500m. This young woman is going to be on everyone's radar for sure as we edge ever closer to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Meanwhile in the men's mile, the defending champion Andy Baddeley (Great Britain) returns seeking a third win in the big apple having also won the race in 2008 has unfortunately withdrawn with a hamstring injury. Standing in his way is likely to be Stanford graduate Garrett Heath, certainly one to watch in the very near future. Keep an eye out also for Lee Emanuel from Great Britain who had a sterling collegiate career with NCAA titles whilst attending the University of New Mexico. The battle to go sub four minutes will be intense and the meet record of 3:54.98 set by Mark Carroll (Ireland) in 2008 could well be in jeopardy.

A new event this year is the women's 800m featuring the mercurial Maggie Vessey (USA). Talented but inconsistent, Maggie will need all her resolve to beat LSU graduate Latavia Thomas who is very familiar with winning at the Armory, and Phoebe Wright, NCAA 800m Champion,  a 1:58 performer setting out on her professional career having had a terrific collegiate career at the University of Tennessee. And again there is an outstanding young talent who just might suprise them all. Claudia Francis, a senior at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Queens is in terrific shape. Claudia, a two time National HS Champion outdoors at 800m, recently ran a 400m relay leg in 55.1 at the Armory... and she will not be lacking for support in the pulsating arena. Claudia competed for the USA at 1,000 in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

In the women's 400m, Natasha HastingsUSA) is back to defend her 400m title. Natasha, beloved in the Armory since her days at A.P. Randolph High Schoo, knows every inch of the track which is arguably the fastest indoor track in the world. Last weekend, Natasha set an indoor PR of 23.22 at the Nittany Lions Challenge.  Natasha will be facing 4x4 Olympic Gold Medalist teammate, Mary Wineburg. Mary took off 2009 on maturnity leave and quite the indoor speedster.

It is going to be quite a meet with the proffessional athlete events sandwiched between an all day high school meet attracting some 5000 student athletes... the Armory is just one block from Broadway... expect drama and excitement as only New York can provide.

Provisional Start Lists


Womens's 400m

Natasha Hastings USA
Mary Wineburg USA
Wendy “Fawn” DORR USA

Women’s Mile
1.     Jen Simpson (Barringer)            USA                                   
2.     Carmen Douma-Hussar             Canada                                
3.     Hilary Stellingwerff                      Canada                                    
4.     Lindsay Gallo                               USA                                  
5.     Frances Koons                             USA                                    
6.     Ciara Mageean                             Ireland                                                                   
7.     Brenda Martinez                           USA                                   
8.     Marina Muncan                             Serbia                                  
9.     Megan Wright                                Canada                                   
10.  Elizabeth Maloy                            USA                                
11.  Nikeya Green                                USA                                
12.  Rachel Cliff                                    Canada                              
1Dana Buchanan                            Canada                                  
1  Lesley Higgins                               USA                               
Women’s 800m
1.     Maggie Vessey                  USA                                    
2.     Phoebe Wright                   USA                                   
3.     Heidi Dahl                          USA                                    
4.     LaTavia Thomas               USA                                    
5.     Charlotte Browning           Great Britain                  
6.     Rachel Aubry                     Canada                                    
7.     Claudia Francis                 USA                                                                                          
8.     Stephanie Herrick             USA                                    
9.     Jen Metz                             USA                                    
Men’s 1500m
1.     Kyle Boorsma                  Canada                            
2.     Kyle Miller                        USA                                   
3.     Matthew Hulse                Canada                                                                                        
4.     Harbert Okuti                   Uganda                             
5.     Tommy Lecours              Canada                              
6.     Moise Joseph                  Haiti                                                                                        
7.     Liam Boylan-Pett            USA                                   
8.     Aidan Walsh                    USA                                    
Men’s Mile
Record:  Mark Carroll – 3:54.98 – 2000
2.     Ricky Stevenson           Great Britain                                                    
3.     Rob Myers                      USA                                    
4.     Mark Draper                   Great Britain                  
5.     Garrett Heath                  USA                                    
6.     Taylor Milne                    Canada                                    
7.     Lee Emanuel                  Great Britain                 
8.     Tim Konoval                   Canada                                                                                          
9.     Rob Novak                      USA                                    
10.  Darren Brown                 USA                                    
11.  Craig Miller                     USA                                   
12.  Alex Wechsler                USA 


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