December 18, 2013
by: Millrose Games Press Release
New York, December 18, 2013 –The women’s 800-meter run at the NYRR Millrose Games will feature three of the fastest teenagers on the planet as local products Ajee’ Wilson and Mary Cain will square off with Iceland’s Anita Hinriksdottir on February 15th. This showdown will also feature 22-year-old Jamaican Natoya Goule.
“Here at The Armory, we’ve been following Mary and Ajee’ for years,” said Dr. Norbert Sander, Executive Director of the Armory Foundation. “They long been superb, but their meteoric rise this year caught everyone by surprise. This race could have three or four of the finalists of the 800 at the Rio Olympics in 2016.”
Wilson was sixth in the 800m final at the World Championships in Moscow last summer, finishing in an American Junior Record 1:58.21.
The Neptune, N.J., native had claimed global gold at the World Youth Championships in 2011 and the World Juniors in 2012.
Cain grabbed the Female Rising Star Award at the IAAF World Athletics Gala in Monaco a month ago after becoming the youngest 1,500m finalist in World Championships history, capping a sensational season that saw her break seven national high school records. She also broke two minutes in the 800-meter run shortly before Wilson managed it.
For all the attention Wilson and Cain have garnered, the two have not met on the track since April 2012 when Cain broke the Penn Relays’ record in the mile. In three previous matchups – all at The Armory – Wilson had the edge, including the 2011 and 2012 finals of the 800-meter run at the New Balance Nationals Indoor.
“I am very excited to compete in the Millrose Games again this year,” said Cain, who is now running professionally while finishing her senior year at Bronxville High School. “I love the 800m, so it will be exciting to run that event on The Armory’s fast track. Being a New Yorker, I have always loved this meet, and it will be nice to have my family and friends there to support me!”
Added Wilson: “With the fresh new track laid down and amount of talent in the field, I’m excited to race at Millrose. The Armory is definitely one of my favorite places to race too, so it should be fun.”
Hinriksdottir – who will turn 18 before the NYRR Millrose Games – became Iceland’s first track & field world champion at the World Youth Games in Donetsk, Ukraine, this summer, taking the 800m run in 2:01.13 (a half-second off her all-time best 2:00.49, which is a national record).
Goule won both the NCAA indoor and outdoor 800m championships for LSU last season as a junior. She broke two minutes at the Jamaica Senior Championships to qualify for the World Championships in Moscow, the only runner – male or female – to represent the Green & Gold in the Worlds’ two lap. Goule has transferred to Clemson University.
Fans are urged to visit NYRRMillroseGames.org to purchase tickets. The 2014 NYRR Millrose Games will begin at noon and conclude at 6:30 pm, featuring the prime time window from 3 pm to 5 pm. Further questions can be answered by calling The Armory at (212) 923-1803 ext. 7200.
About the NYRR Millrose Games
Since its inception in 1908 at a local armory, the NYRR Millrose Games is one of track and field’s most prestigious annual events. A New York City sports staple, the meet moved to New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory in Washington Heights in 2012 after having called the Madison Square Garden home from 1914 to 2011. The Games – established by employees of Wanamaker’s Department Store – annually feature track & field’s most prolific male and female stars as well as collegiate and high school competitors. More than 200 athletes share the distinction of being both Millrose and Olympic Champions. In November, the New York Road Runnersbecame the title sponsor of the NYRR Millrose Games, which is hosted by the Armory Foundation.