December 11, 2019
NEW YORK, December 11, 2019 – The 113th NYRR Millrose Games are scheduled for Saturday, February 8th, and the distance action will be highlighted by a pair of 3,000-meter races featuring both the men’s and women’s 2019 NCAA cross country champions competing against Olympians.
Women’s champion Weini Kelati of the University of New Mexico will take on a loaded field that includes defending Millrose champion Alicia Monson of the University of Wisconsin, while men’s winner Edwin Kurgat of Iowa State University will battle Olympic silver medalist Paul Tanui, among others.
“I’m looking forward to returning to NYC and competing in the Millrose Games,” Monson said. “I totally enjoyed the whole experience last year and winning the 3k was very special. I guess I will not be the unknown collegiate athlete in the race like last year, but that makes my second appearance at the Millrose Games exciting and something to look forward to.”
The historic NYRR Millrose Games, taking place at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center, will feature dozens of Olympians and world championship contenders as they prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next summer.
THE WOMEN’S 3000m: The women’s race figures to be a thrilling battle between Kelati and Monson, the two women who have distinguished themselves as the best distance runners in the NCAA.
The two runners have faced off nine times since September 2018, with Kelati holding a narrow 5-4 advantage over her rival. At the 2019 Millrose Games, it was Monson kicking to the win in a time of 8:45.97, with Kelati finishing sixth. However, in their most recent meeting at the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky., Kelati broke away from Monson and the field early, winning the 6,000m race in 19:47.5, and defeating the runner-up Monson by 10 seconds.
While Kelati and Monson are the big names to watch, there are several other women capable of winning this race, including Taylor Werner of the University of Arkansas, who ran faster than the 5,000-meter collegiate indoor record (15:12), running 15:11.19 at Boston University this past weekend. While that time will not be ratified as a record since Werner was competing unattached, she is certainly a name to watch out for at Millrose.
Other key competitors in the race include former NCAA steeplechase champion Allie Ostrander, Norwegian Olympian and European medalist Karoline Grovdal, former eight-time All-American Katie Mackey and Canadian Olympian Jessica O’Connell.
THE MEN’S 3,000m: Kurgat of Iowa State comes in off the momentum of his victory at NCAAs, covering the 10,000-meter course in 30:32.7 to complete an undefeated cross country season. However, the favorite in the race figures to be Tanui, a four-time global medalist for Kenya. Tanui earned silver in the 10,000m at the Rio Olympics just behind Mo Farah, and owns three bronze medals over the same distance from the 2013, 2015, and 2017 World Championships. Tanui will look to use Millrose as a stepping stone for yet another medal in Tokyo.
Other contenders to look out for include NCAA runner-up Joe Klecker of the University of Colorado, US Olympian Hassan Mead and former NCAA champion Justyn Knight of Canada. Knight, who has made two World Championship finals in the 5,000m, finished second at Millrose in 2018.
More athletes and fields will be announced for the NYRR Millrose Games in the coming weeks. Already announced is a thrilling shot put duel between Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs, as well as world record-holder Keni Harrison opening her season in the 60m hurdles.
The NYRR Millrose Games is the most storied event in indoor track and field.
The Millrose Games moved to The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center in Washington Heights in 2012 after having called Madison Square Garden home from 1914 to 2011. The Games – established by employees of Wanamaker’s Department Store – features track and field’s most prolific male and female stars as well as collegiate, high school, club and youth competitors.
More than 200 athletes share the distinction of being both Millrose and Olympic champions.
In November of 2013, the New York Road Runners became the title sponsor of the NYRR Millrose Games, which is owned by The Armory Foundation. The NYRR Millrose Games is a USATF television series event, and The Armory Foundation appreciates the support of USA Track & Field.
The Armory Foundation is proud to host the dozens of Olympians and world champions who will test their talents once more at The Armory. With highest-level competition at the youth, high school, collegiate, club and professional levels, there is truly something for everyone at the NYRR Millrose Games.
Stay tuned throughout the next few months to see which athletes will attempt to top last year’s feats, as fields for each event will be announced on a rolling schedule.
Visit www.nyrrmillrosegames.org or call 212-923-1803 x7200 to buy tickets.