RRW: Olympic Bronze Medalist Josh Kerr Leads Men’s Wanamaker Mile Field Against Ollie Hoare, Nick Willis And Hobbs Kessler

By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2022 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

NEW YORK (11-Jan) — The world’s most storied indoor mile, the WHOOP Wanamaker Men’s Mile, will feature three Olympic medalists led by Tokyo Olympic 1500m bronze medalist Josh Kerr of Great Britain.  The race is scheduled for Saturday, January 29, at the 114th Millrose Games at the Armory New Balance Track & Field Center in Upper Manhattan, part of the World Athletics Indoor Tour.

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Josh Kerr after winning the 2017 NCAA 1500m title for the University of New Mexico (photo by Chris Lotsbom for Race Results Weekly)

Kerr, 24, who was twice the NCAA indoor mile champion for the University of New Mexico, will be running the Wanamaker for the third time.  He was second in 2018 (3:54.72), and fourth in 2019 (3:53.65).  He has a 1500m personal best of 3:29.05 making him the second-fastest Briton of all-time.

“The Wanamaker Mile has always been a staple in my indoor season, there is no race like it,” said Kerr through a media release.  “I’m rested and ready to get ‘stuck in’ after a successful Olympics.”

The other Olympic medalists are American Clayton Murphy and New Zealander Nick Willis.  Murphy, 26, the 2016 Olympic 800m bronze medalist, is also a gifted miler with a personal best of 3:51.99.  Willis, 38, the Olympic 1500m silver medalist in 2008 and the bronze medalist in 2016, is a Wanamaker veteran.  He has run the race eight times, finishing second three times (2009, 2015, 2016), third twice (2008, 2014), fourth in 2020, fifth in 2018, and sixth in 2019.  He’ll be trying to break four minutes in the mile for the 20th consecutive year.

Australia’s Ollie Hoare and America’s Craig Engels should also challenge for the win.  Hoare, 24, finished 11th in the Tokyo Olympic 1500m final, has a 1500m personal best of 3:32.35, and was second in the 2020 edition of the Wanamaker.  This will be his third time running the Wanamaker.  Engels, 27, was the 2019 USA 1500m champion and finished fourth at the 2021 USA Olympic Trials 1500m last June.  He has run 3:51.60 for the mile and 3:33.64 for 1500m.

The race’s reigning champion, Chris O’Hare of Great Britain, will not be running.  The 31 year-old Scotsman announced today on social media that he had retired.

“Retiring is never an easy decision for an athlete to make but I am relieved to say that although I will miss everything about training and racing, I am happy to be a retired athlete,” O’Hare wrote on Twitter.  “Huge thank you to all those who have supported me throughout my career.”

The complete 11-man field for the WHOOP Wanamaker Men’s Mile is below with their mile and 1500m personal bests:

Josh Kerr (GBR), Brooks Beasts, 3:53.65i / 3:29.05
Ollie Hoare (AUS), On Athletics Club, 3:51.63 / 3:32.35i
Nick Willis (NZL), Tracksmith, 3:49.83 / 3:29.66
Clayton Murphy (USA), Nike, 3:51.99 / 3:36.23
Hobbs Kessler (2003/USA), adidas, 3:57.66i / 3:34.36
Craig Engels (USA), Nike, 3:51.60 / 3:33.64
Andrew Coscoran (IRL), New Balance, 3:55.59 / 3:35.66
Charles Philibert-Thiboutot (CAN), New Balance, 3:52.97 / 3:34.23
Mario Garcia Romo (ESP), Ole Miss, 4:03.30 / 3:35.79
Henry Wynne (USA), Brooks Beasts, 3:51.26i / 3:34.08
Colby Alexander (USA), Unattached, 3:54.94 / 3:33.65

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