6 Biggest Stories at the 2023 NYC Grand Prix – Athing Mu Returns, SML in the 400m, Sumner Takes on Best of U.S. over 800m & More

On Saturday, June 24th, the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold will make its 10th stop of 2023 as the 2023 USATF NYC Grand Prix will take place at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. Below we preview six big storylines for the USATF NYC Grand Prix in the order that they will take place.

Meet details
What: 2023 USATF NYC Grand Prix
When: Saturday, June 24th. 1-3 p.m. ET on NBC.
Where: Icahn Stadium, Randall’s Island, New York, NY


Women’s 100mH (1:03 p.m. ET): Former World Champion, Former WR Holder, Olympic Medalist Highlight The Field

There is no shortage of glory in the field of the women’s 100mH. First, 2015 World Champion Danielle Williams of Jamaica is in the field. Williams has competed at the other two USATF events that were stops along the way of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold as well, finishing 2nd at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix in 12.38 (+3.5 m/s) and 6th at the USATF LA Grand Prix in 12.59. The former World Champion is looking gain momentum here in NYC to carry through to the championship season. Williams wants to improve upon last season’s 6th place finishes in both the World Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Second, former World Record holder and Olympic Silver medalist Keni Harrison will take on the best in the women’s hurdles in NYC. Harrison has placed first or second in all four 100mH races she has run thus far this season, with a seasons best of 12.35. The American has switched coaches this season to train under Bobby Kersee in the training group called “Formula Kersee”, in an effort to improve upon her disappointing flameout in last year’s World Championship final.

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Finally, Olympic bronze medalist from Jamaica, Megan Tapper, is the third star in this field. Tapper did not make the World Championships final last year in Eugene, and has had a mediocre start to the 2023 campaign. Other than her 4th place finish in Bermuda, this will be Tapper’s biggest test of the season against some great talent.

Women’s 800m (1:23 p.m. ET): Athing Mu Returns to Racing

LRC guru Jonathan Gault provides an in-depth preview of Athing Mu‘s first race in 11 months here.

How fast will Athing Mu debut in NYC?

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Men’s 1500m (1:33 p.m. ET): Preview of Some Dark Horse Contenders at USAs

Yared Nuguse, Cooper Teare, Hobbs Kessler, and Cole Hocker are the favorites to contend for the World Championship team for the USA this year in the 1500m. If the three spots are not divided amongst the four men previously listed, it is possible that an American man in this race will be the one to upset them and go to Budapest.

Last year’s fourth-place finisher at USAs in the 1500m and NACAC 1500m champion, Eric Holt, will be looking to take down the likes of Brooks Beasts’ Henry Wynne and Tinman Elite’s Drew Hunter. All three men are currently inside of the World Ranking quota for the men’s 1500m, and a top 3 finish at USAs would see them boarding the plane to Budapest.

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Another threat to those top four men who have separated themselves from the rest of the field include adding more men to the mix of people who can possibly earn a spot to Budapest with a top 3 finish at USAs. The winning time of the race could definitely be under the WCS of 3:34.20, and could potentially see the likes of Craig Engels and Christian Noble secure a WCS. Additionally, finishing high up in this race would give them a lot of points as this is a Gold event. This would allow them to qualify for Worlds dependent on a finish in the top 3 at USAs.

Other notable athletes include World Championship finalist for the USA last year in the 5,000m Abdihamid Nur, World Championship finalist for Germany last year in the 5,000m Sam Parsons, and rising 5,000m star in the US Morgan Beadlescomb.

Men’s 800m (2:15 p.m. ET): How does NCAA Champ Will Sumner stack up against the best in the U.S.?

Coming into the race, Sumner has the fastest SB out of anyone in the field at 1:44.26. In addition, as the NCAA Champion, he will be riding a mental, physical, and emotional high. Let’s not forget he ran 1:44 with a 53/51 negative split. If this race is paced fast and well (which I think it will considering Erik Sowinski is the pacemaker), Sumner should put on a show in NYC.

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That being said, he is facing stiff competition. Almost every major player in the men’s 800m U.S. scene will be in this race. This includes 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy, multiple-time U.S. team member Bryce Hoppel, Isaiah Harris, and 2022 World Championship team qualifier Brandon Miller.

Murphy and Hoppel have both had up and down seasons, running 1:44 and 1:45 respectively this season, while also running 1:49 and 1:48 and their latest races. Usually consistent racers, both men will be looking to set themselves up well going into USAs in two weeks time.

3:32 1500m man Hobbs Kessler will also be in this race, looking to test out his speed.

Who wins the men's 800 in NYC

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Did you know Sumner was the featured guest on this week’s LetsRun.com Track Talk Podcast?

Women’s 400m (2:43 p.m. ET): Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone Races Second 400m of the Season

The reigning World and Olympic Champion over 400mH, SML, has changed her focus for the time being this season to the 400m. She has only run one race thus far in the outdoor season, the Paris Diamond League 400m, finishing 2nd in a PB of 49.71. After her race in Paris, SML was not sure if her focus will be on the 400m flat or the 400mH this season at the World Championships. Instead, she seemed to want to know more about how she will perform over 400m to make that decision, and this is her opportunity.

EUGENE, OREGON – JULY 22: Sydney McLaughlin of Team United States crosses the finish line to win gold and set a new world record in the Women’s 400m Hurdles Final on day eight of the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 at Hayward Field on July 22, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images for World Athletics)

SML’s coach, Bobby Kersee, has stated in the past that he believes she has the talent to run under 48 seconds over 400m. That feat has only been accomplished by 2 people, and has not been done since 1985.

Challenging her will be Gabby Thomas, the 200m Olympic Bronze medalist. Thomas is the only one in the field with a faster SB than McLaughlin-Levrone, besting her by 0.03 seconds with a time of 49.68 this season.

How fast wil Sydney ML run in NYC?

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Men’s 200m (2:53 p.m. ET): Noah Lyles Hopes to Continue Momentum

Lyles is undefeated this season over 200m, with his last race coming in Jamaica with a world-leading time of 19.67. Lyles’ last race was a 9.97 100m win at the Paris Diamond League.

EUGENE, OREGON – JULY 21: Noah Lyles of Team United States celebrates winning gold in the Men’s 200m Final (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images for World Athletics)

Last year at the 2022 USATF NYC Grand Prix, Lyles won the 200m in a World Leading time of 19.61. A similar performance would definitely please Lyles as he heads into the U.S. Championships.

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