Nicholas & Lence Communications
NEW YORK, February 11, 2017 — Ajee’ Wilson continues to shine at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center, her favorite running venue, winning Saturday’s Women’s 800 meters for the fourth year in a row during the nationally-televised 110th NYRR Millrose Games.
By winning with a 1:58.27 time, the 22-year-old former Neptune High School (N.J.) product, established a new American indoor record before a sold-out Armory crowd in Washington Heights. She eclipsed the 1:58.71 mark set by Nicole Teter in 2002.
“This has been a progression to get where I am,” said Wilson, who resides in Philadelphia. “Of all the Millrose Games I’ve run in, it’s fun to see how far I’ve come.
“My coach (Derek Thompson) and I don’t try to go after records. But before the race he said, ‘Go run your race.’ It wouldn’t make sense to not take a crack at it. The last two weeks have been going really well and the training has been great. I know what kind of shape I’m in and it’s all about opportunities.”
She outlasted adidas teammate, Charlene Lipsey, whose 1:58.64 also broke Teter’s former record. In the same race, high school running sensation Samantha Watson broke the 43-year-old national high school mark in the 800 set by Mary Decker (Slaney) with a 2:01.28.
Speaking of American records, Olympic Gold Medalist Courtney Okolo set the Women’s Indoor 500m record with a 1:07.34 time, bettering Shane Cox’s 1:08.70 time in 2010.
The men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile, the signature event of the NYRR Millrose Games, belonged to Nike Oregon Project’s Eric Jenkins. He outlasted U.S. Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and local product Kyle Merber during the last 400 meters to win with a 3:53.23. Murphy (3:54:31) and Merber (3:54.67) finished second and third, respectively.
“It’s historic,” Jenkins said moments afterward, embracing the large Wanamaker trophy. “The best people run this race. It’s one of the good wins for me. I knew that I didn’t have the speed a lot of these guys have but I know I have the strength. I wanted to be in the front with 800 to go. I tried to pick up the pace when the rabbit got off. It really went well for me.
“This is big. This is one of my best races.”
Sifan Hassan, the World Indoor Champion in the 1500m in 2016, captured the Women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile, turning back runner-up Kate Grace and Nike Oregon Project teammate and two-time defending champion Shannon Rowbury. The 24-year-old Rio Olympian from the Netherlands won with a meet record 4:19.89 mark.
Olympic gold medalist Shaunae Miller captured the women’s 300 meters, one of the day’s most anticipated races. Miller won with a 35.71 in an outstanding field that included Olympic gold medalist Natasha Hastings (36.88) and New Jersey high school Olympian Sydney McLaughlin (37.09).
Olympic gold medalist Katerina Stefanidi and silver medalist Sandi Morris continued their friendly rivalry during the John Catsimatidis Women’s Pole Vault. And just like during the Olympics in Rio and during last year’s NYRR Millrose Games, Stefanidi prevailed. She cleared 15.9 ¾ while Morris finished with 15.5 ¾.
Earlier in the day, Sweden’s Armand Duplantis set the boys’ junior world pole vault mark (18 feet, 10 3/4 inches).
View the full photo gallery from the Millrose Games at http://www.jswiftsports.com/Sports/Track-and-field/20162017-Indoor-season/NYRR-Millrose-Games-21117
About the NYRR Millrose Games
With a storied history that spans more than a century, the NYRR Millrose Games is one of track and field’s most prestigious and enduring annual events. A New York City sports staple, the meet moved to the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory 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 — feature 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, New York Road Runners became the title sponsor of the NYRR Millrose Games, which is hosted by the Armory Foundation.