American Record Holder Ajeé Wilson, Top Miler Craig Engles, High School Sensation Katelyn Tuohy and Premier Men’s International 4×200 Teams Bound for Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge

Two-time national high school champion Katelyn Tuohy

Two-time national high school champion Katelyn Tuohy of nearby North Rockland HS will showcase her talents against a top women’s professional 3,000m field.  Photo by John Nepolitan

NEW YORK, January 3, 2019 A contingent of the best athletes in the world will take center stage at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center during the 2nd annual Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge, scheduled for January 24-26.  Thirteen professional events will give fans the opportunity to see their favorite track and field stars in action alongside the nation’s best collegiate athletes.

The former Armory Track Invitational was renamed last year in honor of longtime Armory president and founder Dr. Norbert Sander, who passed away in 2017.

“In memory of the great Dr Sander, it is fitting that we have so many of the top athletes in the world racing in this meet and on this track built by Norb,” said Ray Flynn, Meet Director for the professional events in the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge. “He would be very happy.”

Among those top professional events include:

  • Women’s 600m: Ajeé Wilson headlines the meet as the American record holder in the 800m, bronze medalist at the 2017 World Championships, and the second fastest woman in history at the rarely run 600m distance. Her competition includes American Kendra Chambers and Jamaican Simoya Campbell.
  • Men’s 600m: NCAA 800m champion and world championship qualifier Isaiah Harris will face off against Erik Sowinski, the 2016 world indoor bronze medalist.
  • Women’s 3,000m: High school sensation Katelyn Tuohy of nearby North Rockland High School will follow up her historic cross country season that culminated in a second consecutive Nike Cross Nationals victory by taking on a professional field that includes Heather Kampf, a four-time U.S. champion in the road mile, and Amy-Eloise Neale, the runner-up at the 2017 NCAA cross country championships.
  • Men’s 3,000m: Look for a close battle between NCAA 10,000m champion Ben Flanagan, Jamaican record-holder Kemoy Campbell and USATF national championship finalist Sam Parsons.
  • Women’s 1,000m: Jamaican Natoya Goule, who ran the third fastest 800m time in the world in 2018, will compete against American Laura Roesler, a gold medalist at the IAAF World Relays.
  • Men’s 1000m: Craig Engels, one of America’s most exciting young milers, will race against 1,500m world championship finalist Johnny Gregorek, and Sam Prakel, a four-time All-American at the University of Oregon.
  • Men’s 4x200m relay: After the American women set a national record at this meet in 2018, teams from the United States, Jamaica and Guyana will have their eyes on a new standard performance of their own.
  • Men’s 4 x 1-mile relay: Men’s 4 x 1-mile relay: In this unique event, two of the strongest middle distance teams in the United States will go head-to-head as the HOKA NJ-NY Track Clubdefends its world indoor record of 16.12. NJ-NY will face a highly anticipated challenge from the Brooks Beastsrelay team.
  • Women’s Long Jump: Sha’Keela Saunders is the defending USATF national champion and will face a challenge from a pair of NCAA champions,Kate Hall and Quanesha Burks.

Other professional events will include the men’s shot put, women’s mile, and men’s and women’s 300m.