Track and field’s best descend on New York for the Millrose Games

Jaime C. Harris | 2/6/2020, 2:20 p.m.
Some of the world’s foremost track and field athletes will converge at The Armory in Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan ...
Men's 800-meter World Champion Donavan Brazier Photo Courtesy of William Warby/Flickr

Some of the world’s foremost track and field athletes will converge at The Armory in Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan this Saturday to compete in the 113th Millrose Games, the sport’s oldest indoor event.

The men’s side will feature a trio of world champions with Grant Holloway (60-meter hurdles), Donavan Brazier (800-meters) and Joe Kovacs (shot putt) seeking Millrose titles. Additionally, four-time Olympian Nick Willis of New Zealand will vie for the prestigious Wanamaker Mile championship against a stacked group of accomplished distance runners including 2018 Wanamaker Mile winner Chris O’Hare from Great Britain and 2017 champ Eric Jenkins of the United States.

Run at the Millrose since 1926, the Wanamaker is the signature event of the meet. Its history is replete with all-time greats such as the United States’ Benard Lagat, who took six straight titles from 2005 to 2010, Ireland’s Marcus O’ Sullivan, who captured five championships between 1986 and 1992, legendary Irishman Eamonn Coghlan, who garnered a record seven Wanamaker wins over a span of 1977 to 1987, and the United States’ Glenn Cunningham, the first dominant Wanamaker champion who earned six titles between 1933 and 1939.

Holloway and Brazier are two of track and field’s rising stars. The 22-year-old Holloway, a native of Chesapeake, Virginia, dominated the 110-meter hurdles in 2019, winning the NCAA Division I title in June running for the University of Florida. Clocking 12.98 in the race, Holloway broke Renaldo Nehemiah’s 40-year-old collegiate record. Four months later, in October, he won the gold medal in the event at the IAAF World Championships held in Doha, Qatar.

Brazier, also 22, established himself as a global force in middle distance races when he grabbed gold in the 800-meters in Doha. In doing so he became the first American to ever win an 800-meter world championship, and set a new American and world championships record with a time of 1:42.34, smashing Johnny Gray’s long-held U.S. record of 1:42.60 set in 1985.

After honing his talents growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Brazier moved on to Texas A & M, where he won the 2016 SEC indoor 800 title and the 2016 NCAA Division I 800-meter championship.