One of the great matchups of the 108th NYRR Millrose Games Feb. 14 at the Armory New Balance Track & Field Center features the two Olympians who finished first and second in the women’s 400 meters at the 2014 USA Track & Field Championships last June.
Francena McCorory got the better of Sanya Richards-Ross that day, winning the U.S. title in a personal best 49.48. Richards-Ross was second at 49.66.
It was a big year for McCorory, 26. The Hampton, Va., native not only won the U.S. title after three second-place finishes and a third since 2010 but also won the 2014 world indoor title.
Richards-Ross, 29, is the reigning Olympic champion in the 400 meters, and that is a title she is not going to give up without a fight. There is every reason to believe she will be in Rio de Janeiro to defend her Olympic gold in 2016.
Richards-Ross broke the national high school record in the indoor 400 meters in 2002, running for St. Thomas Aquinas of Florida. Four years later, McCorory broke that record.
The rivalry only exists to a point. Richards-Ross and McCorory were teammates on the gold-medal winning U.S. 4 x 400 relay in London in 2012.
“This is one of the best match-ups of the NYRR Millrose Games, with two of the world’s best 400-meter athletes going head to head,” meet director Ray Flynn said.
Is there an even younger challenger who can take both of them down? Keep your eye on 22-year-old Phyllis Francis, who will be making her pro debut after a sensational college career at the University of Oregon.
The Queens native is the collegiate record holder in the 400 meters, a record previously held by McCorory.
This year’s NYRR Millrose Games promises to be one of the best ever and features the likes of Olympic gold medalist in the pole vault Jenn Suhr, world champion hurdlers Jason Richardson and David Oliver and 2014 World Indoor 800-meter leader Ajee Wilson. Ashton Eaton, the decathlon and indoor pentathlon world record holder, should add plenty of excitement to the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory, along with many more of the sport’s most decorated athletes yet to be announced, including the participants in the men’s and women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile.
This event is the fourth NYRR Millrose Games at the Armory and will include the country’s premier professional, college and high school track and field athletes competing on one stage. This year’s event is part of the USA Track & Field Championship Series and will be televised live nationally on NBC Sports.
For ticket information, visit http://Tickets.NYRRMillroseGames.org. For other information about the meet call the Armory at 212-923-1803, ext. 7200.