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The New York City track and field circuit is entering its peak period with several high profile and compelling meets on the calendar, highlighted by the 111th staging of the New York Road Runners Millrose Games Feb. 3 at The Armory in Washington Heights, featuring some of the world’s most gifted athletes. The NYRR has been the title sponsor of the Games since 2014.

The pre-eminent race of the Millrose Games is the iconic Wanamaker Mile, held on the men’s side since 1926, whereas the women’s competition began in 1976. Portsmouth, N.H., native Eric Jenkins will return to defend his title after placing first a year ago as a strong finishing kick propelled him to a time of three minutes, 53.23 seconds.

Jenkins should receive a stiff challenge from New Zealander Nick Willis, a University of Michigan alumnus and two-time Olympian who won silver and bronze medals in the 1500 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2016 Rio Games, respectively.

Sifan Hassan, Jenkins’ teammate as part of the group Nike Oregon Project, took first place in the women’s race in 4 minutes, 19.89 seconds. Brenda Martinez, a 2016 United States Olympian in the 1500 meters, is expected to be one of the chief contenders for the title this year.

But before the opening ceremony for the Millrose Games at the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory, the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge will garner much of the attention of the city’s track cognoscenti. Starting today and continuing through Saturday, the meet will consist of high school, college and open divisions.

The event is named in honor of Dr. Norbert Sander, a legendary New York City figure who was the winner of the 1974 NYC Marathon and the driving force behind The Armory being converted from a dilapidated structure that housed homeless men in the 1980s into arguably this country’s most impressive indoor track and field facility.

Sander, a graduate of Fordham Prep High School in the Bronx and Fordham University, a distance running pioneer as well as an internist who specialized in sports medicine, died of a heart attack in March 2016 at the age of 74.