Olympic champions such as Athing Mu grew up running at the Armory Credit: John Nepolitan photo

The Armory Foundation recently announced its meet schedule for indoor track and field season, and it is jam-packed. The Armory Track in Washington Heights is part of track and field history, and athletes such as Ajeé Wilson, Sydney McLaughlin and Athing Mu (all from New Jersey) have competed there since they started running.

Events for the 2022–23 season begin Oct. 16 with the Armory Trials, an opportunity for high school athletes to shore up their collegiate prospects. The Uptown Games will take place Oct. 29, providing a showcase for children who participate in the Armory’s CityTrack (sixth through eighth graders) and Little Feet (second through fifth graders) youth programs. Rita Finkel, Armory Foundation co-president, said there is surely a future Olympian among those kids.

“We are so looking forward to being able to say, ‘Track is back’ and having everybody back in the building,” said Finkel. “We’re starting a new seniors’ program for the neighborhood senior citizens who are ambulatory in conjunction with the Columbia University Medical Center. … This is a whole new endeavor and registrations are very robust.”

Summertime has been busy with community programming, including the Armory College Prep programs for middle school and high school students. The middle schoolers train on the track and participate in educational programs. The high schoolers have largely academic programming. For the last six years, 100% of the high school seniors have been accepted into four-year colleges.

Millrose Games will take place Feb. 11, preceded by Millrose Games Trials on Jan. 11 and the Millrose Games Youth Clinic on Feb. 9. Four collegiate championships featuring athletes from colleges and universities in New York and New Jersey will take part in the winter. The HBCU Showcase will be held on Jan. 14.

“It’s such a fun thing to go upstairs during any given day during track season and see such talent,” said Finkel. Athletes from Columbia University, Monroe College, NYU and other schools train at the facility.

“Every year a new crop of middle school, high school and even younger students step onto the track for the very first time and are excited by the standards set by Athing Mu, Ajeé Wilson, Sydney McLaughlin and Rai Benjamin,” said Jonathan Schindel, co-president. “The sky is the limit for them. … The enthusiasm, desire and hunger lives on.”

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