Four World Leaders at 2011 NB Games, story by Ian Brooks/Dan Greene, note by Larry Eder

                    Jen Simpson running 4:28.60 WL for mile at NB Games, photo by

Hastings_NatashaFV_NBGames11.JpgNatasha Hastings, winning 400m in WL 52.29 at NB Games, photo by

Miller_CraigFV_NBGames11.JpgCraig Miller wins very tight mile, in 3:59.10, at NB Games, photo by

Miller_KyleFV_NBGames11.JpgCraig Miller winning 1,500m, in WL time of 3:41.99, at NB Games, photo by

Well, Jenny Simpson (Barringer) lived up to her promise from last year's NB Games,where she promised to run at the Armory. And run she did! Jenny ran a world leading 4:28.60 to be one of four world leaders in the NB Games.

The NB Games are really the professional kick off of the indoor season in the U.S. The NB Armory will host over 60 events in 2011 with nearly 80,000 athletes getting a chance to make the Mondo track rock in one of the most important sanctuaries for indoor track & field. RBR looks forward to seeing more meets there in the future, and congratulates the participants in this excellent meet!

Special thanks to Ian Brooks and Dan Greene for the following story on the 2011 NB Games!

The New Balance Games officially kicked off the USA professional indoor season with great crowd support from the over 5000 in attendance and the athletes did not disappoint.  For the first time, the tight elite schedule featured a women's 800m and a star studded field which featured 4 World Leaders and a 500m USA HSR. In the W800m, the pacer led out in 58 seconds through the halfway point when Phoebe Wright(USA) aggressively pushed the remaining laps to finish in 2:00.30.  Phoebe's training partner in Knoxville, Heidi Dahl(USA), made a strong move with 250m remaining but wasn't able to get around Wright and finished in second with LaTavia Thomas(USA) a very close third.  The top three women all ran under 2:02, extremely quick performances for the early season meet.  "It was so fast!  Those girls were moving," said Maggie Vessey who closed well in her trademark style, but not quite quick enough to crack the top three. 
In the men's mile, there was a lot of movement in the pack as the athletes cycled through turns at the front.  After the pacemaker dropped out, the race saw four individual leaders in the final laps with Wisconsin graduate Craig Miller(USA) powering home for the win in his first professional indoor season in 3.59.10WL, "I knew I was in Sub 4 minute mile shape, I went for it with 200m to go, I look forward to moving up to the 5000 this year. I'm off to Australia to train with coach Nic Bideau's group at altitude in Fall's Creek". Canadian  Taylor Milne finished second with a PR, in 3.59.34 with Garrett Heath(USA) third and Rob Novak(USA) fourth, all under four minutes. 
One year ago, Jen Barringer Simpson stood in front of the Armory crowd to announce her relationship with sponsor New Balance at the 2010 New Balance Games.  During the ceremony, emcee Ian Brooks asked whether she would return to contest the event the following year to which she enthusiastically agreed.  True to her word, she thrilled the Armory crowd by controlling the race from start to finish with a powerful negative split in the second half to finish in 4:28.60.  After the race, Simpson mentioned that she was happy to start the new year off with a solid opening performance.  "I got out a little slower than I'd wanted but felt really good about being able to move well in the second half to get under 4:30 for my first real race of the season," Jenny said later. "It was fun, it's been a long road back to the track, I was nervous and excited. I was able to close with a strong last 200m."
In the M1500, Kyle Miller(USA), not related to the men's mile winner, ran away from the field in 3.41.99WL. Local heroine, Natasha Hastings(USA)  took an earlier lead in the W400m and finished ahead of fellow relay Olympic Gold medalist, Mary Wineberg, 52.29 -52.61. Michael Courtney(USA) took the M400m at 49.19 over Trinidads' LaLonde Gordon, 47.35.  Sixteen year old Najee Glass(USA), set an American High School Record for 500m at 1.02.22 breaking the 1989 mark of Mike Green. Najee was pushed to the record by Strymr Livingston(USA), 1.02.88
The New Balance Games marks the first of the high profile events to come over the next several weeks.  Madison Square Garden will once again host the Millrose Games next weekend and attention shifts to Boston the following week for the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix.
1. Michael Courtney  (USA)         47.19
2. LaLonde Gordon (TRI)                  47.35
3. Troy Faulkner   (USA)                  48.05
1. Natasha Hastings  (USA)         52.29WL
2. Mary Wineberg  (USA)                  52.61
3. Fawn Dorr(USA)                           53.71
1. Phoebe Wright  (USA)                  2.00.39
2. Heidi Dahl(USA)                           2.01.80
3. LaTavia Thomas(USA)                  2.01.81
1. Kyle Miller(USA)                           3.41.99WL
2. Liam Boylan-Pett(USA)         3.43.60
3. Herbert Okuti(UGA)                  3.45.25
1. Jen Simpson(USA)                  4.28.60WL                  (4.11.0)
2. Carmen Douma-Hussar(CAN)4.30.88                  (4.12.4)
3. Frances Koons         (USA)                  4.31.53PB                  (4.12.6)
4. Hillary Stellingwerff  (CAN)         4.31.53                  (4.13.0)
5. Marina Muncan         (SRB)                  4.31.84                  (4.13.7)
1. Craig Miller    (USA)                  3.59.10WL                  (3.43.3)
2. Taylor Milne  (CAN)                  3.59.34PR                  (3.43.6)
3. Garrett Heath  (USA)                  3.59.58                  (3.43.9)
4. Rob Novak  (USA)                  3.59.70 PR and first sub 4 mile

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