Three Major Records Fall During Armory Track Invitational: Youth Set The Pace

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image002.jpgAjee' Wilson and Samantha Watson following Saturday's 600m race, Photos by Myles Gaymon

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Mike Brannigan en route to setting a Paralympic world record in the Men's 3000m. Photos by Myles Gaymon.

The fast 200 meter banked surface in the New Balance Armory once again hosted the Armory Track Invitational on February 4. Records over 600 meters (high school), 3000 meters (Paralympics) and 300 meters (high school) were set. The Armory Invitational has a history of providing some of the finest runners in our sport a chance to run fast during the indoor season. In an average season, the Armory Track Center, sponsored by New Balance, manages over 90 events with just under 160,000 participants in 2016.

RunBlogRun will be in the house that Dr. Norb Sanders built next weekend for the 2017 NYRR Millrose Games.

Three Major Records Fall During Armory Track Invitational: Youth Set The Pace

NEW YORK, February 4, 2017 - Three records were re-written by two high school runners and one college sophomore during Saturday's Armory Track Invitational at The Armory's New Balance Track & Field Center.

Samantha Watson, a junior at Rush-Henrietta High School in New York, broke her own national high school indoor record in the NYAC Women's 600 meters with a 1:27.13 mark. Earlier this year she set the mark with a 1:28.67.

Olympian and Armory favorite Ajee' Wilson, who will compete in next week's 110th NYRR Millrose Games, won the Women's 600m with a 1:24.48 time. It was Wilson who pushed Watson.

"The pressure was off of me and I was able to set a pace," Watson said. "I was able to run my race and be competitive. I was very nervous because she was there. I knew how fast she was and how fast she would go out. It was like a nervous energy that helped me finish."

Mikey Brannigan running for NYAC established a Paralympic world record in the Allan Steinfeld Men's 3000m with a sizzling 8:07.64 time. The former record was Antonio Mariz of Portugal with 8:44.17, according to the International Paralympic Committee website. Morgan Pearson of 361 Degrees won the Men's 3000m (7:49.46), a race that also included Drew Hunter (7:51.90), who during last year's Armory Track Invitational set the American indoor high school mile record.

"This is great for me," said Brannigan, a 20-year-old sophomore at Suffolk County Community College. "This was my first race of the indoor track season. I wanted to see what kind of shape and fitness I was in. This was very surprising."

"The crowds were cheering me on, 'Let's go, let's go, keep it up, keep it up.' They were cheering for me the whole way. That really helped me a lot."

Brannigan, a 2016 Paralympic gold medalist from East Northport on Long Island, returns to The Armory on Saturday (February 11) to run in the men's elite mile race.

Tyrese Cooper, the youngest of Saturday's record-setting trio, broke the world junior record in the Councilman Mark Levine Men's 300m that featured two-time Olympic bronze medalist Lalonde Gordon of Queens. Gordon, running for his native Trinidad, won the race with a 32:37 time, but right on his heels was the 16-year-old Cooper of Miami Gardens Xpress Track Club with a 32.87 mark.

Recently, Cooper set the national high school record in the 300 meters.

Next week The Armory in Washington Heights will host the 110th NYRR Millrose Games, taking place from noon-6 on Saturday, February 11. Tickets can be purchased at www.nyrrmillrosegames.org/tickets.

The two-day Armory Track Invitational concluded Saturday as 50 college teams competed in this major indoor meet at The Armory.

Go to Armorytrack.com for complete race results and to learn more about the Armory Track Invitational.

Follow The Armory on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @armorynyc or go to ArmoryTrack.com or Armory.NYC.

About The Armory Foundation: The Armory is a New York City non-profit institution, with the mission of "Keeping Kids on Track." Each season the Armory -- the proud home of the NYRR Millrose Games -- hosts more than 100 track & field meets and welcomes more than 125,000 athlete visits. Besides its many youth sports and educational programs, The Armory runs the Armory Track Invitational, the U.S. Army Hispanic Games, Artie O'Connor College Invitational, Armory NYC Indoor Marathon, the New Balance Games, and the New Balance Nationals Indoors. The Armory is also the home to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. For more: Please visitArmoryTrack.com.

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