Record Holders Brazier and Saruni to Highlight Epic 113th NYRR Millrose Games 800m
The Millrose Games is one of those nights where you will see, feel and hear the enthusiasm for the sport, with the amazing field and track events that will be experienced in those few hours in the house that Dr. Norb built.
NEW YORK, December 18, 2019 – The 113th NYRR Millrose Games will take place on Saturday, February 8th, and one of the most anticipated races of the day will be the men’s 800-meter run. This race figures to be a showdown between world champion and American record-holder Donavan Brazier and defending Millrose champion and NCAA record-holder Michael Saruni.
“The rematch of Donavan Brazier and Michael Saruni may be one of the highlights of the indoor season,” Armory Foundation Co-President Jonathan Schindel said. “But anything can happen with so many of the world’s best 800-meter runners back at the NYRR Millrose Games.”
The historic NYRR Millrose Games takes place at The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center and will feature dozens of Olympians and world championship contenders as they look toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next summer.
After a dream season in 2019, Brazier has established himself as arguably the best 800m runner in the world. At Millrose last year, Brazier began his campaign by running an indoor American record of 1:44.41. He followed that performance with an indoor world best over 600m at the USATF Championships. Outdoors, Brazier collected another U.S. championship before claiming the Diamond League trophy in Zurich with an epic come-from-behind victory over Nigel Amos. Brazier then capped his season in style, destroying the field at the World Championships in Doha to win the gold medal, running 1:42.34 to break Johnny Gray’s 34-year-old American record in the process.
“After a successful 2019 season, I’m looking forward to running at the Millrose Games for the fifth year in a row,” Brazier said.
Brazier’s primary competition will come from Saruni, the man who bested him at Millrose in 2019. Saruni blasted a 1:43.98 in that race, making him the second-fastest indoor performer at all time. Despite being hampered by an injury outdoors, Saruni still managed a season best of 1:43.70 in Monaco. His personal best of 1:43.25 still stands as the NCAA record, and the 24-year-old Kenyan will surely be a threat.
Joining the field is 2019 breakout star Bryce Hoppel. The former University of Kansas standout won both the indoor and outdoor NCAA 800m titles during a 21-race winning streak. Hoppel went on to place third at USAs to punch his ticket to Doha, where he exceeded all expectations by finishing fourth in a personal best of 1:44.25. Entering 2020, Hoppel will look to establish himself as a medal contender in Tokyo with a strong performance at Millrose.
Isaiah Harris, another former NCAA champion who starred at Penn State, will be in the race. Harris competed at the 2017 World Championships, and he will attempt to reclaim that form heading into the Olympic year. Rounding out the field is the reliable veteran and Millrose stalwart Erik Sowinski. Sowinski is a former world indoor bronze medalist, and one of the most consistent middle-distance runners in the world, especially indoors.
The NYRR Millrose Games is the most storied event in indoor track and field.
More athletes and fields will be announced for the NYRR Millrose Games in the coming weeks. Already announced is a thrilling shot put duel between Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs, as well as world record-holder Keni Harrison opening her season in the 60m hurdles and newly-crowned NCAA Cross Country champions Edwin Kurgat (Iowa State University), Weini Kelati (University of New Mexico) in the men’s and women’s 3,000m respectively along with 2016 Rio Olympic silver medalist Paul Tanui and women’s defending NYRR Millrose Games champion Alicia Monson (University of Wisconsin).
The Millrose Games moved to The Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center in Washington Heights in 2012 after having called Madison Square Garden home from 1914 to 2011. The Games – established by employees of Wanamaker’s Department Store – features track and field’s most prolific male and female stars as well as collegiate, high school, club and youth competitors.
More than 200 athletes share the distinction of being both Millrose and Olympic champions. In November of 2013, the New York Road Runners became the title sponsor of the NYRR Millrose Games, which is owned by The Armory Foundation. The NYRR Millrose Games is a USATF television series event, and The Armory Foundation appreciates the support of USA Track & Field.
The Armory Foundation is proud to host the dozens of Olympians and world champions who will test their talents once more at The Armory. With highest-level competition at the youth, high school, collegiate, club and professional levels, there is truly something for everyone at the NYRR Millrose Games.
Stay tuned throughout the next few months to see which athletes will attempt to top last year’s feats, as fields for each event will be announced on a rolling schedule.
About New York Road Runners (NYRR)
NYRR’s mission is to help and inspire people through running. Since 1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races, community events, free youth running initiatives and school programs, the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub, and training resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people each year, from children to seniors, with the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to Run for Life. NYRR’s premier event, and the largest marathon in the world, is the TCS New York City Marathon. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features 50,000 runners, from the world’s top professional athletes to a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org.
About The Armory Foundation
The Armory Foundation 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 220,000 athlete visits. Among its many youth sports and educational programs, including the acclaimed Armory College Prep program, The Armory runs the leading collegiate indoor track meet with the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge, and also hosts the largest high school indoor track meets with this year’s 26th U. S. Air Force Hispanic Games, The New Balance Games, the New Balance Nationals Indoors, the Energice Coaches Hall of Fame, Marine Corp Holiday Classic and the Colgate Games. The Armory also runs the Columbia & NewYork – Presbyterian Indoor Marathon presented by New York Road Runners, which is the world’s largest indoor marathon relay. The Armory is also the home to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame and dozens of very large education-focused events. For more: Please visit Armory.NYC and ArmoryTra