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Records Broken and Wanamakers Won at the NYRR Millrose Games


NEW YORK -- Two American records, a world masters record and two U.S. victories in the famed NYRR Wanamaker Mile highlighted Valentine’s Day races at the 108th NYRR Millrose Games at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory.

Brycen Spratling (Webster, New York) set a new 500m Armory record, an American Indoor record and an all-time world best, finishing in 1:00.06 to bring down the 28-year-old U.S. record of 1:00.17, set by Ken Lowery in 1987.

“I didn’t know I was on pace [for the world best],” Spratling said. “Early on in the race, I really wanted to go :59, but if that’s the best time ever in the 500m, then I’m okay with it.”

In the men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile, it was a battle between Matt Centrowitz (Eugene, Oregon) and New Zealand’s Nick Willis. The pace was fast early on, with rabbit Mark Wieczorek (Gig Harbor, Washington) setting a quick tempo for the field. Centrowitz and Willis broke away from the pack and kept up a strong pace, as Centrowitz edged Willis for the victory in 3:51.35.

“I wanted to be faster today but when you’re running the last three laps by yourself, that’s not ideal for 3:49,” Centrowitz said. “I gave it a go and that was my best effort. It was about getting the win but I didn’t want the pace to dawdle the last couple laps either. It was an honest pace for me after the rabbit stepped off.”

Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Arizona) claimed his second World Masters record in as many weeks, clocking a 3:54.91 Wanamaker Mile to shatter the previous world record by more than three seconds. Eamonn Coughlan was on hand to congratulate Lagat on taking down his previous world record of 3:58.15.

“I was worried about getting that burnout around 1200 meters and not being able to finish the last quarter,” Lagat said. “But when I was in the race, I felt good and knew I could do it. Finishing fourth, in a race stacked like that, in the back of my mind I thought about if I could win my ninth [Wanamaker Mile]. And I thought if I can’t do that, I’d like to run under 3:58.

“Eamonn has always been supportive but ever since Boston last weekend until today, all week he’s been saying 3:54, you can run 3:54.”

The men’s 5,000m came down to an exciting final lap between leaders Lopez Lomong (Beaverton, Oregon) and Ryan Hill (Raleigh, North Carolina). Gaining the advantage in the final 40 meters, Lomong finished in a nation-leading 13:27.60, edging out Hill’s 13:27.80.

“I’m just really happy to be here,” Lomong said. “[New York] is a beautiful place and the Armory is a beautiful venue. Racing in front of a sold-out crowd, it was really exciting.”

In the Howard Schmertz men’s 60-meter hurdles, Aleec Harris (Atlanta, Georgia) defeated a stacked men’s field with a world-leading 7.50 ahead of a second-place 7.51 tie between Jason Richardson (Los Angeles, California) and Olympic and World Champion decathlete Ashton Eaton (Eugene, Oregon).

In the women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile, it was Shannon Rowbury (Portland, Oregon) coming away with the win. Battling teammates Treniere Moser (Portland, Oregon) and Jordan Hasay (Portland, Oregon), Rowbury finished in 4:24.31, fighting off what appeared to be lactic acid in the final 50 meters. Moser turned in a runner-up finish in 4:27.49.

The 2014 Millrose Games 800m champion Ajee Wilson (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) defended her title in fine form, finishing in 2:01.57 for the fastest time by an American woman this year.

World Indoor silver medalist Marvin Bracy (Orlando, Florida) handedly won the men’s 60m in 6.53.

In high jump, two-time Olympian Jesse Williams (Eugene, Oregon) opened with three straight clean jumps. Williams took the title on his first try at 2.31m/7-7, capturing his first victory at the Millrose Games since 2012.

Maria Michta-Coffey (Farmingville, New York) continued her winning ways from 2014 to kick off the 2015 season, capturing the women’s 1-mile race walk championship with a time of 6:34.47.

“It's always great to start the season off with a win and another national title,” Michta-Coffey said. “Next up will be my final indoor race, the two-mile at USATF Indoors. My indoor season is always short and sweet as the 20k is my main focus. We haven't finalized all the races on my schedule but this season is going to be jampacked. Hopefully culminating this summer with Pan Am Games and the last stop, Beijing for World Champs.”

Jonathan Hallman (Liberty, South Carolina) earned the 1 mile race walk, making his finish in 5:53.38.

Winners of the NYRR The Fastest Kid on the Block were eight-year-olds James Wreh II in 8.11 and Kcaysha Medas-King in 8.48.

The USATF Championship Series wraps up in two weeks at the USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships in Boston, held at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center for the first time since 2009. The event will air live on NBCSN with additional live coverage on USATF.TV. NBCSN will show races live beginning at 4 p.m. ET while USATF.TV will show field events during the TV window. will pick coverage back up at 6 p.m. ET with The Cool Down.

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