Thursday, January 31, 2008

PRJ Insider: 101st Millrose Games Preview

Bernard Lagat won the 1,500 for his first world championship and the first U.S. Olympic or world title in the event since 1908.

Track fans have plenty to be excited about this week, and that goes double for distance fans. Bernard Lagat and Craig Mottram face one another in the meet’s legendary Wanamaker Mile, New York City is always a welcome stop on the schedule, and we get a sneak peak at match ups that have implications for this summer.

Clear your schedule for Friday night or Saturday afternoon, you’re going to need a couple hours of viewing time.

Lots of big names show up in the meet’s legendary Wanamaker Mile . If you’re betting against Bernard Lagat, at least do it in a meet he doesn’t care about. The indoor track at Millrose Games is one of the most Lagat-friendly you’ll find, tight curves that favor his shorter body frame. Bernard’s resume on this track is unreal: five wins in a row.

Mottram would be the clear favorite in a Lagat-less field—just last week he shredded the competition at Reebok Boston Indoor meet running a stunning 7:34.50 in 3,000 meters. That was fast enough to be the make and break for the USA-all comer record that Haile Gebrselassie held. Mottram will be ready to run the curves on Friday.

Another hot match up: Jenn vs. Stacey in the women’s pole vault. Jenn Stuczynski doesn’t have much of a history here, but her jump to break the American record last summer was impressive. Stacy Dragila, considered by many the pioneer of women’s pole vault, returns in a highly anticipated clash with the new kid on the block.

Bershawn Jackson is another runner who looks to run well at this meet, however he will have his hands full with U.S. double lap champ Khadevis Robinson in the 600. Robinson is a bomber down the home stretch and will probably try to avenge the slow time run from last week’s victory in Boston.

Other athletes towing the line are Joanna Haynes, Kara Goucher, Carmelita Jeter, Miki Barber, Reese Hoffa, Leroy Dix, Amy Acuff and Dwight Philips.

Don’t miss the action. The third event of USA Track & Field's 2008 Indoor Visa Championship Series, the Millrose Games will be televised live Friday night from 7-8 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN2 and Saturday on NBC from 2:30-3:30 p.m. ET.

It will also be Webcast by Sportnet next week, available via link from

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist

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