Rising stars, veterans to clash in WHOOP Men’s Wanamaker Mile
Recent Wanamaker runner-ups and Tokyo Olympians Josh Kerr & Olli Hoare headline top international field
NEW YORK - At the 114th Millrose Games, Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Josh Kerr of Great Britain and fellow Olympic finalist Olli Hoare of Australia will lead the charge for the WHOOP Men’s Wanamaker Mile, the highly anticipated signature event will take place Saturday, January 29th at The Armory New Balance Track & Field Center.
“The WHOOP Wanamaker Mile is one of the most renowned races in all of track & field, and this year’s version promises to be one of the great races ever,” said Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn.
Kerr became the second fastest 1500m runner from Great Britain ever with his medal-winning run in Tokyo. While competing at the University of New Mexico, the Scottish athlete was the 2018 NCAA Indoor Mile champion as well as the Wanamaker Mile runner-up.
“The Wanamaker Mile has always been a staple in my indoor season; there is no race like it,” said Kerr. “I’m rested and ready to get ‘stuck in’ after a successful Olympics.”
Hoare placed second in the 2020 Wanamaker Mile and reached the Olympic final in Tokyo this past summer. Hoare was the 2018 NCAA 1500m champion while at the University of Wisconsin, taking down Kerr in the process.
“The Wanamaker Mile is one of the most prestigious indoor Mile races in the world,” said Hoare. “To be able to go and compete again for the third time in this event is a privilege. [Coach Dathan Ritzenhein] and I are happy with where I am right now and I'm confident that I can take on whatever comes at me. Don't be surprised if you see some very fast Mile times come out of New York.”
Five-time Olympian Nick Willis of New Zealand will join the mix. The 38-year-old Willis, who in the 1500m won the silver medal in 2008 Beijing Olympics and bronze in 2016 Rio Olympics, will be trying for a record 20th consecutive year with a sub-4 minute Mile. On New Year’s Day at The Armory, he narrowly missed the record with a 4:00.22. Willis has finished as runner-up at the Wanamaker Mile three times (2009, 2015-16) and was third twice (2008, 2014).
There are talented Americans in the field, led by Clayton Murphy, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in the 800m. Murphy also won the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials and reached the 800m final in Tokyo. He is no stranger to the Mile distance, having placed third in the 2019 Wanamaker Mile.
Also set to compete is the 18-year-old phenom Hobbs Kessler out of Ann Arbor, MI. Kessler first broke the indoor high school Mile record before later erasing the HS and U.S. Junior outdoor 1500m records of greats Alan Webb and Jim Ryun. Having recently turned professional, Kessler will look to keep ascending towards the top of the global heap.
Craig Engels, the 2019 USA 1500m champion and World Championship finalist, will also feature. He will be joined by a pair of Olympic semifinalists, Andrew Coscoran from Ireland, and Charles Philibert-Thiboutot from Canada. Rounding out the field will be Mario Garcia Romo, who placed third in the NCAA 3000m last March, along with 2016 NCAA Indoor Mile champion Henry Wynne and veteran Colby Alexander.
The Millrose Games is the most storied event in indoor track & field. Stay tuned over the coming weeks as more athletes are announced for the 114th Millrose Games. The Millrose Games is anticipated to be the most thrilling edition of the meet to-date, with dozens of Olympians competing on The Armory's “Fastest Track in the World.”
Millrose Games alumni earned 29 medals at the Tokyo Olympics, including 13 gold medals. With highest-level competition at the youth, high school, collegiate, club and professional levels, there is truly something for everyone at the Millrose Games.
Tickets can be purchased by going to https://www.millrosegames.org/get-tickets
CREDIT: Kevin Morris