Storylines You Need to Follow at the 2022 Millrose Games

More than 50 Olympians will take to the track to put on the best show of the indoor season.

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Kevin Morris

After a hiatus in 2021 due to COVID-19, the Millrose Games, the premier event of the indoor track and field season, is back—and a little earlier than usual this year. The 2022 races will take place on Saturday, January 29, instead of early February.

As per usual, the marquee events—the men’s and women’s Wanamaker Mile—are packed with talent. But what makes this edition of the historic meet special is that every event is packed with talent. Keep an eye out for over 50 Olympians to compete throughout the afternoon at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in New York City.

How to Watch

WHAT: The 114th Millrose Games

WHERE: The New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in New York City.

WHEN: Saturday, January 29. The races begin at 10:25 a.m. ET, with the opening ceremony taking place at 2:20 p.m. ET. A full schedule of events and live results can be found here.

HOW TO WATCH: The races from 10:25 a.m. ET to 2:30 p.m. ET will be streamed on USATF.TV. The high performance events will be broadcast on NBC and streamed on NBC Sports from 2:30 p.m. ET to 4:30 p.m. ET.

Events to Watch

Athing Mu will race the mile against five other Olympians and two former Millrose champions

Olympic gold-medalist Athing Mu was originally entered to run her main event, the 800 meters. But after a big personal best in the mile just two weeks ago (4:37.99), the 19-year-old opted to instead challenge herself in the Wanamaker Mile against some high-level competition.

Five other Olympians are ready to duke it out for the win, including the three women who represented the U.S. in the 1500 meters in Tokyo: Elle Purrier St. Pierre, Cory McGee, and Heather MacLean. Purrier St. Pierre won this event in 2020 with a time of 4:16.85, an American record.

Another runner to watch is Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen, who will shoot for her second Wanamaker Mile title.

Watch for records to fall in the men’s Wanamaker Mile

Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Josh Kerr, who runs for Great Britain, headlines the men’s Wanamaker Mile field, but he’ll have plenty of competition. Five other Olympians hope to cross the finish line first, including Rio bronze medalist Clayton Murphy.

Additionally, Nick Willis of New Zealand, who medaled at the 2008 and 2016 Olympics, hopes to dip under the 4-minute barrier for the 20th year in a row after a near miss on New Year’s Day earlier this month.

Eighteen-year-old Hobbs Kessler also has the potential to break a record in the right race. The indoor American junior record of 3:55.02 set by German Fernandez in 2009 might seem out of reach, but it’s certainly not impossible; Kessler owns a 1500-meter personal best of 3:34.36, which roughly converts to a 3:51 mile.

Six Olympians racing in the women’s 3,000 meters

The women’s 3,000-meter race is loaded with talent. Leading the charge is Olympic steeplechase finalist Mekides Abebe of Ethiopia; expect her to be pushed by Olympians Rachel Schneider and Alicia Monson of the United States, Amy-Eloise Markovc of Great Britain, Laura Galva of Mexico, and Marta Pen Freitas of Portugal.

Expect another challenger in Weini Kelati, who gained American citizenship last year. Since then, she has been a force to be reckoned with on the roads, setting the American 10K record in 31:18, breaking the meet record at the historic Manchester Road Race, and winning the U.S. 5K Championships.

Cole Hocker makes pro debut against three Olympians and five NCAA champions in the 3,000 meters

After signing with Nike late last year, Cole Hocker will debut as a professional at the Armory this weekend. He’ll be joined by four Olympians and five NCAA champions on the line, including recent NCAA cross-country and USATF half marathon champion Conner Mantz.

Other notable competitors include Drew Hunter, who won the USATF 5K Championships in November, and Olympians Mason Ferlic of the U.S., John Gay of Canada, Geordie Beamish of New Zealand.

High-schooler faces Olympic greats in the women’s 60 meters

Shawnti Jackson is used to challenges. The high-school junior from Raleigh, North Carolina, set a high school record in the 50 meters earlier this season and also clocked 36.95 for the second-fastest 300-meter time in high school history—which sits just behind Olympic gold medalist Sydney McLaughlin’s time of 36.82.

But her biggest challenge so far will be facing Olympians at the Millrose Games. Olympians Gabby Thomas, Briana Williams, and English Gardner highlight the field, alongside world championship-medalist Kiara Parker. Thomas is the reigning Olympic bronze medalist in the 200, while Williams and Gardner were both part of the gold medal-winning 4x100 relays.

Christian Coleman returns to the track after an 18-month ban

Christian Coleman was on top of the track world in 2019, winning the World Championship 100-meter final in 9.76 to become the sixth fastest man in history. Then, less than a year later, he was suspended from competition for 18 months after missing three drug tests in a one-year period.

Now, Coleman’s ban is up, and he’ll be taking center stage in the 60 meters at this year’s Millrose Games. Looking to upset the world champion are 2021 Olympic medalist and 2019 world champion Noah Lyles, 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials champion Trayvon Bromell, 2016 Olympic gold medal-winning hurdler Omar McLeod, 2014 world indoor silver-medalist Marvin Bracy, and 2021 Olympian Ronnie Baker.

The men’s 800 meters is basically an Olympic race

Out of the 10 listed competitors on the start list of the men’s 800 meters at the Millrose Games, seven are Olympians. It’s basically an Olympic semifinal.

Among those runners are indoor 800-meter African record-holder Michael Saruni, indoor 1000-meter American record-holder Bryce Hoppel, Diamond League winner Isaiah Harris, and indoor 800-meter Oceania record-holder Charlie Hunter.

Another record-breaking opportunity for Ajee’ Wilson and Natoya Goule

When Ajee’ Wilson and Natoya Goule step on the oval, no indoor record is safe. Goule broke the Jamaican indoor 800-meter record at the 2019 Millrose Games with a 1:59.13, while Wilson broke the American indoor record at Millrose in 2020 with a 1:58.29.

Three other American standouts—Nia Akins, Olivia Baker, and Sophia Gorriaran—will also be on the line.

Donavan Brazier tests himself over 400 meters in his first race since the 2021 Olympic Trials

American record-holder Donavan Brazier will take his first competitive steps since a foot injury hampered his Olympic dreams last year. The 2019 800-meter world champion is taking a step down in distance to race the 400 meters, a distance he hasn’t touched since 2018. He holds a personal best of 46.91.

Brazier will face some stiff competition from Vernon Norwood, who won a bronze medal in Tokyo in the mixed 4x400-meter relay, and Jamaican Olympic finalist Christopher Taylor. Three-time paralympic medalist Hunter Woodhall is also slated to compete.

Fastest Kid on the Block goes global

Every Millrose, spectators are delighted to watch a gaggle of elementary schoolers race down the 55-meter straightaway to earn the title the Fastest Kid on the Block. But this year, the block is getting a whole lot bigger.

Expect to see some international names compete for the newly-named Fastest Kid in the World title. Children from Nigeria, Jamaica, Ireland, Grenada, and Trinidad are all scheduled to dash to the finish line.

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