Report12 Feb 2023

Nuguse breaks North American indoor mile record at Millrose Games


Yared Nuguse on his way to winning the mile at the Millrose Games (© Taylor Sims)

Yared Nuguse ran the second-fastest indoor mile in history as three national records fell or were equalled in a thrilling men’s Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games. Alicia Monson also set an area record in the 3000m, while Abby Steiner claimed a US record in the 300m at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting in New York on Saturday (11).

In the infield, Ryan Crouser demonstrated his effective new shot put technique and Katie Moon returned to her winning ways in the pole vault before a roaring crowd that also cheered runners in competitions from U8 through high school and college.

As always, the men’s Wanamaker mile culminated the meeting, and Nuguse ran away with the race in a world-leading 3:47.38 to claim his second area record of the season to go along with the 3000m.

Pace setter Erik Sowinski brought the runners through half way in 1:52.99 – just as he had been asked – with Nuguse and training mates Mario Garcia Romo and Olli Hoare in the lead group. But Nuguse turned on the jets and covered the final quarter of the race in 54.23, breaking the meeting record, facility record, and crushing Bernard Lagat’s 15-year-old US indoor record of 3:49.98.

“Running that race the way we did,” Nuguse said, “all three of us right there up for the first half of the race, I felt good knowing I had my closest guys having my back. And then that last part was give it everything I had and I was able to close with something crazy and get it.”

Great Britain’s Neil Gourley ran a PB of 3:49.46 to move to sixth on the world indoor all-time list, and Hoare equalled the Oceanian record with 3:50.83. New Zealand’s Sam Tanner ran a PB of 3:51.70, while Romo’s 3:51.79 was a Spanish record.

Yuguse has now eclipsed Hicham El Guerrouj on the all-time list; only Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha has run faster, clocking 3:47.01 in 2019.

“I’m always excited to see what else I can do next,” Nuguse said. “There was definitely a nice confidence boost. After that 3000m (where he broke the US record), I was feeling pretty confident already, but to do this in the event that I love the most and the one that I feel like I’m going for at the world championships, that makes me feel even better.”

Laura Muir won the women’s Wanamaker Mile in 4:20.15, followed by Josette Andrews in 4.20.88. Muir, the Olympic silver medallist, led for most of the race, then Andrews hit the front with two laps to go. But the Briton kicked again on the final lap and went on to win comfortably.

Sprint sensations

World record-holder Christian Coleman took a bow after winning the men’s 60m in a season’s best of 6.47. “I feel like this is what I do best and I came to put on a show,” he said.

Noah Lyles was charged with a false start and ran the race under protest, clocking 6.53, although the time would not count. Lyles, the US record-holder in the 200m outdoors, admitted a little bit of movement, but said his feet never left the pad. “I got a time that I’m very happy to see,” Lyles said. “Everybody knows I’m just here to play around. I’m not a 60-metre runner, but if I can take some heads, I’m going to do it.”

Jamaica’s Travis Williams was awarded second place with a PB of 6.59, followed by Josephus Lyles, Noah’s younger brother, also with a PB of 6.59. Williams edged Lyles by .003.

Aleia Hobbs set an Armory record of 7.04 to win her fourth straight competition, having clocked a world-leading 6.98 at the end of January. Teenager Tamari Davis was second in a PB of 7.08, followed by Marybeth Sant-Price in 7.11, Mikiah Brisco at 7.13 and 17-year-old Shawnti Jackson in 7.16.

“I don’t think my start was as good as it’s been, but I was patient,” Hobbs said.

In only her second 300m, Steiner broke the US record, clocking 35.54 to easily go under Quanera Hayes’ time of 35.71 from 2017. Steiner held off a spirited challenge from Brittany Brown, who ran 36.13.

Abby Steiner wins the 300m at the Millrose Games

Abby Steiner wins the 300m at the Millrose Games (© Taylor Sims)

“It’s definitely one of those races I think you learn a little bit about every time you run it,” said Steiner, who set the collegiate record in her first race.

Although this 300m is her last of the season, she still wants the world record of 35.45, shared by Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Irina Privalova. “I clean up my start a little bit,” Steiner said, “and I think it’s there.”

World indoor champion Jereem Richards of Trinidad & Tobago ran a season’s best of 45.84 to avenge the previous week’s loss to  Noah Williams, who clocked 46.20. In Boston, they were separated by only .004 as both ran 45.88.

Devynne Charlton won the women’s 60m hurdles in 7.91, while Tonea Marshall ran a season’s best of 7.94 and Sharika Nelvis clocked 7.96 to edge Olympic silver medallist Nia Ali in 7.97.

Stupendous shot putting

Crouser, the Olympic and world champion and world record-holder, unveiled his new shot put technique on his second throw, with a world-leading mark of 22.58m. However, the toss, which set a meeting and facility record, was only eight centimetres farther than his first throw, delivered with his usual technique. Arch rival Joe Kovacs had only one legal throw, his first of 21.34m, but that was good enough for second place ahead of Tripp Piperi at 20.65m.

Crouser uncorked his second-farthest throw in an indoor season opener by shifting his starting point to the right and adding an extra step into the spin. Crouser explained the new technique is an attempt to generate more momentum and increase his radius so he generates more rotation power.

Ryan Crouser in the shot put at the Millrose Games

Ryan Crouser in the shot put at the Millrose Games (© Taylor Sims)

“It also has led to a little bit of inconsistency,” Crouser said, “so hopefully we can get that worked out in the coming months.”

Chase Ealey won the women’s shot put with a world-leading throw of 20.03m on her third attempt, setting a meeting and facility record. Sarah Mitton of Canada was next at 19.52m followed by Maggie Ewen at 19.49m.

In her fourth Millrose Games, Moon (nee Nageotte) finally won the title. She is back to using a full approach on the runway after placing fourth in Boston last week. “It’s not completely dialled in yet, but I’m very happy with how it’s going,” said the world and Olympic champion.

Katie Moon, winner of the pole vault at the Millrose Games

Katie Moon, winner of the pole vault at the Millrose Games (© Taylor Sims)

Monson makes a statement

Monson ran a world-leading 8:25.05 in the women’s 3000m to break Karissa Schweizer’s North American record of 8:25.70 from 2020 as the top eight finishers ran PBs and Laura Galvan set a Mexican record of 8:40.45 in sixth place. Whittni Morgan was second in 8:30.13 while Katelyn Tuohy shattered the collegiate record with 8:35.20.

Monson said she tried to “go hard and break everyone behind me, so it feels good to come out with a win and a record. I saw the clock and said, ‘This is going to be close,’ so I’m glad I got it.”

Kenya’s world indoor silver medallist Noah Kibet roared around Isaiah Harris and ran the final lap of the men’s 800m in 26.91 to post a world-leading 1:44.98, a Kenyan indoor U20 record and the third-fastest time in history by an U20 athlete. Harris posted his own PB of 1:45.64 while 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Clayton Murphy clocked 1:46.83.

Josh Kerr of Great Britain ran a meeting record of 7:33.47 to win the men’s 3000m – his first race in eight years at that distance – holding off Luis Grijalva, who set a Guatemalan record of 7:33.86, and Joe Klecker who clocked a PB of 7:34.14. Jonas Raess of Switzerland (7:35.24) and Geordie Beamish of New Zealand (7:36.22) also set national records.

Ajee Wilson continued her winning streak in the Millrose Games by charging past Shamier Little to take the 600m in 1:24.85. Little was second in 1:26.16.

Karen Rosen for World Athletics