The Millrose Games for the first time have moved from the big lights of Madison Square Garden to the lesser known but nevertheless prestigious Armory. What has not changed is the world famous Wanamaker Mile which has provided a grand stage for the world’s finest milers. In its initial trip to the Armory, the Wanamaker continues to boast a field of slightly lesser known but talent laden harriers.
The current entrants represent six nationalities, several major universities and a smattering of professionals with major endorsements. My personal picks for the win, however, are difficult with no absolute leader. We as viewers of this event have been accustomed to watching Bernard Lagat face off against another East African superstar challenger for close to a decade. This year lacks that certainty of who is going to be there crossing the tape and in what exact order.
With that said my choices for the first three spots go to Nike’s Matt Centrowitz, Oklahoma Christian’s Silas Kisorio and BYU’s wunderkind Miles Batty. My rationale for this is a tough one as almost any of the other entrants could be sleepers but these three standout at the moment.
With Centrowitz coming off a decent 3000 meter race at Boston in which he went a bit over-distance against a tough group, look for him to attempt a rebound at his most favored event. If the race goes out slow and becomes a tactical situation it would play right in to the hands of this newly minted professional who has a knack for finding the tape against the world’s best.
For those who do not know of Silas Kisorio you must not know about his exploits in the NAIA. Last year Kisorio, a native of Kenya, ran 3:56 indoors at Arkansas and 1:52 for 800 meters. His previous times and improvements show he can be a big race athlete and not be intimidated by both big school athletes and the races aura. This would be a wonderful opportunity for Kisorio to prove that the NAIA athletes are on par with their brethren in the NCAA. Do not be shocked by this up-and-comer’s ability to take the race.
The third and last pick I have is BYU senior Miles Batty. The performances of the past year have made Batty a well known competitor and help turn BYU into a distance powerhouse under the supervision of Coach Ed Eyestone. His 3:55 indoor mile last year showed that this guy has the chops to move on the boards, despite being a bit taller than his opponents who are often on the smaller side indoors. He has also showed strength in anchoring his school’s DMR and finishing 14th at cross country nationals this year. He seems to have a power train that does not quit and could prove to be a new star for America’s burgeoning middle distance group.
Any of the competitors could take the win this weekend but these three should be seen at the front for the prestigious Wanamaker Mile. With a win they join an elite club of national, World and Olympic champions who have torn up the indoor track for 5280 feet of excitement.