NEW YORK (06-Jan) -- The USA Tokyo Olympic 1500m squad of Elle Purrier St. Pierre, Cory McGee, and Heather MacLean leads the entries for the WHOOP Women's Wanamaker Mile which will be held at the Millrose Games on Saturday, January 29. Part of the World Athletics Indoor Tour, the meet will be held for the 114th time since 1914, and the tenth time at the New Balance Armory Track and Field Center in Upper Manhattan.
PHOTO: Elle Purrier posing with the clock after winning the 2020 Wanamaker Women's Mile in an American indoor record of 4:16.85 at the Millrose Games (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)
Purrier St. Pierre, who represents New Balance, is the event's defending champion and record holder. At the 2020 edition of the meet, Purrier St. Pierre stormed to victory in 4:16.85, an American indoor record and the second-fastest indoor mile in history.
"I knew it was going to be a fast pace and then just kick as hard as I could," Purrier told Race Results Weekly after the 2020 meet. The former steeplechaser added: "The second to last lap I started getting a little more confident, and thought, 'OK, I don't feel totally out of it, I'm going to try to make a move.'"
Sixteen months later, Purrier St. Pierre won the USA Olympic Trials in the 1500m in a personal best and Olympic Trials record of 3:58.03, and two months after that she competed in the Tokyo Olympics, placing tenth in the final.
"I am really looking forward to racing the Wanamaker Mile this year," Purrier St. Pierre said in a statement. This race has always been a special one for me and I certainly missed it last year. It's one of the most prestigious and historic races, it's always fun and always competitive, just the way I like it."
Joining Purrier St. Pierre on the Wanamaker starting line will be her Olympic teammates, Cory McGee and Heather MacLean, who also represent New Balance. McGee finished second at the USA Olympic Trials and MacLean third and, like Purrier St. Pierre, qualified for their first Olympic Games. McGee made the final in Tokyo, finishing 12th out of 13 athletes. MacLean made it to the semi-finals, but did not advance.
The three USA Olympians will likely get their biggest challenge from Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany and Jessica Hull of Australia. Both women run for the Nike-sponsored Union Athletic Club and both were Tokyo Olympic finalists (Klosterhalfen was eighth in the 10,000m and Hull was 11th in the 1500m). Klosterhalfen was the runner-up to Purrier St. Pierre in the 2020 Wanamaker, running a German indoor record of 4:17.26. She was also the bronze medalist in the 5000m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
In all, the Women's Wanamaker Mile features seven Olympians (four finalists) from five countries.
This year's Wanamaker will be the first at The Armory which will not be financially supported or managed by New York Road Runners (NYRR), America's largest not-for-profit road race organizer which co-managed the event with the Armory Foundation from 2012 to 2020. Prior to 2012 the meet was held at Madison Square Garden on a 145.5-meter demountable track under different management (the Armory has a standard 200-meter banked track).
The complete field is below with mile and 1500m personal best times:
Elle Purrier St. Pierre, 1995, New Balance, 4:16.85i/3:58.03
Konstanze Klosterhalfen (GER), 1997, Nike/Union Track Club, 4:17.26i/3:58.92
Cory McGee, 1992, New Balance, 4:21.81/4:00.67
Heather MacLean, 1995, New Balance, 4:25.98i/4:02.09
Josette Norris, 1995, New Balance, 4:22.71/3:59.72
Jessica Hull (AUS), 1996, Nike/Union Track Club, 4:24.93/3:58.81
Nikki Hiltz, 1994, adidas, 4:24.45i/4:01.52
Katie Snowden (GBR), 1994, Herne Hill, 4:25.89/4:02.77
Esther Guerrero (ESP), 1990, New Balance, 4:22.81/4:02.41
Shannon Osika, 1993, Nike/Union Track Club, 4:25.47/4:00.73
Sage Hurta, 1998, On Athletic Club, 4:26.76/4:07.50
Anna Camp Bennett, 1998, Unattached, 4:44.13/4:08.53