By her own admission, Elle Purrier had not spent much time running the mile. You wouldn’t have known it by her performance Saturday at the Millrose Games in New York.
Purrier set an American record with a time of 4 minutes, 16.85 seconds in winning the Women’s Wanamaker Mile. Purrier broke Mary Tabb’s record of 4:20:50 set in 1982. And it was the second-fastest indoor mile ever, behind Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba world record of 4:13:31, set in 2016.
“I’m just so surprised,” said Purrier, who finished ahead of the 2019 winner, Konstanze Klosterhalfen, who set a German record of 4:17:26. Jemma Reekie came in third with a time of 4:17:88, a British record.
“I’m really happy and really excited,” Purrier said.
Purrier is a native of Vermont, and went to college at the University of New Hampshire.
Among the pre-eminent events on the track and field calendar, the 113th edition of the Millrose Games at The Armory was viewed by athletes as the start of a season that culminates at the Tokyo Olympics.
And if what transpired in the indoor facility in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood are precursors to future results, the Summer Games could be golden for Americans Ronnie Baker and Donovan Brazier.
Baker took the men’s 60 meters with a time of 6.54 seconds, while Brazier set an American indoor record of 1:44:22 in the men’s 800.
“I executed exactly what I wanted to do,” Brazier said. “I’m really happy.”
Baker, who said he was injured all of last season, hopes the result is the jumping off point for a year that ends with Olympic gold.
“I know I am one of the top competitors in the world,” said Baker, who ran in a field that did not have Jamaican Omar McLeod, who withdrew from the event Thursday, citing the need to be fully healthy for the Olympics. The 2016 gold medalist in the 110-meter hurdles, McLeod had been set to compete in the 60 hurdles before pulling out of the race.
For Baker, the win was his first in five tries at Millrose.
Britain’s Chris O’Hare won the Men’s Wanamaker Mile with a time of 3:55:61. He was followed by Australia’s Olli Hoare (3:56:47) and American Rob Napolitano (3:56:56).
In the American-only field, Ryan Crouser took the men’s shot put with a throw of 22.19 meters. Joe Kovacs came in second at 21.34, and Payton Otterdahl finished third at 21.10.
Edwin Moses and Eammon Coghlan were among those in attendance. Moses, who won 122 consecutive races between August 1977 and June 1987, won two Olympic golds, two world championship golds, three IIAF golds and a gold at the 1986 Goodwill Games. Coghlan won the men’s Wanamaker Mile seven times between 1977 and 1987.