Millrose Games Men — Kerr’s 2-Mile Called Shot

In case you didn‘t hear, Josh Kerr announced two months ago he would target the 2M World Record at Millrose. Mission accomplished. (KEVIN MORRIS)

NEW YORK CITY, February 11 — It takes something special to upstage the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games. And while the iconic meet’s signature event did deliver an exceptional result, it was the 2-mile that stole the show among the men’s events at the Armory. Josh Kerr delivered on his announced goal of breaking the World Record, closing hard to stop the clock in 8:00.67.

Following the pacers, the always confident Scot — even more self-assured since winning the world title in the 1500 last summer — came through the mile in 4:03.63. A quartermile later, American Grant Fisher began to push the pace, hoping to run the kick out of his speedier rivals. Alas, Kerr blasted to the front with a lap and a half to go to lock up the win — and the record. A final quartermile in 56.97 got him under the 8:03.40 that Mo Farah had run in 2015. His second half was a swift 3:57.04.

“Running two 4-minute miles back-to-back is a lot harder than people think — or I thought, anyway,” said Kerr, who broadcast his plans to target the WR back in November in the hopes of drawing other top athletes into the field.

“I think it’s cool that he called his shot and delivered,” said Fisher, who took 2nd in 8:03.62, breaking the American Record, 8:07.41, set by Galen Rupp in ’14. “I did what I could to get it before him. The bar keeps going up.” His mark is also an Absolute American Record, topping Matt Tegenkamp’s outdoor 8:07.07 from ’07.

Cole Hocker (8:05.70) also got under the old AR, outsprinting New Zealand’s Geordie Beamish (8:05.73 NR) for 3rd.

In the mile, Yared Nuguse had Yomif Kejelcha’s 3:47.01 WR from ’19 on his mind. It wasn’t an unreasonable goal, given that Nuguse had run 3:47.38 to win this race a year ago and then went on to run an outdoor AR of 3:43.97 in September.

But when the pace slowed after the pacemakers dropped out, Nuguse knew the record was quickly falling out of reach. Still, he kept his foot on the gas, covering the 200m between 1400 and 1600 in 26.60 and finishing in 3:47.83, the third-fastest indoor clocking of all time.

Behind him, Hobbs Kessler (3:48.66) and Brits George Mills (3:48.93) and Adam Fogg (3:49.62) all joined the sub-3:50 club. “I could feel them right on me, so I still had that energy so that I could kick really hard,” said Nuguse. “I knew it was going to be hard, because it was going to be most likely me hammering it the whole way, and that’s what it was.”

Kessler is now No. 2 on the U.S. all-time indoor list and coming off a win at the New Balance Indoor GP the previous weekend was feeling ready to disrupt the form chart. “I wanted the win,” he said. “Yared’s a really good runner. I made some mistakes, kinda got shuffled at the bell, that was my fault, but I’m still really proud of my fitness and my race.”

The 60H produced a surprise, with unheralded (and unsponsored) Dylan Beard pulling the upset out of lane 1, clocking 7.44 to finish well ahead of Daniel Roberts (7.51), Trey Cunningham (7.52) and Cordell Tinch (7.52). Not bad for a guy who didn’t make it past the semis at last year’s USATF Outdoor meet. “This was a stacked field, so I was a little nervous coming out here,” said Beard, who balances training with a job working at a Walmart deli counter in North Carolina. “But now for sure I know I can stick with these guys.”

World Record holder Christian Coleman won the 60 for the third year in a row. His time of 6.51 was modest by his standards but enough to hold off Hakim Sani-Brown (6.54) and Ackeem Blake (6.55).

“Any time you get a W you take it,” said Coleman, who hopes to wrap up a spot for the World Indoor team at the upcoming USATF Championships. “I feel like I coulda done some things better, but we’ll clean it up and be ready for next weekend.”

After Kenyan Noah Kibet got the jump on him on the last lap of the 800, Bryce Hoppel regrouped down the homestretch to win, 1:45.54 to 1:46.09. “When someone does make that move you have to be ready to respond immediately,” said Hoppel, who has been building strength while training with Kessler at altitude in Flagstaff, Arizona. “So I just followed him and I was confident I could get him in the end.”

The only men’s field event was the pole vault, making its return to the meet for the first time sine 2014. Both Chris Nilsen and KC Lightfoot cleared 19-1 (5.82), but Nilsen got the win over his buddy (and best man at his wedding last fall) thanks to a first-time clearance. Lightfoot, who had been in the lead, needed a pair of attempts.


60: 1. Christian Coleman (US) 6.51; 2. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Jpn) 6.54 =PR; 3. Ackeem Blake (Jam) 6.55; 4. Ryiem Forde (Jam) 6.60 PR; 5. J.T. Smith (US) 6.60; 6. Shakur Williams (Jam) 6.61 PR; 7. Demek Kemp (US) 6.61; 8. Andre De Grasse (Can) 6.62; 9. Miles Lewis (PR) 6.66.

800: 1. Bryce Hoppel (US) 1:45.54; 2. Noah Kibet (Ken) 1:46.09; 3. Mark English (Ire) 1:46.61; 4. Luciano Fiore (US) 1:46.73 PR; 5. Luis Peralta (DR) 1:46.74 NR; 6. Sam Ellis (US) 1:47.44 PR.

Mile: 1. Yared Nuguse (US) 3:47.83 (WL) (x, 3 W; x, 2 A; in/out x, 5 A) (3:33.43 WL—x, 3 A); 2. Hobbs Kessler (US) 3:48.66 PR (4, 6 W; 2, 3 A; in/out 6, 9 A) (3:34.04—x, 6 A);

3. George Mills (GB) 3:48.93 (6, 8 W) (3:33.86 PR); 4. Adam Fogg (GB) 3:49.62 PR (9, x W) (3:34.37 PR);

5. Casey Comber (US) 3:51.92 PR (3:36.74 PR); 6. Adam Spencer (Aus) 3:52.70 PR (3:37.34 PR); 7. Charles Philibert-Thiboutot (Can) 3:53.12 PR (3:36.53 PR); 8. Cooper Teare (US) 3:53.41 (3:36.74); 9. Liam Murphy (US) 3:53.96 (3:38.33 PR); 10. Mario García (Spa) 3:54.15 (3:36.87); 11. Sam Prakel (US) 3:55.09 (3:39.44); 12. Andrew Coscoran (Ire) 4:01.69 (3:43.85).

2M: 1. Josh Kerr (GB) 8:00.67 WR (old WR 8:03.40 Mo Farah [GB] ’15) (7:30.14 NR);

2. Grant Fisher (US) 8:03.62 AR (old AR 8:07.41 Galen Rupp [Nike] ’14) (3, 3 W) (7:30.88—3, 3 A);

3. Cole Hocker (US) 8:05.70 PR (6, 7 W; 2, 2 A) (7:35.35—8, x A); 4. Geordie Beamish (NZ) 8:05.73 NR (7, 8 W) (7:34.88 NR);

5. Morgan McDonald (Aus) 8:12.01 NR (7:39.70 PR); 6. Kieran Lumb (Can) 8:14.52 PR (7:42.79 PR); 7. Keita Sato (Jpn) 8:14.71 PR (7:42.56 NR); 8. Samuel Firewu (Eth) 8:15.69 PR (7:42.70 PR); 9. Joe Klecker (US) 8:20.57(7:47.51).

60H: 1. Dylan Beard (US) 7.44 PR; 2. Daniel Roberts (US) 7.51; 3. Trey Cunningham (US) 7.52; 4. Cordell Tinch (US) 7.52; 5. Damion Thomas (Jam) 7.64; 6. Michael Dickson (US) 7.70; 7. Orlando Bennett (Jam) 7.76 PR; 8. Giano Roberts (Jam) 7.80.

MileW: 1. Nick Christie (US) 6:01.14 PR; 2. Jordan Crawford (US) 6:37.52 PR; 3. Clayton Stoil (US) 6:42.77 PR; 4. Carson Johnson (US) 6:49.09 PR; 5. Richard Luettchau (US) 6:58.99 PR; 6. Colin Graham (US) 7:03.67 PR; 7. Dmitry Babenko (Can) 7:08.45 PR.

Field Event

PV: 1. Chris Nilsen (US) 19-1 (5.82) (18-½, 18-6½, 18-10¼ [2], 19-1, 19-5 [xxx]) (5.50, 5.65, 5.75 [2], 5.82, 5.92 [xxx]); 2. KC Lightfoot (US) 19-1 (18-½, 18-6½, 18-10¼, 19-1 [2], 19-5 [xxx]) (5.50, 5.65, 5.75, 5.82 [2], 5.92 [xxx]); 3. Austin Miller (US) 18-10¼ (5.75); 4. Zach Bradford (US) 18-10¼; 5. Zach McWhorter (US) 18-½ (5.50); 6. Matt Ludwig (US) 17-6½ (5.35).