This Saturday, February 8, the track world heads to New York City for the 2020 Millrose Games. Year after year, this event attracts strong fields and produces exciting competitions–like in last year’s men’s mile, in which Yomif Kejelcha missed the mile world record by just 0.01 seconds.
This year there are a number of Canadians set to compete at the Armory Track in New York, some of whom are serious threats to win their events.
Women’s 3,000m — Saturday at 4:39 p.m.
Three Canadian women will line up for the 3,000m race this weekend. Regan Yee is fresh off a win at the Washington Indoor Preview 3,000m in Seattle, where she ran a 8:58.25 PB to open her season. Yee represented Canada at the 2019 Pan Am Games in the 3,000m steeplechase, where she placed fifth, and she also competed in the same event at the 2019 Track and Field World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Jessica O’Connell is the current national record-holder in the women’s 3,000m, and she, too, will be racing this weekend. O’Connell set the Canadian record at the 2019 Millrose Games, where she ran to a third-place finish in 8:46.50. O’Connell represented Canada in Rio at the 2016 Olympics, and, like Yee, she competed in Lima last summer at the Pan Am Games, where she won a silver medal in the 5,000m. O’Connell also just ran a Canadian record over two miles in 9:36.79 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston on January 25, so she is firing on all cylinders and likely ready to go in New York.
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The calm before the storm ⚡️⚡️⚡️ . Knocked off some rust at the @nbindoorgp , clocking a new Canadian All-Time Best of 9:36.79 in the 2 mile – a rarely run event that felt a lotttttt longer than a 3000m for this metric Canuck . Looking forward to another start line at the @nyrr Millrose Games this weekend! Photo: @joeink – thanks for capturing this moment
Men’s 3,000m — Saturday at 4:56 p.m.
Justyn Knight will be the only Canadian competing in the 3,000m this Saturday. With a personal best time of 7:45.86, the 2017 NCAA cross-country champion has the second-fastest PB in the field, just behind American Hassan Mead, who has run a 7:38.85. Knight has already competed on the Armory Track this year, racing the Dr. Sander meet on January 25, running the mile, which he won in 3:59.32.
Women’s 400m — Saturday at 5:15 p.m.
Women’s Mile — Saturday at 5:33 p.m.
Gabriela DeBues-Stafford is the lone Canadian in this year’s Wannamaker Women’s Mile. Her Canadian indoor mile record of 4:24.80, which she set just last year in Boston, is the second-fastest PB in the field. DeBues-Stafford’s is behind only Konstanze Klosterhalfen of Germany, who set her PB of 4:19.98 when she won last year’s Millrose Games mile.
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Still in shock. I'm at a loss for words, but ironically I can't shut up about it. I ran 3:56.1 and came *6th* at Worlds. Yes, I want a medal, I want to win, but my primary commitment has always been to push my limits and find out how fast *I* can get myself around a track. And damn, do I feel lucky to be a part of a class of women that makes that goal easier to achieve, even if it means that they also make it more difficult to medal. The competition in the 1500m is fierce right now and everyone is stepping up to run faster than we would have if we were in another era. I for one am all for it. Game on! #LikeaG #FamilyYoung #nike #justdoit 📸: @geofflowe
DeBues-Stafford broke eight Canadian records last year. After such a thrilling 2019 season, she is certainly an athlete everyone should be watching heading into the Olympics this summer, and she very well could take home the win this weekend in New York.