Verizon Millrose Games

2004 Verizon Millrose Games to be one to remember

NEW YORK – Olympic gold medalists Marion Jones, Gail Devers, Allen Johnson, Stacy Dragila and Jearl Miles-Clark are joined by world champions David Krumenacker and Perdita Felicien and scores of other Olympians slated to compete at the 97th Verizon Millrose Games on Feb. 6 at Madison Square Garden.

The second stop on USA Track& Field’s Indoor Golden Spike Tour, the Verizon Millrose Games will be televised on NBC on Saturday, February 7, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time. Held annually since 1908, the Verizon Millrose Games is the nation’s longest running invitational track meet. The star of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney where she won three gold and two bronze medals, Jones returns to the competition for the first time since 2002, and will race indoors for the first time since tying the American 60m record 1998. She will face a loaded field in the Verizon women’s 60-meter dash that includes 2003 World Indoor 60m bronze medalist and World Outdoor 100m silver medalist Torri Edwards. Two-time world indoor silver medalist Angela Williams also takes the line, as do 1999 World Outdoor 200m gold medalist Inger Miller and 18-year-old superstar Allyson Felix, who broke Jones’ American junior record in the 200 meters in 2003 with her time of 22.11.

Gail Devers is a two-time 100-meter Olympic champion, three-time 100-meter hurdle World champion, and the reigning 2003 World Indoor hurdle champion. Her then American record of 7.78 at the 2003 Verizon Millrose Games earned her the Fred Schmertz Outstanding Performer award, and she will need another outstanding performance Friday. Among Devers’ competitors are World Outdoor gold medalist Perdita Felicien of Canada and 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Melissa Morrison. Reigning Olympic champion Stacy Dragila returns to the venue that has brought her some of her biggest successes for the Visa women’s pole vault. At the 2003 Verizon Millrose Games, Dragila vaulted 4.72m/15-5.75 to set a then American record. At the 2001 Verizon Millrose Games, Dragila vaulted a world record of 4.63/15-2.25 The 1996 Olympic gold medalist, Allen Johnson won an unprecedented four World Outdoor crown in the 110m hurdles in 2003, having also won the World Indoor title last year. Johnson faces a strong Millrose field that includes former world #3 ranked Larry Wade.

In the middle distances, 2003 World Indoor gold medalist and two-time Verizon Millrose champion David Krummenacker returns to defend his 800-meter title. Krummenacker has been America’s fastest 800- and 1500-meter runner for the past two years with outdoor personal bests of 1:43.92 and 3:31.91. Jen Toomey provides the U.S. highlight in the women’s 1,500 meters, enjoying the best season of her career. Toomey currently is #3 in the world in 2004 with two races in 2:00 and change in the 800m, and posted a huge personal best in the mile WHEN with her time of 4:30. World 200m and 4x100m gold medalist John Capel finished 2003 ranked #1 in the world in both the 100 and 200m by Track & Field News, and is making his Verizon Millrose Games debut in the Verizon men’s 60-meter dash. The 60-meter field includes 2001 World Indoor 200m gold medalist Shawn Crawford and three of the most exciting young sprinters on the World scene, 20-year-old Rae Edwards and the 19-year-old Jamaican sensation, Asafa Powell. Two-time Olympic 4x400m relay gold medalist Jearl Miles-Clark headlines the field in the new Sunny D Intense Sport women’s 500-yard cup race. The winner of five Millrose titles at 400 meters, Miles-Clark is the world record holder in the 500 yards (1:00.61), and last weekend she took the 500m AR as well, breaking sister-in-law Joetta Clark Diggs’ previous mark with her time of 1:08.71.

The men’s shot put competition returns to Madison Square Garden for the first time since the 1980s, and fans will get to see Olympic and world championships silver medalist Adam Nelson go head-to-head against the likes of current 2004 world leader Christian Cantwell. In the men’s pole vault, American record holder Jeff Hartwig and reigning U.S. indoor champion Derek Miles are joined by 2002 Goodwill Games gold medalist Tim Mack.

Additional stars competing include 1996 Olympic gold medalist Charles Austin in the men’s high jump, American record holder Tisha Waller and U.S. champion Amy Acuff in the women’s high jump, and new record-breaker Erin Gilreath in the women’s weight throw, where she competes against reigning champion Anna Norgren Mahon.

This year’s Verizon Millrose Games features several new events including the first-ever “Fastest Kid in New York City” 50 meter dashes for eight and nine year-olds, PSAL “Mayor’s Cup” high school relays, three special invitational college relays, and the return of the men’s shot put event to the main arena for the first time since the 1980s. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Madison Square Garden Box Office or calling (212) 465-6741, or via Ticketmaster. Tickets also are available at www.verizonmillrosegames.come. Ticket prices are $15, $30, $40, $50, $70 and $90. Ticket prices in excess of $15 include a $4.50 facility surcharge. Ticketmaster purchases are subject to a Ticketmaster Service Charge.

For more information on the USATF Indoor Golden Spike Tour, visit

USATF is so, so sad. Not only did they get the age of Asafa Powell wrong(he’s 21, going on 22), they got the age of one of their own athletes wrong! Rae Edwards is 22, going on 23. Jeeez… anyways, does anyone know if T-Mont is going to be racing at the Millrose Games?

Jones heads New York cast for 97th Millrose Games - Preview
Thursday 5 February 2004
New York - Having made treks through the snow which fell during the blizzard that swept up the U.S. northeast last week, New Yorkers are preparing to brace against nippy temperatures (-1C) and near imminent rain showers on Friday night (6 Feb) as they head to Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan to watch the 97th edition of the Millrose Games.

The spectacle that awaits them on the track laid inside the World famous arena is certain to warm up the hands of all, from seasoned track fans to curious first-timers.

Marion Jones’ return headlines

The premiere act of the show will, of course, be Marion Jones’ return to the International track circuit. Marion, a triple Sydney gold medallist who gave birth to her child earlier last year, is eager to get back into the thick of competition and considers the Millrose Games a perfect home-turf start to her Olympic season. Torri Edwards (100 m silver, 200 m bronze, 2003 Outdoor World Championships), Angela Williams (4x100 m gold, 2003 World Championships) and prodigiously talented Allyson Felix are a perfect bunch to make the return intriguing.

Quality opposition for Johnson

On the men’s side, casting on the straightaway will be the reigning indoor 60m and 4-time World outdoor high hurdles champion Allen Johnson. With Ron Bramlett, Larry Wade, and Ladji Doucoure stepping into starting blocks alongside, this quartet of sprinters – all of whom are in the top ten of the IAAF World Ranking for the discipline – is sure to provide for an electric men’s 60m Hurdles race.

Heading the field in the flat dash will be John Capel (9.97 100 m PB) last summer’s World 200m champion, who returned to the boards last winter after a two-year professional football career spent with Chicago and Kansas City. Capel who headed the 2003 World indoor lists with a best of 20.39 will face Rae Edwards (USA) and Asafa Powell (JAM).

American David Krummenacker, coming off a somewhat exasperated third place effort in the 1000m in Boston (2:21.33) last weekend, will arrive at the Millrose ready to defend his title of two consecutive years in the men’s 800m. He will be looking for a successful performance at the Garden to give him an extra boost in preparation for the forthcoming World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary (5-7 March), just like it did last year when he segued from his Millrose gold to a medal of the same kind in Birmingham.

Devers and Dragila

Gail Devers heads into the competition with her “one-meet-at-a-time” mentality, and the challengers ought to stay alert. After getting into great rhythm at the inaugural meet of the season in Boston, where her explosiveness put her ahead of the field by the first hurdle and secured a 7.85 victory, this American sprint diva will look to make yet another impressive showing at the country’s most prolific invitational track meet. Incidentally, this is where she set an American record of 7.78 last year, a time improved to 7.74 on 3 March 2003 in Boston.

As part of the effort to reach out to the future stars of American track & field, the Millrose Games conducted a learn-by-doing clinic for female high school pole vaulters on Tuesday afternoon (3 Feb). Undoubtedly, those young ladies will be watching from close proximity when Stacy Dragila, a 4.61 winner in Boston last weekend, steps into the sector.

The 2000 Sydney Olympic champion and former World record holder may just put on a performance of her own while trying to hold off the challengers, compatriots Tracy O’Hara, Mary Sauer, Jillian Schwartz and Kellie Suttle.

In Boston, Dragila seemed to be coming to terms with some of the changes in her technique incorporated in the off-season under her new coach Greg Hull. Lifted by the apparent great physical shape, her jumps appeared smoother and much more controlled.

Now Stacy is looking forward to some great heights over the next couple of weeks, building on her current season’s best of 4.71m, and what better place to start than in front of the galvanic crowd at the Garden.

As the Millrose Games are about to take centre stage in the World’s entertainment capital, the programme - jam-packed with 40 events featuring athletes from shot putters to local eight and nine-year olds vying for the inaugural ‘Fastest kid in NYC’ crown - promises yet another successful remake of a hit that has risen to the locale and the occasion ever since its conception in 1908.

Denis Fedulov for the IAAF