Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sheila Reid Brings World Leader to Millrose Wanamaker Mile

Sheila Reid brings her 2013 world-leading 4:30.41i mile into the Millrose Games' Wanamaker Mile this weekend at the Armory in New York. She'll be competing against a very deep and familiar field of runners. Listed below are their mile and 1500 PRs for the competitors, as well as Mile Split's and FloTrack's analyses of the race.
NYRR Wanamaker Women's Mile

Event Record: 4:21.45 Doina Melinte (ROM), 1988
NCAA Record: 4:25.91 Jenny Barringer (CU / USA), 2009
USA Record: 4:20.5 Mary Slaney (USA / OR), 1982 
World Record: 4:17.14 Doina Melinte (ROM), 1990

WOMEN - 8:40pm EST

NAME                   NAT   MILE PR   YR     1500 PR   YR   
Hilary Stellingwerff   CAN   4:28.62   2007   4:05.08   2012
Sarah Brown            USA   4:29.72i  2009   4:05.67   2009
Sheila Reid            CAN   4:30.41i  2013   4:07.07   2012
Delilah DiCrescenzo    USA   4:32.11   2012   4:11.70   2012
Mary Cain              USA   4:32.78i  2012   4:11.01   2012
Jordan Hasay           USA   4:33.01i  2011   4:10.28   2011
Emma Coburn            USA   4:33.24   2012   4:09.42   2012
Abbey D'Agostino       USA   4:34.14i  2013   4:16.15   2012
Sara Vaughn            USA   4:34.29   2011   4:08.34   2012
Renee Tomlin           USA   4:34.39   2012   4:11.31   2012
Emily Infeld           USA   4:36.83i  2010   4:07.77   2012
Kate Grace             USA   4:39.52i  2011   4:10.57   2012
Ashley Higginson       USA   4:43.01i  2012   4:12.80   2012
i = indoor

Mile Split's Breakdown: After a two year hiatus, the Women's Mile returns to the Millrose Games with a couple of stories to follow. The first is at the top with Hilary Stellingwerff (CAN), Sarah Brown (USA) and the 'racer' Sheila Reid. The three have impressive resumes and any one of them can certainly run away with a win here. But midway down the list we also have a trio of collegiates and arguably America's greatest prep athlete in history that will be battling it out. Jordan Hasay of the University of Oregon was at one time in Mary Cain's shoes, the current darling of the prep scene. Hasay as a Duck is the reigning NCAA indoor Mile champion and has a resume that anyone would envy. However Cain has been getting all the headlines recently smashing the all-time High School Mile record and most recently the 2 Mile record. Not to be overlooked is University of Colorado's Emma Coburn who is the 2012 USA Steeplechase champion and an Olympic team member as well as Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino fresh off her 4:34.14 indoor Mile.

FloTrack's Analysis: This is arguably the best race we’ll see at Millrose. In an effort to explain the underlying story lines, we’ve created a Seven Degrees of Mary Cain chart below.

Just in case you’re wondering what the above phrase just meant, our chart is parallel the Six Degree of Seperation (or Kevin Bacon, whatever): No one is less than six of few links away from anyone else in the world.

Let’s begin.

We’ll start with Jordan Hasay. Hasay is coming off a 15:46 win the UW Husky Classic, where she glided away with the win over the over the last few laps. The mile used to be her marquee event, but a move up in distance (she’s expected to run the 10k outdoors) makes this a nice “return to roots” race.

However, Hasay’s record against the field isn’t as positive as she may like it to be. In terms of cross country kicks, there’s Villanova alumnus Sheila Reid.

Reid has had Hasay’s number for the last few years in cross and indoors and looks to be in top mile form. The Canadian Olympian is coming off a big mile debut with her 4:30.41 win at the Penn State National Meet.

One other girl that was in that fabled homestretch in Terre Haute was Georgetown alumnus, Emily Infeld. Infeld is coming off a strong performance at the USA Cross Country Championships (fourth in 26:47.7 for 8k) and now drops back down to the mile.

The one girl who finished between Infeld and Hasay in Terre Haute that year was someone who’s raced Hasay quite a bit in the last few months, Abbey D’Agostino. A few weeks earlier at the Dempsey, Hasay had to settle for fourth behind her fellow collegian rival as D’Agostino took third in 8:55.41. This big 3k came after running a blazing flat-track 4:34.14 earlier this season at her home invitational.

Then there’s the mile specialist who finished in front of D’Agostino at the Dempsey, Oiselle’s Kate Grace. We didn’t get to catch Grace at the Dempsey for a post-race interview after her 8:55.06, but we’ll make sure to keep an eye out for her (and the exit) in New York.

If we go back to the Trials, Grace is connected to another Millrose Games and Trials 1500m competitor. Grace finished 20th in the Trials 1500m semifinal while Sarah Brown (formally Bowman), finished sixth. This indoor season, Brown been on a tear with a big 4:31.61 win at New Balance Games. She enters with the second-fastest personal best in the field.

While Brown may have taken the win, the spotlight was on third place and Mary Cain. After her 4:32.78 at the NB Games earlier this season, but in every post-race interview, her and her coaches have said that she’s been more concerned with the win.

If she continues her historical season, she could once again break the high school record. But she’s not going to win, right? Right? ... right?

Our best guess is that the nod should go to Sarah Brown. Okay, that’s not much of a declarative sentence. Who do you think will take the win in the women’s mile?

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