Ann Arbor's Nick Willis set to defend title at B.A.A. Invitational Mile in Boston
Press Release, Provided by BAA.ORG.
BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) today announced an elite field of Olympic Games medalists, returning champions, and world class competitors for the 2014 B.A.A. Invitational Mile, to be held on Saturday, April 19, two days prior to the 2014 Boston Marathon.
Ann Arbor resident and defending champion Nick Willis (NZL), a silver medalist at 1500 meters in the 2008 Olympic Games, highlights the men’s field. Two-time B.A.A. Invitational Mile champion (2010, 2012) and 2012 Olympian Morgan Uceny (Boston, MA) will look to win a third title.
The B.A.A. Invitational Mile will also include Middle School 1,000 meter races and Scholastic Mile races, featuring youths from the eight cities and towns of the Boston Marathon course.
A $14,500 (USD) prize purse will be distributed to the top professional finishers in the B.A.A. Invitational Mile. The male and female champion will each receive $3,000 (USD) in prize money. Prize money awards are equal for men and women.
B.A.A. Invitational Mile Schedule of Events:
Saturday, April 19, 2014 11:45 a.m.
Girl’s Middle School 1,000 meters
Boy’s Middle School 1,000 meters
Girl’s Scholastic Mile
Boy’s Scholastic Mile
Men’s Professional Mile
Women’s Professional Mile
Willis, 30, holds a 1500 meter personal best of 3:30.35, the fastest in the field. His winning time of 4:03.3 in last year’s B.A.A. Invitational Mile set a new event record. Leo Manzano (Austin, TX), silver medalist at 1500 meters at the 2012 London Olympic Games, will look to challenge Willis in this year’s race. Manzano’s one mile personal best of 3:50.64 is the fastest in the field.
Also competing in this year’s B.A.A. Invitational Mile are Peter van der Westhuizen (RSA), 2013 B.A.A. Invitational Mile third place finisher; De’Sean Turner (Bloomington, IN), a six-time NCAA All-American who represented the U.S. at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in the 3,000 meter steeplechase; Craig Miller (USA), 2012 U.S. Road Mile national champion and eight-time NCAA All-American; two-time Irish national champion Paul Robinson (IRL); 2013 British national champion Chris O’Hare (GBR); and NCAA All-American Rob Finnerty (Greenville, SC).
Uceny, 29, who was ranked first in the world at 1500 meters in 2011, will look to win her third B.A.A. Invitational Mile title this year. Sara Hall (Redding, CA) and Kalkidan Gezahegne (BRN) will look to challenge Uceny. Hall has won the 2011 Grand Blue Mile (Des Moines, IA), 2011 U.S. Road Mile Championships, and 2006 Fifth Avenue (New York, NY) Mile. She is married to Ryan Hall, who is racing in the 2014 Boston Marathon as part of the John Hancock Elite Athlete Team. Gezahegne is the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships gold medalist at 1500 meters.
Also competing on the women’s side are 2012 U.S. Road Mile champion and 2013 B.A.A. Invitational Mile third place finisher Heather Kampf (Minneapolis, MN); Chelsea Reilly (Colorado Springs, CO), 3000 meter champion at the 2013 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships; Brie Felnagle (Tacoma, WA), 2007 NCAA 1500 meters champion; Laura Crowe (IRL), 2013 Irish 1500 meter national champion; and Violah Lagat (KEN), fourth place finisher at the B.A.A. Invitational Mile and the Fifth Avenue Mile in 2013 and the sister of four-time Olympian Bernard Lagat (USA).
The B.A.A. Invitational Mile includes six races, held shortly after the 2014 B.A.A. 5K. The first two races feature middle school age students from the eight cities and towns of the Boston Marathon course – Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline, and Boston. The girls’ and boys’ Middle School 1,000 meter races include runners between sixth and eighth grade and finish at the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street.
Following the Middle School 1,000 meter races is the Scholastic Mile, which features girls’ and boys’ races for high school students from the eight cities and towns of the Boston Marathon course. The Scholastic Mile follows the same three-lap, USATF-certified course the professional mile athletes run, finishing at the Boston Marathon finish line.
B.A.A. Invitational Mile Men’s Field (as of Thursday, April 17, 2014)
NAME COUNTRY AGE MILE* / 1500m BEST
Nick Willis NZL 30 3:50.66 (3:30.35)
Leo Manzano USA (TX) 29 3:50.64 (3:32.37)
Chris O’Hare GBR 23 3:52.98i (3:35.37)
Craig Miller USA (WI) 26 3:53r (3:35.48)
Peter van der Westuizen RSA 29 3:54.90 (3:35.33)
Paul Robinson IRL 22 3:56.18 (3:35.22)
De’Sean Turner USA (IN) 25 3:58.27i (3:39.06)
Rob Finnerty USA (SC) 24 3:59.42 (3:38.34)
B.A.A. Invitational Mile Women’s Field (as of Thursday, April 17, 2014)
NAME COUNTRY AGE MILE* / 1500m BEST
Morgan Uceny USA (MA) 29 4:24r (4:00.06)
Kalkidan Gezahegne BRN 22 4:24.10i (4:00.97)
Sara Hall USA (CA) 30 4:23.9r (4:08.55 )
Brie Felnagle USA (WA) 27 4:30.44 (4:05.64)
Heather Kampf USA (MN) 27 4:30.14i (4:08.37)
Chelsea Reilly USA (CO) 24 4:30.18 (4:08.77)
Violah Lagat KEN 25 4:35.50i (4:05.66)
Laura Crowe IRL 26 4:39r (4:11.49)
* Mile personal bests denote outdoor track performance
r – indicates road mile performance
i – Indicates indoor track performance
( ) – Indicates 1500m outdoor track performance
B.A.A. Invitational Mile Prize Purse
PLACE MEN WOMEN
1 $3,000 (USD) $3,000 (USD)
2 $2,000 (USD) $2,000 (USD)
3 $1,000 (USD) $1,000 (USD)
4 $750 (USD) $750 (USD)
5 $500 (USD) $500 (USD)
TOTAL $7,250 (USD) $7,250 (USD)
GRAND TOTAL $14,500 (USD)
B.A.A. Invitational Mile Event Records
TIME NAME YEAR
Male 4:03.3 Nick Willis (NZL) 2013
Female 4:38.6 Anna Willard (USA / CA) 2009