Willis, who was born in New Zealand, attended the University of Michigan where he was a two-time NCAA Champion and five-time All-American. In the 2004 Athens Olympic Games he advanced to the semi-finals of the 1,500 meters. He won the 2006 Commonwealth Games 1,500 meters, and established a New Zealand record while breaking the famous John Walker’s time in the 1,500 (3:32.17). Willis has a best one mile run of 3:50.77. Willis was twice voted “Top Male Athlete at the Penn Relays.”
In 2008 Willis also won the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City, beating out twice-world champion Bernard Lagat of the United States.
“This is our first Olympic Games medalist in the mile,” said race director John Carroll. “We are extremely honored he will run here.”
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