Cain, Wilson Highlight Millrose 800m

Mary Cain will run as a professional for the first time this winter. Photo: PhotoRun.net

The teenage sensations will square off in February. 

(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. 

NEW YORK — Last February, Bronxville High School’s Mary Cain lit up the New Balance Track & Field Center at The Armory, racing to a national junior and high school record of 4:28.25 in the NYRR Wanamaker Women’s Mile at the 106th edition of the NYRR Millrose Games. Next February, Cain will return to the New York City meeting to contest the 800m against fellow teenage sensations Ajee’ Wilson and Anita Hinriksdottir, as well as NCAA 800m champion Natoya Goule. The meet is scheduled for Saturday, February 15.

“Here at The Armory, we’ve been following Mary and Ajee’ for years,” said Dr. Norbert Sander, executive director of the Armory Foundation, in a statement. “They [have] long been superb, but their meteoric rise this year caught everyone by surprise. This race could have three or four of the finalists of the 800 at the Rio Olympics in 2016.”

Indeed, 2013 was a special year for Cain, Wilson, Iceland’s Hinriksdottir, and Jamaica’s Goule. Cain became the youngest 1500m finalist in IAAF World Championships history, finishing tenth at 17-years-old, before turning professional and joining Nike’s Oregon Project where she is coached by Alberto Salazar. Wilson timed an American Junior Record of 1:58.21 for 800m in the final of the World Championships 800m, where she finished sixth.

Henriksdottir made a splash on the international scene by earning gold at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Ukraine. Her outdoor personal best stands at 2:00.49, all the while yet to turn 18 (she’ll turn 18 on January 13, just over a month before the Millrose Games).

Goule, 22, ran to both NCAA Indoor and Outdoor 800m titles while competing for Louisiana State University in 2013. Now she is donning the orange and white vest of Clemson University; outdoors she has run 1:59.93.

Cain and Wilson’s match-up at The Armory will have extra significance, because both are from the New York City metropolitan area. Cain grew up in Bronxville, N.Y., just north of Manhattan, while Wilson hails from Neptune, N.J., south and east of the city on the Jersey Shore. In high school, the pair faced each other three times at The Armory, with Wilson coming out on top at both the 2011 and 2012 New Balance Nationals Indoor finals.

“I am very excited to compete in the Millrose Games again this year,” said Cain in a statement. “I love the 800m, so it will be exciting to run that event on The Armory’s fast track. Being a New Yorker, I have always loved this meet, and it will be nice to have my family and friends there to support me!”

Similarly, Wilson expressed an eagerness to take to The Armory’s brand new Mondo track surface for the meet’s 107th edition.

“With the fresh new track laid down and amount of talent in the field, I’m excited to race at Millrose,” said Wilson. “The Armory is definitely one of my favorite places to race too, so it should be fun,” she said.

Tickets for the 107th Millrose Games are currently available on NYRRMillroseGames.org.

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