Worlds Medalists Simpson, Martinez To Compete At New Balance Grand Prix

Jenny Simpson won the Fifth Avenue Mile this year. Photo: www.photorun.net

The duo will race at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center on Feb. 8.

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

BOSTON — Organizers of the 2014 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix announced Tuesday that IAAF World Championships medalists Jenny Simpson and Brenda Martinez will take to the 200-meter oval at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston on Feb. 8. Simpson, the 1500m world champion in 2011 and the silver medalist in 2013, will race in the 2-mile, while Martinez, this year’s 800m bronze medalist, is set for the 1000m.

“It’s always a joy for me to return to Boston,” said the 27-year-old Simpson in a statement. “To be traveling there for the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix is the best. The meet, facilities, and organizers know how to put on a great show, and I’m looking forward to being a part of it again in 2014.”

The last time Simpson competed at the meeting — now in its 19th year — she ran 8:58.70 for 3000m. The Boulder, Colo. resident has since set a personal best of 8:42.03 for the distance indoors. Judging by her track credentials, Simpson could target Regina Jacobs’s American indoor record of 9:23.38 in the 2-mile, a mark that was set in 2002 on the very same track at the then Boston Indoor Games.

Martinez, who like Simpson is sponsored by Boston-based New Balance, also expressed an eagerness to race in the capital of Massachusetts, a city where she’s won the B.A.A. Invitational Mile and set a personal best for two miles (9:51.91 at last year’s New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, passing 3000m en route in 9:07.99, another personal best).

RELATED: Jenny Simpson’s Career In Photos

“I’m very excited to open up my 2014 season at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix,” Martinez said. “The Reggie Lewis Center is the Fenway Park of U.S. indoor track and field. The world’s best athletes compete at this venue. It’s going to be very special to me to compete in Boston, in front of such amazing fans and my sponsor.”

At the 2013 IAAF World Championships, Martinez became the first American woman in history to earn medal, taking bronze in a personal best of 1:57.91. At the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, Martinez will look to win the 1000m; outdoors, the 26-year-old has run 2:38.48 for the distance.

Six world records and 10 American Records have been set at the meet, contested annually on the blue, 200-meter, gently banked Mondo track on the campus of Roxbury Community College. This year, organizers report that the meet will begin at 3:30 p.m., earlier than in past years, and will serve as the opening of the 2014 USATF Indoor Championship Series.

RELATED: Brenda Martinez’s Favorite Things

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