Yared Nuguse was still huffing and puffing as he posed next to the infield scoreboard at the Armory in Manhattan. It was his first time at the rustic, classic, and updated-yet-still-old-and-friendly New York City oval and there needed to be documentation, especially considering what had happened.
No doubt, he’ll never forget Saturday night around dinnertime, or any of the moments that followed it. Nuguse, a 23-year-old Kentucky native, won the Wanamaker Mile at the 115th Millrose Games in 3 minutes, 47.38 seconds, breaking the U.S indoor record of 3:49.98, set by Bernard Lagat in 2008. Nuguse came oh-so-close to the world record, a 3:47.01 (yes, .37 milliseconds away). That record, set by Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha in 2019, is still intact — though seemingly by a thread.
“I’m super happy to get that record and still excited to see what I can do next,” Nuguse said. “I just started running pro and I feel like I’ve got a lot more coming. It was definitely a nice confidence boost. To do this in the event that I love the most and the one that I’m going for at (the World Athletics Indoor Championships in March), makes me feel even better.”
A world record is always a lofty goal, and Nuguse said that it wasn’t significantly on his mind as the race approached.
“We briefly mentioned it, as a joke,” Nuguse said. “I was like ‘ha, yeah that would be funny.’ Coming down the line, there was this one person standing in front of the middle number (on the scoreboard). So, I couldn’t see how close I was . . . I thought I was close, and to me, that close is kind of interesting. Next year, I might be able to actually get it.”
Despite the history that was upon him, calmness was the operative word when it came to Nuguse’s mile.
“For most of that race, I felt really controlled and comfortable,” he said. “Come that last 400, 600, I was feeling a little better. I could kind of feel the pace slowing down a little bit. That’s kind of when I wanted to make my move and give it all I had.”
Britain’s Laura Muir used a kick in the final 100 meters to win the women’s Wanamaker mile in 4:20.15. Elsewhere, American Abby Steiner won the women’s 300 in 35.54, breaking the national indoor record of 35.71, set by Quanera Hayes in 2017. Alicia Monson won the 3,000 in 8:25.05, breaking the national indoor record of 8:25.70, set by Karissa Schweizer in 2020. Olympian Maria Michta-Coffey, of Lake Grove, won the mile walk in 6:53.83.