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Chatting with Olympic, national, and international athletes at the 2024 Millrose Games in New York

On Sunday, February 11, the 116th annual Millrose Games took place at the Nike Track and Field Center at The Armory in New York.

Josh Kerr
Josh Kerr. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Josh Kerr. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

On Sunday, February 11, the 116th annual Millrose Games took place at the Nike Track and Field Center at The Armory in New York.

Athletes Devynne Charlton and Josh Kerr both shattered world records in their track and field events: the 60 meter hurdles and the two-mile race respectively; moreover, 12 national records were set, and multiple meet records and personal bests among the athletes.

This journalist was on-site at The Armory to talk with the athletes following their races and field events.

Christian Coleman (60 meters)

Coleman won the men’s 60 meter final with a time of 6.51 seconds. On winning, he said, “It felt really good; that’s what I wanted to do.” Each day, he is motivated by his “family and the people that believe” in him.

For young and aspiring track and field athletes, Coleman said, “Don’t quit, believe in yourself and keep going.” “One race doesn’t define you and your talent, as long as you believe in yourself, keep going.”

Coleman defined success as “being happy with yourself.” For his fans, Coleman said, “I appreciate your support. I have something special for you all.”

Pole vault competition

In the men’s pole vault competition, Chris Nilsen won first place with a clearance of 5.82 meters on his first attempt, while KC Lightfoot finished in second place with a height of 5.82 (but Nilsen won on countback). Austin Miller came in third place after he cleared the bar at 5.75 meters.

Jaden Marchan (600 meters)

Marchan finished in second place in the boys 600 meter final right behind Quincy Wilson.

Marchan defined the word success simply as “beating himself from yesterday.” He listed the 200 meter sprint as his favorite track and field event, even though it might be one of his worst.

George Beamish (2 mile final)

George Beamish of New Zealand finished in fourth place in the 2-mile final.

“It’s the beginning of the year and Millrose is incredible,” Beamish said. “I love racing in front of the fans. We have really big support in New York. I hope to be here every year.”

He hopes to be competing in the 1,500 race in the upcoming weeks. Beamish defined success simply as “running, being healthy, and putting a show on for the fans. That’s what it’s about.”

Devynne Charlton (60 meter hurdles, World record)

Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas broke a world record in the women’s 60 meter hurdles race with a time of 7.67 seconds.

On her world record, she said, “I couldn’t believe it but I knew that I was capable. As long as I ran the race that I knew I could, then I knew I was going to be okay. It felt fast.”

“My coach says ‘race to win’ and the ‘time will take care of itself.’  That was the goal to execute and win. You envision it and dream about it but the moment it hits you, I don’t think that you are prepared for it,” she said.

“It felt good,” she said about shattering the world record. “When you set a goal and work towards it each day, and when to have it finally realized, is an indescribable feeling.”

She revealed that for breakfast this morning, she ate a “scoop of oatmeal, a scoop of protein powder (peanut butter), and some blueberries.”

For young and aspiring runners, she said, “Put the work in and focus on the little things. The bare minimum is to go to practice, work hard, and do everything your coach says but also focus on eating right, getting sleep, and hydrating yourself. Taking care of your mental health and those types of things is what makes a difference.”

When asked how she will go back and build of this, she responded, “I will go back and watch the tape. I thought it was a pretty decent race. We will go back and see if there is anything that I can touch upon. After that, it is just about replicating this, getting better and stay consistent.”

“There is more work that needs to be done,” she admitted. “I hit this goal and it’s a great feeling, but in three weeks, it’s the World Championship, and the ultimate goal is to be on top of that podium.”

On her definition of the word success, Charlton said, “Success means going after a goal. You set a goal, work hard towards it, and once it is realized, you can count that as a success.”

For her fans, Charlton said, “I do this for the people who have supported me since day one. It does take a village, and I owe this to my village.”

Riley Smith (boy’s mile final)

Riley Smith of Gainesville, Florida, set a meet record in the boy’s mile final with a time of 4:05.05.

On his win, he said, “It felt great. I’ve been working towards it for a little bit. I had a feeling going into the race that if I really pushed the pace, it would give me a good chance against the distance runners before the final 400 meters.”

Regarding his daily motivations, he said, “I just want to be the best. Every day, I wake up and I am excited to put in the work. The more I put in, the more I get out of it. I motivate myself just by wanting to be the best.”

Smith listed the mile as his personal favorite track and field event, and rightfully so.

For young and aspiring track and field athletes, Smith said, “Stack weeks of consistent training, and don’t get too in your head. Trust your coach, trust your teammates, and just work off each other to do the best you can.”

Smith defined the word success as “doing what I know I can do. I don’t set expectations by the meeting on what I want to do, I set them on what I know I can do. I make sure that each day I am doing what I should do and what I can do, and by not trying to go any higher than that.”

For his fans and supporters, he said, “If you are watching the race, thank you for watching. I hope when they watch it, they can see something special out of me.”

Josh Kerr (2 mile final, world record)

On breaking the world record, Kerr said, “That was just so hard. It was one of my hardest races ever. The crowd was electric so it was pretty easy to get the work in. With 600 meters to go, I was really struggling so I had to dig a little bit deeper.”

“This race hurt so much. It was so much harder than the 1,500 meters race,” he admitted. “It hurt early on with one mile to go, but I needed to finish it, so I was trying to have fun. It was a very difficult race.”

Regarding his daily motivations, Kerr said, “I want to push the boundaries of my body and I want to push the boundaries, and making sure the companies and the brands that I work with are proud of me and have their product in front of the world.”

“Enjoying what I do every day,” he said about his definition of success. “I love running and representing the brands that I do; if I am able to get up and enjoy what I do every day, that’s success to me. It doesn’t matter how much money I make or how many titles I have. I did what I thought I could do, and that’s being the best in the world, and I did that now and I had fun with it.”

To learn more about the Millrose Games, check out their official website.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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