University Beat: BYU's Miles Batty has record in mind for Wanamaker Mile
If everything falls into place, including a favorable pace, Miles Batty can see himself creating track history Saturday in New York City when he takes the starting line for the 105th annual 2012 Millrose Games and the prestigious Wanamaker Mile.
Batty, a distance champion many times over for Brigham Young, has set his sights on capturing the indoor collegiate record in the men's mile at The Armory. He's ready for resulting prestige as well as the pre-race pressure.
"Absolutely," Batty said. "Guys who have won in the past have been great athletes and Olympians. There's a reason why there's so much prestige that comes with the [Wanamaker] title."
The men's one-mile race started in 1908 and in 1926 was named after the head of the Wanamaker's Department Store in New York City, Rodman Wanamaker. Traditionally it's been the most-anticipated event of the Millrose Games, positioned as the night's closing race. In 2010, USA Olympian Bernard Lagat won an unprecedented eighth Wanamaker Mile, surpassing Eamonn Coghlan, whose seven titles earned him the nickname "Chairman of the Boards.''
The meet has been moved from its traditional Friday session to allow for a day session with high school, collegiate and masters events. The evening session will feature elite world class athletes and Olympic hopefuls from around the world and will include the legendary Wanamaker Mile. The day will also feature the first-ever Wanamaker Metric Mile for Women
The meet can be seen live on YouTube beginning at 6 p.m. (MT). Batty's race is set for 7:49 p.m. on what is touted as the world's fastest indoor track.
"It's going to be a great experience," said the BYU All-American.
While Batty's teammates are headed to an invitational hosted by the University of Washington, Batty plans to leave Thursday for New York City.
Oklahoma State's German Fernandez set the collegiate mile record at 3 minutes, 55.02 seconds in 2009.
"I'm not going to be so bold as to say I'm going to get the record," Batty said. "But I will make an attempt. I feel capable if the pacing right."
Batty broke the 4-minute mile last year at the University of Washington. His 3:55.79 remains among the fastest sub-4 minute mile debuts in U.S. history. Batty also won the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships mile as well as running a 3:56.14 leg for the BYU champion NCAA Distance Medley Relay team.
Batty would like a "rabbit" to take the field of 13 runners, including internationals, out to a quick but comfortable pace. From that point on, it will come down to who has the best finishing kick and biggest heart. He's run on the track three times in the past, so he will be in familiar surroundings.
"It was something I was definitely thinking about all summer and fall," Batty said. "I want to set a record."
P Saturday, race set for 7:49 p.m.
Online • The Wanamaker Mile is part of the 105th annual Millrose Games an indoor track and field meet. It can be seen live on youtube.com beginning at 6 p.m.