BYU’s Miles Batty invited to professional track meet


After Miles Batty finished the cross-country season as a national champion earlier this year, BYU cross country coach Ed Eyestone broke the exciting news to Batty that he was invited to compete in the 2012 Millrose Games.

“It came as a surprise to me,” Batty said of the exciting news.

Eyestone purposely told him after nationals in order to keep Batty focused on his performance.

This news comes as even more of a surprise because this is the first year Millrose invited collegiate athletes to compete with the professionals.

Millrose is the most monumental indoor track and field event in the world. Participation is solely upon invitation. Athletes range from gold medalists to nationally ranked individuals. Only the elite compete.  This year is the first year  runners are competing to break collegiate records.

Millrose is also making changes with its venue. Instead of competing at Madison Square Garden, the meet will be held at the Armory in New York on Saturday.

“It’s the biggest non-championship race I will run,” Batty said. “My biggest goal is to run [the mile] under 3 minutes, 55 seconds.”

With that time, he would break the collegiate record which was set by German Fernandez in 2009 at 3:55.02 seconds. Batty will be competing with several other individuals in the Wanamaker mile, the last race of the meet. The meet will be streamed online Saturday to potentially witness groundbreaking performances.

While Batty is competing in New York, the rest of the team will compete in Washington and Air Force in two high-stake matches.

“There is a sense of urgency,” men’s track coach Mark Robison said, “for a lot of them this will be their last indoor meet. If they don’t do well here, they won’t go to our conference meet (in two weeks).”

For several athletes, such as Nachelle Mackie, who have already qualified for nationals, the stress of qualifying is relieved.

Mackie, who broke both the New Balance Invitational record and school record last weekend in the 800-meter race, is taking a break this weekend to heal a hamstring injury.

“I had high hopes for this year that I would be healthy,” Mackie said of the season. “My goal this year is to be an All-American.”

For those who have not yet qualified or are seeking for a record, the pressure is high.

“The problem is it seems like we just started and now it’s almost over,” Robison said. “We have got to have some improvement this week.”

See last year’s Wanamaker mile competition:

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