On a Skype call to a New York Track Writers’ luncheon this afternoon, Matthew Centrowitz said that his recent workouts “have been faster than anything I could imagine” coming out of college.
He added that his father—two-time Olympian Matt Centrowitz, a longtime coach at American University—said of the early-season times: “I’ve never heard anything like that this time of year.”
Centrowitz will defend his NYRR Wanamaker Mile title at the Millrose Games on February 16. Also interviewed via Skype was Abbey D’Agostino from Dartmouth University, the reigning NCAA champion at 5000 meters, who will compete in the NYRR Women’s Wanamaker Mile. Robby Andrews, the 2011 NCAA champion at 800 meters who will face Centrowitz and the rest of the men’s field in the mile, traveled to New York City from his native New Jersey for the luncheon.
“Every year it seems like [the Wanamaker] is getting bigger names and getting more competitive,” said Centrowitz, who only 30 minutes before had seen the list of names, which also includes Lopez Lomong, Ciarán O’Lionáird, and Miles Batty.
“The win is the first thing,” Centrowitz said, “and then Bernard’s record is obviously number two on the list.”
He was talking about the Wanamaker Mile record of 3:52.87, held by three-time Olympian Bernard Lagat. “I would definitely say I can get that record if all goes well,” Centrowitz said, “and if everything goes well that day, I’d definitely like to go for a sub-3:50.”
It’s something, he said, that he and his coach, Alberto Salazar, have talked about all fall and winter in training, “and I’m starting to believe it now.”
The American record for the mile indoors is 3:49:89, also held by Lagat.
This training cycle for the 23-year-old Centrowitz is the first authored solely by Salazar. The 2011 IAAF World Championships bronze medalist at 1500 meters, Centrowitz described the workouts this time around as faster, longer, and harder, including a 17-mile run. His primary training partner has been Galen Rupp, the Olympic silver medalist at 10,000 meters.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg