Abbey D’Agostino, Jordan Hasay, and Emma Coburn are three of the biggest NCAA stars in the country, but—coming from the East Coast, the West Coast, and smack in the middle—they can recall only one race in which they’ve all competed.
“They both kicked my butt,” said Coburn, of the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championships, in which Hasay finished second, D’Agostino placed third, and Coburn came in 20th.
Don’t feel too sorry for Coburn, however: Later that year, the University of Colorado senior won the NCAA 3000-meter steeplechase title and made the U.S. team for the IAAF World Championships, then in 2012 won the U.S. Olympic Trials 3000-meter steeplechase and went on to finish ninth in the Olympic final in London.
Tomorrow night, the three will face one another on the track for the first time in the inaugural women’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile at the 106th Millrose Games. The race also features professional athletes Sarah Brown, Ashley Higginson, Emily Infeld, and Sheila Reid, as well as high school standout Mary Cain. They spoke to the media today at the New York Road Runners 56th Street office.
“It’s kind of a fun way for all of us to come together,” said Coburn.
“It’s fun to be up against a new set of competitors,” added D’Agostino.
D’Agostino, who grew up in Topsfield, MA, and is a junior at Dartmouth University in Hanover, NH, has competed at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory about a half-dozen times, but this will be the Armory debut for Coburn, who grew up in Colorado, and Hasay, who was raised in California and is a senior at the University of Oregon.
“I’ve never raced east of Des Moines,” said Coburn, who checked out the Armory and its unfamiliar 200-meter banked track on Friday morning.
Hasay, the 2011 NCAA indoor champion at both the mile and 3000 meters, who has finished in the top three at the last three NCAA Cross Country Championships, is in New York City for the first time. She said she’s been watching Millrose since she was young, however, and as a “track nerd” is honored to be here and is eager to watch Bernard Lagat in the two-mile after she wraps up her own race.
Asked what she most wanted to see while she is here, other than the meet, she laughed. “Central Park,” she said. “My coach said she’s going to show me where they had the snowball fight in Elf.”
D’Agostino, who last week made her first appearance on the Bowerman Watch List, in 2012 became the first Dartmouth female to win an individual national championship when she took the 5000-meter title. Just weeks later, she finished fifth at the U.S. Olympic Trials at 5000 meters in a career-best 15:19.98, missing out on an Olympics berth by just two-tenths of a second. She and Hasay, introduced by former Dartmouth star Alexi Pappas, who as a graduate student is competing for Oregon this year, have struck up a friendship and are rooming together in New York.
All three were asked about competing against Cain, the high school sensation from Bronxville, NY, who this season has already run the fastest 1500 meters, mile, two-mile, and 3000 meters ever by a U.S. high school girl. Cain broke the U.S. high school mile record when she ran 4:32.78 at the New Balance Games earlier this season on the Armory track. Hasay’s personal best for the indoor mile is 4:33.01, D’Agostino’s is 4:34.15, and Coburn’s is 4:36.08, although she has a 4:33.24 outdoors to her credit.
“I think it’s awesome that she’s here,” said D’Agostino. “She’s almost four years younger than me and I feel young here. Good for her for making it this far; she’s doing incredibly this season.”
“She’s a huge talent no matter how you slice it, if she’s 30, if she’s 40, if she’s 17,” said Coburn. “She’s just another opponent out there, and good for her for running so well. She’s bringing a lot of attention to the sport, and that’s great, but I don’t think I’d be any more bitter losing to her than to anyone else in the race.”
Photo Credit: David Monti/Race Results Weekly