The CHill Zone of T&F: Conway's View From the Finish Line

Who Will Win the Millrose 60?

Jan 25th, 2022
11:43 am PST

Ok, now that the season is finally under way, it’s almost time for the elite athletes to take the stage. And if the exploits of the collegiate athletes is any indication, we’re in for some exciting competition. First meet with loaded fields will be the Millrose Games. On tap for January 29th. While all of the events at Millrose appear to be loaded, with athletes like Athing Mu, Ryan Crouser, Elle Purrier, and others. This year’s bonus, will be the first “sprint battle” of 2022!

This is exciting as we’ve already seen some very hot individual performances. Micah Williams of Oregon (6.48) and Terrance Jones of Texas Texas Tech (6.45) already running under 6.50! Add to that another 7 athletes under 6.60 and the season has started HOT! All of that and we’ve yet to see any of the top ten sprinters of 2021 run. That will change in New York as we will see several go head to head.

The Millrose men’s 60 should be a burner. As of this writing, the combatants include, Christian Coleman, Trayvon Bromell, Ronnie Baker, Marvin Bracy, and Noah Lyles. When Lyles is your slowest competitor with a PB of 6.59, you’ve got a real race lined up. At the other end of the spectrum is Christian Coleman, the World iIndoor Record holder at 6.34 – blazing. In between we have, Baker (6.40), Bromell (6.47), and Bracy (6.48). In a perfect world we could have a nice “V” shape looking like geese as they approach the finish line.

This, however, is track and field, and the only thing that matters is what you do today. So, since it is the beginning 2022 and the first 60 for all of them, this race will be very interesting. Coleman at his best would be the easy pick to win! Will he be at his best however? No one knows, since it’s been almost two years since he last raced. We did see him in a 300 to open the season – which he ran in a PB 33.20. But, there is a big difference between 60 and 300. The good news for Christian is that he’s healthy, and apparently in good shape. And he was able to get a race under his belt – for all those people screaming that he hasn’t raced in two years. So he got to knock the rust off to a degree. Now the question is, how long will it take him to get back to “race” form? We are about to find out!

The rest of the field competed in 2021. Bromell, Baker, and Lyles going through the Olympic Trials and the Games. They should be race ready. Then there’s Bracy. Injured at the Trials, but several fast races in decent competition since. So, we enter New York with a stacked field of healthy alpha males ready to go head to head – nice.

That said, how does this race shape up? Let’s start with Coleman, because he is the quickest out of the blocks – period. The 2020’s version of Houston McTear for those with a knowledge of history. He will react the best and lead after a couple of steps. Bromell will be the most technically sound out of the blocks, a younger version of Justin Gatlin. Two steps out he will be just a hair off of Coleman.

Baker and Bracy are both “good” starters, but not the caliber of Coleman and Bromell. They should be two, maybe three steps off the front pair – but in a race this short this is critical. You gotta get on your horse and go – NOW. Lyles will be off last. Not as much because of reaction time, but more so because of starting technique. I have to say however, that it works for him. When he attempted to “change” his start last year, his 100 fell off significantly. So, I’m hoping that he’s back to “normal” start wise.

In either case, this race will begin to take shape about twenty meters in. Bromell should be in the best 60 shape and should be edging ahead here. UNLESS, Coleman is better than expected. If that is the case, Coleman clearly separates here. With what will look like a couple of powerful strides reminiscent of Bob Hayes! Then, beep beep, bye bye, later. Bromell will hold form. Bracy and Baker will try to match and Lyles will shift to his top gear – though a good meter behind when he does. Coleman runs through the line with Bromell just behind! Baker and Bracy run side by side as Lyles closes like a freight train. My best guess at the finish is:

6.48 – Coleman
6.50 – Bromell
6.53 – Baker
6.53 – Bracy
6.57 – Lyles

As you can see from my “prediction” I believe they are all going to be a bit rusty. Which is why I’m “only” predicting Coleman at 6.48, to be well off of his best. So, yes, I do believe that Christian will have work to do to get back to where he “was” before his layoff. But I don’t see anyone out there – except maybe Su Bingtian – as being his equal over this distance. So, it’s a win for Coleman in my opinion.

I have similar thoughts regarding Bromell. I think his showing last year was awesome. I do believe however, that he too will have some work to do still. Same for Baker and Bracy. It’s early in a championships year. I’m sure they’ve all put in some base work. This will be a “fast” race, just not blazing in my opinion. Now they may prove me to be totally wrong, but I think this will be the race that sets the tone for the rest of the season. And frankly, 6.48 is a nice spot to begin from. As far as that goes, 6.57 is a nice spot to begin from.

If Noah run 6.57 I will say that he is ahead of last year. And if he does so in the manner I laid out, then he is back to executing “his” sprint race. Which is never going to be that of a 60 meter stud. However, if his 60 is set up right he gives himself a shot at 9.8-low, as opposed to how he was executing his 100 last year.

Coleman will get better after this race. He will get his acceleration together and be the problem that everyone expects him to be. He will be under 6.40 by Nationals and World Indoors. Bromell, Baker and Bracy will be fighting for a spot at Worlds when Nationals arrives.

Of course, this is basically “practice”, as the real goal of everyone is going to be the World Championships. But iron sharpens iron. So getting US sprinters on the track against each other, even indoors, is a good thing. So kudos to Millrose for pull this field together. Would love to see a few of these this year – indoors and outdoors. This is what the sport needs to grow in this country.







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