Montoya returns to NYC to defend Dream Mile title
With the kind of runners in the field, Bernie Montoya isn't considering himself a favorite just because he's the defending champion.
Montoya, who won the adidas Dream Mile in 2012, is heading back to New York to defend his title in the 2013 version of the race, which is a part of the adidas Grand Prix at Ichan Stadium on Randall's Island on Saturday.
The field of 14 competitors is a who's who of distance runners in the entire country. Edward Cheserek, out of Newark, N.J., is the national indoor two-mile and 5,000-meter record holder. Sean McGorty from Chantilly, Vir., is ranked No. 1 in the mile (4 minutes, 4.47 seconds) and No. 2 in the 3,200. Henry Wynee, from Westport, Conn., was the 2013 prep indoor national champion in the mile.
“This is such a stacked field I don't think there are any favorites,” said Montoya, who won the race last year with a time of 4:01.32.
According to the website flotrack.org, the race will stream live at 12:12 p.m.
Montoya acknowledges that this year may feel different after living with his name in the national headlines because of his win in last year's race.
“It's definitely a different feeling because you don't expect all the eyes to be on you, but I guess its an awesome and very unique feeling that you don't get every day,” said Montoya, who won his eighth state title in track and field earlier this month — combined with the three in cross country to give him 11 total.
One storyline in this year's Dream Mile will be whether Montoya, or any of the other runners, can break the sub-4 minute mile.
It's a feat that's only been accomplished by five prep runners — the last one being Lukas Verzbicas' 3:59.71 in 2011. The other four are Alan Webb (3:53.43 in 2001), Jim Ryun (3:55.3 in 1965), Tim Danielson (3:59.4 in 1966) and Marty Liquori (3:59.8 in 1967).
Montoya said he's prepared to run a sub-4 mile, but his running coach Kris Norton said that, while that is a major goal, the major prize is getting another victory.
“We have every intent to get it but we understand that the race could get tactical,” Norton said about the sub-4 mile. “ If it gets tactical, that means it may not happen. We're going to run as hard as we can to win that race — be it a 3:58 or a 4:02. We're trying to win it. If the sub-four happens, great.”