It’s been six years since Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz won the Fifth Avenue Mile. In that stretch, Jenny Simpson has won it five straight times.
Centrowitz and Simpson stand out among 18 total Olympians entered in Sunday’s Fifth Avenue Mile, an annual road mile stretching 20 blocks in New York City adjacent to Central Park. A full elite field is here.
NBC, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app air live coverage at noon ET. NBC Sports Gold airs live, commercial-free coverage.
It’s part of a weekend of track and field action as the outdoor season wraps up (aside from marathons). The IAAF Continental Cup, featuring U.S. 100m champion and Diamond League 200m champion Noah Lyles, airs live on NBC Sports Gold on Saturday (8:20 a.m. ET) and Sunday (8:30).
Centrowitz, who in Rio became the first U.S. Olympic 1500m gold medalist in 108 years, finished sixth, fourth and second in three Fifth Avenue starts since his lone victory in 2012.
Meanwhile, rival Nick Willis of New Zealand took the title three of the last five years. Willis, a double Olympic 1500m medalist, has won the Fifth Avenue Mile four times, tying the men’s record, and goes for No. 5 on Sunday.
Centrowitz and Willis know each other well in New York City, having also been the leading men at the Wanamaker Mile at the annual indoor meet, the Millrose Games, held in February. They’re joined in Sunday’s field by Olympians Lopez Lomong and Boris Berian, among others.
Simpson owns the overall Fifth Avenue record with six titles including the last five in a row. The dominant U.S. female middle-distance runner of the last decade also boasts a world 1500m title and an Olympic bronze medal.
She equaled the event record last year, winning in 4:16.6. Simpson’s competition includes Olympic 3000m steeplechase bronze medalist and world champion Emma Coburn.
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