2013-02-13 / Sports

Andrews, Forys, Higginson competing in Millrose Games

BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer

Three of the greatest high-school track and field athletes in New Jersey history, Colts Neck’s Craig Forys and Ashley Higginson and Manalapan’s Robby Andrews, are now three of the brightest young professional runners in the country.

All three qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials last year and have bright futures.

On Feb. 16, all three will be competing in the 106th running of the prestigious Millrose Games at the New Balance Track and Field Center at the Armory in New York City.

Andrews will be running in the meet’s signature event, the Wanamaker Mile. Higginson is competing in the Elite Women’s One Mile and Forys will be in the mens two-mile.

Of the three, Andrews has experienced Millrose success before. He captured the boys High School Mile while at Manalapan and then anchored the University of Virginia’s 4x800 relay team to a title. He is looking forward to the Wanamaker Mile.

“It’s going to be very special for me,” Andrews said. “When I was in seventh and eighth grade, the Millrose Games were one of the few track and field events on TV. I remember watching the Wanamaker Mile and Bernard Lagat.

“I feel pretty lucky to be in the race,” he added.

The Wanamaker promises to be a fast race with defending champion Matt Centrowitz, the country’s leading miler, aiming at a sub-3:50.

“I want to compete well,” said Andrews, who will be looking run a sub-4:00 mile for the first time in his career.

Andrews, who competes for Adidas and is a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Princeton, has also had his fair share of success at the Armory. He set scholastic records and won national titles there at Manalapan and, just last week, ripped off a 2:17.90 in the 1,000 meters.

“It was important to run a fast 1,000 going into Millrose,” the ex-Braves standout pointed out. “It was nice to have a good race.”

Forys has been on a roll in cross-country. Now running for the New York Athletic Club with his older brother, Matt, he finished second in the 10,000-meter race at the USATF Team Cross-Country Championships in Lexington, Ky., which qualified him for the Team U.S.A. squad that competed at the Great Edinburgh Race in Scotland against a team from Europe and Great Britain-Northern Ireland. He finished eighth in the 8,000-meter race (Matt was 15th). He had a big breakthrough in Jamaica by winning the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) 8,000-meter race, beating Canadian Olympian Cameron Lewis to the line in 24:46 (Matt was fourth in 25:16).

Forys is looking forward to stepping back on the track after a series of road and crosscountry races.

“I see myself as a track guy,” Forys told The Track Show. “Two miles is a good distance for me,”

Forys had success at the Armory in high school when he anchored the Colts Neck distance medley relay team to a national championship.

The 3,000-meter steeplechase has become Forys’ best outdoor track event.

Higginson, who runs for the New Jersey- New York Track Club and Saucony, has had a busy year herself. She started the year finishing third in the Emerald Nut Midnight Run through Central Park. She won a special onemile steeplechase at the Armory last month, winning it in 4:481. She finished seventh in the Women’s Two-Mile run at the New Balance Games in Boston, Mass.

At Millrose, she will be running in the Elite Women One Mile Run.

The Armory has been kind to Higginson over the years as well. She won relay and individual national championships for the Cougars in high school.

Higginson was ranked No. 4 in the country in the steeplechase last year.

The trio of former Freehold Regional High School District greats will be joined by a world-class field of Olympic and World Championship athletes such as Lagat (mens two-mile), Jenn Suhr (womens pole vault), Nick Symmonds (mens 600), Jason Richardson (mens 60-meter hurdles), Lauryn Williams (womens 60-meter dash) and decathlon star Trey Hardee (World Championship gold, Olympic silver), who will compete in the 60- meter hurdles.

Tickets for the Millrose Games can be purchased by calling the Armory at 212-923-1803, ext. 7010 or 7037, or by going to www.millrose games.org.

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