Alysia Montano, best known for fast times in middle-distance events and donning a flower for each race, will be the one to watch in the women’s 600 meters of the 106th Millrose Games, February 16 at the Armory.

Montano has blossomed into one of the United States’ top track & field personalities. Montano, born in Queens, will be the featured runner in the Millrose Games’ 600 meters that includes former U.S. Indoor champion Phoebe Wright, World Indoor bronze medalist Erica Moore and World Junior champion and former Neptune High School (N.J.) sensation Ajee Wilson.

“This race has all the potential to produce a new American record,” predicted Millrose Games Meet Director Ray Flynn.

Former World-Class middle-distance runner Delisa Walton-Floyd set the American 600-meter record in 1981 with a 1:26:56.

Montano is fresh off a 2012 London Olympics performance where she finished fifth (1:57.43) in the 800-meter finals. She caught everyone’s attention when she won the first heat with the best time (2:00.47) of anyone qualifying for the semifinals.

“I have been looking forward to racing at Millrose for some time now, but could never fit it in the training schedule,” said Montano, a four-time national champion (2007, 2010-2012) in the 800 meters and bronze medalist at the 2010 World Indoor Championships.

“This year is the perfect opportunity. The 600-meter run at Millrose is a wonderful opportunity to run fast, have fun and gauge my potential 800-meter time at this point in the season.”

She always wears a flower in her hair because “it was my symbol of strength in femininity and not losing that part of me.”

Montano, a standout at the University of California-Berkeley, recorded the world’s fastest time in 2010 in the 800m with a 1:57.34 in Monaco.

Wright, a University of Tennessee graduate, is a former NCAA Champion who has dipped well below the two-minute barrier in the 800m run (1:58.22). Moore, who graduated from Indiana State University, has run sub-two as well, but also has a 1:28.02 for 600m to her credit.

She ran that two years ago in Blacksburg, Va. Wilson, just 18 years old, has twice been a world champion at 800 meters. Her 2:00.91 last summer at the World Junior Championships was the second-fastest ever for a high schooler. She ran 1:10.79 for 500 meters last weekend at the Armory.

The 106th Millrose Games will be the second stop of USA Track & Field’s nationally televised 2013 Indoor USATF Championship series. The meet will be delivered live on ESPN3 on February 16 and 8-10 p.m. February 17 on ESPN. Time of the live ESPN3 coverage will be announced soon.

The USATF Championship Series also includes the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston February 2 and the USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque March 1-2.

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