Beggs runner Regan Ward qualifies for prestigious NY event
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
1/29/13 at 5:46 AM
Regan Ward is on the verge of realizing a dream.
The Beggs distance runner has qualified to compete in the 106th Millrose Games. The prestigious indoor track and field event unfolds Feb. 16 in New York City.
Ward qualified for the high school mile run on Saturday in the Big Apple by finishing third in the girls invitational mile in the New Balance Games.
She posted a time of 4:58.99, finishing less than a second behind the winner, Kristiane Width of New York City.
Ward is the first Oklahoma high school girl to qualify for the Millrose Games, according to Jack Pheifer, director of operations for The Armory, where the games will be held.
"I always dreamed of running in the big races, but New York was so far away that I thought it probably never would happen," said Ward, a seven-time state champion in track and cross country, and state record-holder in the 3,200 meters.
The University of Arkansas signee also assumed it would be hard to qualify for an elite indoor event against athletes from New York and the East Coast who have greater access to indoor facilities and generally compete at a higher level during the indoor season than most Oklahomans.
But her mind changed when she ran a time of 4:56.29 at the Arkansas High School Invitational in Fayetteville on Jan. 14.
"I decided I had to do this," she said. "This is my last year of high school, and in college I'll get to run in these (important meets), but to have that experience in high school, I thought would be a big deal."
Started in 1908, the Millrose Games are described as "simply the most historic indoor track & field meet in the world" at armorytrack.com.
Ward attracted a great deal of attention from the New York media. An article headlined "Oklahoma on Broadway" appears at armorytrack.com, observing that more people would probably watch her run in the New Balance games than the population of her hometown (1,321).
Ward went into the New Balance race thinking she had to finish in the top two, but learned afterward she had qualified by running in under five minutes.
"When they announced that I had made it, I was just ecstatic," she said.
Original Print Headline: Ward to run in Millrose Games
Mike Brown 918-581-8390