February 20, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) Matthew Centrowitz realizes there's always a chance he could wake up feeling ill the morning of his race at the Rio Olympics or the U.S. trials.

As he put it Saturday after defending his title in the Wanamaker Mile at the 109th Millrose Games: ''You're not allowed to call it a day and reschedule.''

The two-time world championships medalist was fighting off an upper-respiratory infection this week, and on Friday night he considered dropping out of the storied indoor meet. A phone call with coach Alberto Salazar convinced him to compete and go after his third Wanamaker title, though he couldn't run the race as aggressively as he would have liked. Centrowitz didn't keep tabs on his splits as he ran, simply trying to win.

The 26-year-old American made his move with a lap to go to pull ahead of New Zealand's Nick Willis and wasn't expecting to see this time on the scoreboard: 3 minutes, 50.63 seconds - a meet record. This is the fifth year that the meet has been held at the Armory and its faster track after the move from Madison Square Garden.

''That was a pretty big surprise, but it also allows me to know this could be a pretty good year for me,'' said Centrowitz, who dropped to a knee and did a windmill on his air guitar in celebration.

''It showed me today that I'm very, very fit,'' he added.

Willis, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist in the 1,500 meters, is still seeking his first Wanamaker title after finishing in 3:51.06.

American Shannon Rowbury, the 2009 world bronze medalist in the 1,500, also defended her title in the women's Wanamaker Mile.

Sprinters Allyson Felix and Andre De Grasse both attended Southern California, but they had never spoken until after each won the 60 meters Saturday.

Felix is 30 years old, a four-time individual world champion seeking to defend her Olympic title in the 200 and add a gold medal in the 400. De Grasse is 21 and recently turned pro after finishing third at worlds in the 100.

It was the first Millrose victory for Felix, who won in 7.15 seconds. She was looking to break up some intense training and work on her start, which has always been the weakness in her races.

''The majority of the girls who will be running the 200 (in Rio) will be coming from the 100,'' Felix said, ''and I need to be able to compete.''

It was the first race as a professional for De Grasse, who moved and changed coaches in recent months.

''Usually when you switch coaches it doesn't go well right way; it takes some time,'' he said, pleased with his mark of 6.61 seconds to open the season. ''I'm really happy that I got my first win out of the way.''

Puma gave the Canadian a big contract, and the timing was no coincidence with the most famous sprinter to wear its spikes, Usain Bolt, nearing retirement.

''There's always going to be pressure,'' De Grasse said, ''and I think that's why Puma gave me that contract: They told me, hey, this is why we're giving this much money is because they expect me to be there.

''I think I'm up for the task. I'm ready for the challenge.''

Decathlon Olympic gold medalist and world-record holder Ashton Eaton was second in the 60 hurdles and sixth in the long jump. Another versatile athlete also competed in two events: Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, a 2012 Olympian, was third in the long jump and sixth in the 60 meters.

Natasha Hastings won the 400 less than a week after breaking Felix's American indoor record in the 300.

Virginian Drew Hunter lowered his own national high school record for the indoor mile with a time of 3:57.81.

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