Mississippi State brings a tremendous squad to Madison Square Garden Jan. 29 a new race at the Millrose Games, the Gotham Trophy Men’s 4x400-meter relay.
The Millrose Games has already received commitments from Miss. State, Seton Hall, Albany and Division II Cheyney University. The Bulldogs’ squad seems to have the most firepower in what promises to be a dynamic collegiate sprint relay in the World’s Most Famous Arena.
Miss. State touts a quartet that includes senior Dwight Mullings, a transfer from Essex Community College in New Jersey and the top-ranked quarter-miler in Jamaica last year (44.98) as well as sophomore O’Neal Wilder, the 2008 2008 US Jr. 400-meter champ and bronze medalist at the 2008 World Junior Championships. Wilder has a personal best of 45.50.
The squad also features two electric freshman 400-meter runners. Tavaris Tate, the best high school 400-meter runner in the country last year, now competes with the Bulldogs. Tate was second at the Junior Pan Am Games in 2009 in the 400 meters and anchored the gold medal 4x400 relay. The 2009 NSIC national 400-meter champ, Daundre Barnaby will also take the baton for Miss. State. Barnaby, a graduate of Weaver High in Connecticut, was the third-ranked high school 400-meter runner in the country outdoors last year.
Tate has a personal best of 45.40 while Barnaby ran 46.35 as a high school senior.
Race organizers have also secured Seton Hall, coached by the legendary John Moon, who has perennially produced powerhouse mile-relay teams. Both Seton Hall and the University at Albany produced blistering relays last indoor season.
Albany, with former World Jr. 400 hurdles champ Joe Greene of Rochester, N.Y., clocked 3:09.78 at the IC4A Championships last March, which met the provisional mark for the NCAA Championships. Seton Hall, led by New Jersey’s Christopher Cox, just missed the provisional mark last season, running 3:10.48 at the same meet.