Batty was one of six collegiate athletes invited to run against professionals at the 2012 Millrose Games in New York City, which presented Batty with an opportunity he’d had his eye on for a year—breaking the NCAA record for the indoor mile.
The race started off tenuous for Batty: “The first half,” he says, “I was boxed in. . . . I realized that unless I could make some dramatic move, I wasn’t going to be in contention for the win.” In the second half, Batty seized opportunities to pass. He cruised into second just before the final lap and crossed the finish behind professional runner Matthew Centrowitz.
Batty’s time was 3:54.54—nearly a half-second faster than the previous NCAA record. “I didn’t win, but I did get the record,” he says. “It was a good feeling.”
After competing this June in the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and at the Olympic trials, Batty hopes to secure a professional sponsorship. The Wanamaker was an important step toward achieving that goal: “I hope it showed that I can compete with the best [on] any given day,” he says. | Photography by Bradley H. Slade (BFA ’94)