Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lagat goes for historic eighth Wanamaker Mile title...

NEW YORK--Two-time Olympic medalist Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) will attempt to make history when he competes in the legendary Wanamaker Mile on Friday, January 29, at the 103rd Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The 2007 World Outdoor 1,500m and 5,000m champion out of Washington State University, Lagat won his seventh Wanamaker Mile title at last year's Millrose Games, which tied all-time Irish legend and "Chariman of the Boards" Eamonn Coghlan for the most wins ever in that prestigious event.

The Wanamaker Mile is the traditional concluding event of the Millrose Games, which is the first stop of USA Track & Field's Visa Championship Series Indoor Circuit that will culminate with the 2010 USA Indoor Track & Field Championships, February 27-28 in Albuquerque, N.M.
The 103rd Millrose Games will be televised live on January 29 on ESPN2 from 8-10 p.m. Eastern Time. The Wanamaker Mile is scheduled to begin at 9:50 p.m.

Lagat knew to expect a move by Olympic bronze medalist Nick Willis in the 2009 version of the Wanamaker Mile. That move came with just over a lap to go on the 145-meter track, when Willis burst past Lagat on the backstretch. Lagat appeared momentarily stunned but quickly responded and got on the New Zealander's shoulder. Just after the bell lap, Lagat began his move and passed Willis on the backstretch, winning in 3:58.44.

The oldest continuously held event in Madison Square Garden, the Millrose Games have historically featured track and field's greatest athletes in "The World's Most Famous Arena," including Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Yelena Isinbayeva, Gail Devers, Maurice Greene, and countless others.

NOTE: USA Track & Field contributed to this report.

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