Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bernard Lagat finally takes down American record in 3000m...

RIETI, Italy--It was a week later than he wanted, but reigning IAAF world indoor champion and Washington State University graduate Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) finally took down Bob Kennedy's 1998 American record of 7:30.84 in the 3000 meter run at the Rieti 2010 meeting Sunday afternoon.

Tariku Bekele from Ethiopia improved his own world seasonal best, set in last week's ISTAF meet in Berlin for 3000m from 7:28.99 set in Berlin last week to 7:28.70 holding off Lagat who smashed the American record dipping under 7:30 for the first time in his career with 7:29.00. Edwin Soi from Kenya also went under 7:30 finishing third in 7:29.75 in another great race for depth with John Kipkoech, fourth in 7:32.72 and the Oregon Track Club/Portland's Chris Solinsky, fifth in 7:34.32.

On his Twitter page, Lagat wrote after the meet
, "Today was a productive day at the office. Love it when I can check things off my 'to do' list."

Lagat will compete in next weekend's IAAF Continental Cup (formerly World Cup) in Split, Croatia.

Former Washington Husky Ingvill Måkestad once again lowered her personal best in the 1500 meter run, as the Norwegian finished fifth in a time of 4:02.20, a two second drop from her previous PR of 4:04.22, set in the Paris Diamond League meet on July 16th.

Måkestad was in the back of a lead group of six runners for most of the race, maintaining her position and staying in striking distance of the leaders until the final 250 meters, when winner Maryam Jamal of Burundi and countrywoman Mimi Belete broke away. Jamal took the win in 3:58.93, while Belete held on for a personal best of 4:00.25 in the runner-up spot.

Hind Dehiba of France was third in 4:01.07, while San Francisco's Shannon Rowbury was fourth in 4:01.63, ahead of Måkestad.

Afterwards, Måkestad told paulmerca.blogspot.com, "I felt great today, feel like I getting to know my body better for every meet!" She hopes to take a shot at breaking 2 minutes in the 800 in Zagreb, Croatia on Wednesday.

Once again, Kenya's David Rudisha stole the show, setting his second world record over 800 meters in seven days, lowering it to 1:41.01.

Rudisha went through 600 meters in the lead in 1:14.56 and continued to push the pace with his smooth stride. His run in the final straight was a triumphant race against the clock.

“I just knew I was in good shape. The conditions were perfect. I expected to break two records in seven days,” said Rudisha. “I want to return to training for next year because 2011 will be a World Championships record,” continued Rudisha.

Here's video of the race:


Complete results from the Rieti 2010 meeting can be accessed here.


AROUND THE TRACK--Over the weekend, former Washington State University high jumper Ebba Jungmark from Sweden took home the victory in her specialty in the Sweden/Finland dual meet in Helsinki at Olympic Stadium.

Jungmark, who in her one year at WSU won the 2008 NCAA indoor high jump title, won with a modest mark of 6-0 (1.83m).

Results from the Sweden/Finland dual meet can be accessed here (in Finnish).

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