Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lagat set to aim for American record in 5000 at Millrose...

Washington State University alum Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) will take aim at the American record in the 5000 meters of 13:11.44 currently held by Galen Rupp at the Millrose Games on February 11th at the Armory in New York.

According to meet director Ray Flynn, he's also assembled a field that could potentially challenge the collegiate and high school records, as well as the meet record of 13:20.4 set way back in 1981 by Suleiman Nyambui of Tanzania.

Joining Lagat in the 5,000m event will be five of the country’s premier collegiate runners, each with an excellent chance to surpass Rupp's college mark of 13:18.12. Those runners are Lawi Lalang, the NCAA cross country champion from the University of Arizona; Leonard Korir, the NCAA indoor 5,000m champion from Iona; Elliott Heath, the NCAA indoor 3,000m NCAA champion from Stanford; NCAA cross country runner-up Chris Derrick of Stanford; and first-team All-American Steven Sambu of Arizona.

Brits Andy Baddeley and Mark Draper are also in the field, along with former NCAA champ Sam Chelanga, who is scheduled to tune up for the matchup with Lagat in Seattle with a 3000-meter race at the UW Invitational on January 28th against Great Britain's Chris Thompson.

"Kip (Lagat) and Lawi are all training really well, doing some of the best workouts I have seen them do," said James Li from the University of Arizona, coach of both Lagat and Lalang. "They are both very excited about coming to New York to run in the 5000m at Millrose."

Information about the Millrose Games is available here.

Lagat will open his 2012 campaign this Saturday at the US Open at New York's Madison Square Garden, as he will run the mile in a venue which he has been successful.

Also opening her 2012 season is Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Crawford, who will run the 50 meter hurdles in a field that includes reigning Olympic champ Dawn Harper.

Wednesday night is the Seattle Sports Star of the Year Awards dinner and show at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle.

For the second straight year, will cover the event, as Washington State alum Jeshua Anderson, and University of Washington commit Maddie Meyers of the Northwest School will represent the track and field community and be honored.

In the Female Sports Star of the Year category, Meyers, the American high school record holder in the 2000 meter steeplechase is going against a field that includes Gonzaga basketball star Courtney Vandersloot, UW softball player Jenn Salling, SeattleU soccer coach Julie Woodward, and boxer Queen Underwood.

In the Male Sports Star category, Anderson, who was a finalist for this award in 2009, goes against UW running back Chris Polk, Husky golfer Chris Williams, UW basketball star Isaiah Thomas, and Cal swimmer Nathan Adrian. will be streaming the festivities live beginning at 6pm, pacific time with hosts Art Thiel and Steve Rudman, formerly from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which sponsored the event before the paper folded.

Information about the Seattle Sports Star of the Year awards show is available here.

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