NEW YORK--After dominating the mens mile for a number of years, Washington State alum Bernard Lagat (left/photo courtesy Ross Dettman, Armory Track) moved up to double the distance as the eight time Wanamaker Millrose champion broke the American record Saturday night, winning in 8:09.49 at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory
Wearing cheetah-patterned spikes designed by son Miika and daughter Gianna, the 38-year-old Lagat pulled away from American 3000-meter steeplechase record-holder Evan Jager with two laps remaining and, in a gutsy solo effort, reclaimed his indoor American record from Galen Rupp when he broke the tape in 8:09.49. Rupp’s mark, set last year, was 8:09.72.
Lagat now holds five indoor American Records: 1500 meters, the mile, 3000 meters, two-mile, and 5000 meters, a mark he set at this same meet last year. He was named Performer of the Meet.
“I was more concerned about getting the time than in winning, because when it comes down to the last two laps, 400 meters, I was going to hold off anybody. When we are doing our training back in November, there is one important race, and that is the Armory.”
In the men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile, Lopez Lomong passed defending champion Matthew Centrowitz at the bell and held off the 2011 World Outdoor Championships bronze medalist for the victory, 3:51.21 to 3:51.34. Both times were under Bernard Lagat’s meet record of 3:52.87, set on the slower boards of Madison Square Garden in 2005.
London Olympic steeplechase finalist Donn Cabral, now based in Bellingham, finished ninth in 4:00.21, while Tacoma's Mark Wieczorek did the early pacesetting for the field, taking them to 1000 meters.
Rainier Beach alum Ginnie Crawford finished second in the women's 60 hurdles, running 7.97 behind Yvette Lewis' 7.84.
FALCONS DETHRONED AS GNAC CHAMPS; VIKINGS WIN MEN'S TITLE
Micah Chelimo of Alaska Anchorage and Tanya Bjornsson of Western Washington were selected the Most Outstanding Performers Saturday in the 11th annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at Jacksons Track.
Chelimo scored 30 points by winning three events including the mile (4:12.46) and 5000 (14:55.17) Saturday after claiming the 3,000 title Friday in a time of 8:29.35
Bjornsson swept the women's 60 (7.84) and 60 hurdles (8.79) Saturday and also finished second in the long jump Friday (18-8/5.69m) and third in Saturday's 200 (25.50) in scoring a meet-high 33 points.
Both outstanding meet performers led their teams to second-place team finishes.
Western Washington won the men's team title outscoring Chelimo's squad 152-134. Western Oregon, which had won the previous five men's team titles, finished a strong third with 120 points.
Alaska Anchorage won the women's team title with 147 points ending Seattle Pacific's nine-year title reign. WWU finished second with 117 1/2 points and SPU was third with 99 points.
In addition to Chelimo's three wins and Bjornsson's two victories, Western Washington's Alex Donigian, and Becki Duhamel of Central Washington were among those who won two events.
Donigian swept the 60 (in a meet record time of 6.85) and the 200 in a time of 21.96. After setting a meet record Friday in the women's weight throw of 54-2 (16.51m), Duhamel won the shot put Saturday with a put of 43-5 1/4 (13.24m).
Two other meet records were set as Western Washington's foursome of Jonathon Poolman, Nathaniel Schmidt, Jason Nokes and Devon Smith set a record in the men's 4x400 relay in a time of 3:18.17.
Sam Washington of Saint Martin's won the weight throw with a mark of 57-0.25 (17.38m) and took second in the shot put at 52-8 (16.05m)
COUGS GET SEVEN WINS AT IDAHO OPEN II
In Moscow, Washington State competitors won seven events Saturday at the Idaho Open II indoor track and field meet at the Kibbie-ASUI Center in Moscow, Idaho.
Cougar women won six events at the meet being used as a tune-up before the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships in Seattle next weekend.
Victorious for WSU were Shantae Young in the triple jump (38-feet 2 inches/11.63m); Kristine Felix in the pole vault (12-3.5/3.75m); Essence White in the long jump (17-7/5.36m); Shaquana Logan in the 60 hurdles (8.79); Amanda Henderson in the 800 (2:22.77); and CharLee Linton in the 3000 (10:37.78).
Trevon Rogers was the lone WSU male taking home a win, taking the long jump with a best of 22-10.5 (6.97m).
NOTE: The Armory Track & Field Center, USA Track & Field, the GNAC, and the sports information office at Washington State University contributed to this report.