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Bernard Lagat named USATF Athlete of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bernard Lagat earns USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week honors after his 2,000 meter performance at the NYRR Millrose Games took down a 33-year-old American Indoor record Saturday night in New York City.

Lagat, a 39-year-old who resides in Tucson, Ariz., had previously run the event just once indoors and twice outdoors before attempting to overtake Steve Scott’s 4:58.6 mark set in 1981. Lagat’s time of 4:54.7 not only broke Scott’s record, but it also served as an encore to his two-mile American indoor record set at the Armory in 2013.

“When you go after something, sometimes you want to believe you can do it, but you never know until the race ends,” he said. “It was a really big honor and a special night for me. I knew what I had to do. I ran, and I didn’t want to disappoint as I went for the record.”

Lagat was the oldest runner in the field by eight years.

His track & field accomplishments include an American Indoor record in the 1,500m (3:33.34), the mile (3:49.89), two-mile (8:09.49) and 5,000m (13:07.15) in addition to his American Outdoor records in the 1,500m (3:29.30), 3,000m (7:29.00) and 5,000m (12:53.60). He is a five-time USA Outdoor 5,000m champion, a two-time USA 3,000m Indoor champion and 1,500m Outdoor champion. Lagat is also a two-time Olympian, winning silver in the 1,500m (3:34.3) at the Athens 2004 Games and a bronze in the same event at the 2000 Sydney Games. 

Lagat will compete in the 3,000m Saturday at USA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque.

Now in its 13th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

2014 Winners: January 15, Chris Derrick; January 22, Galen Rupp; January 29, Galen Rupp; February 5, Alexa Efraimson; February 12, Mike Rutt; Feb. 19, Bernard Lagat. 

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