INDIANAPOLIS – Eight-time Millrose Games Wanamaker Mile winner Bernard Lagat has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after securing a fifth national indoor record Saturday night at the New York Road Runners Deuce Record Challenge at the Armory New Balance Track & Field Center.
Lagat's time of 8 minutes, 10.07 seconds bettered Doug Padilia's 8:15.02 two-mile record set in 1990 at the Los Angeles Forum. Lagat won the race on the Armory's 200-meter track, running the final mile in 4:02. For his record-setting efforts the New York Road Runners presented Lagat a check for $10,000.
Lagat also owns U.S. national indoor marks at 1,500m, one mile, 3,000m and 5,000m. He is the USA outdoor record-holder at 1,500m, 3,000m and 5,000m.
Now in its tenth 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 the USATF website. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
Winners: January 5, Bill Tribou; January 12, Tyler Sorensen; January 20, Josh Cox; January 26, Ben Shorey; February 2, Ashton Eaton; February 9, Ashton Eaton; February 16, Bernard Lagat.
WEEK IN REVIEW – February 8-14 (From USATF Statistician Glen McMicken)
WELLS CONTINUES HOT STREAK OVER HURDLES
Kellie Wells was sixth at the USA Indoor Championships last year, but she has been on fire early in the European season and zipped to a world-leading and personal-best 7.82 at Karlsruhe, Germany, Feb. 13 to become the #4 all-time U.S. performer in the 60m hurdles. Two days earlier at Dusseldorf, the former Hampton University star clocked a then-world-leading 7.84.
INJURY BEHIND HIM, LAWRENCE BACK ON TOP AT TYSON
Georgia junior Torrin Lawrence won the NCAA indoor 400m title in 2010 and had the third-fastest collegiate time ever with a 45.03 at the Tyson Invitational, but a hip flexor injury slowed him and curtailed his outdoor campaign. That injury is evidently a distant memory, as Lawrence is again among the world's best after racing to a 45.82 at Fayetteville to defend his Tyson title.
Other top Tyson performances came from Bianca Knight, who moved to #2 on the all-time U.S. 300m list with her 36.41, and Christin Wurth-Thomas, who turned in a then-world-leading 8:43.79 personal best in the 3,000m.
After a five-year hiatus, Marshevet Myers returned to the long jump pit with a vengeance, leaping 6.83 meters/22-5 to become the fourth-best U.S. performer ever and beat reigning world indoor and outdoor champion Brittney Reese. The 2008 Olympic fifth-placer at 200m, Myers has concentrated on the sprints since winning the NCAA indoor LJ gold for Texas on the same runway in 2006.
U.S.-leading marks were recorded by Florida's Will Claye in the triple jump, with a 17.02m/55-10.25, and Florida State's Maurice Mitchell, who ran a 20.70 for 200 meters. Natasha Hastings had another strong outing over 400 meters, notching an American leader with her 51.44.
Another noteworthy performance was Erik Kynard's 2.33m/7-7.75 winner in the high jump. The Kansas State jumper moved to =10th on the U.S. all-time list.
OVERSIZE OVAL YIELDS MORE FAST TIMES AT WASHINGTON
If you take one of the largest and fastest indoor ovals in the world, and combine it with some of the fastest middle and long distance runners in the nation, you are bound to get some spectacular performances.
The Husky Classic at Seattle certainly lived up to its billing, as evidenced by Chris Solinsky's stellar 3:54.52 in the mile. The American Record-holder at 10,000m, Solinsky was pushed to his fast time by BYU's Miles Batty, who lopped more than five seconds off his lifetime best with a 3:55.79 to become the 354th sub-4:00 U.S. miler. Behind them in sixth place, Duncan Phillips of Arkansas garnered U.S. sub-4 #355 with his 3:58.82.
Oregon's Elijah Greer moved atop on the all-conditions U.S. 800m list with his 1:47.20, and Jackie Areson of Tennessee did the same in the women's 5,000m with a 15:39.81.
RUPP, WILLIAMS, RODGERS, ASUMNU GET TOP U.S. MARKS IN EUROPE
Former Oregon star Galen Rupp made the most of a fast paced 5,000m in Dusseldorf, getting an American leader with his 13:21.83 behind a world junior record of 12:53.29 by Kenyan Isaiah Koech. Mike Rodgers also ripped to a nation-leading 6.53 in the 60m at the meet, as did Gloria Asumnu in the women's 60m with her 7.14.
At Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, Jesse Williams scaled a U.S.-leading 2.34m/7-8 in the men's high jump to place second.
BOSTON U'S "NEW" TRACK JUST AS FAST AS BEFORE
Sporting a resurfaced oval, the Boston University Valentine Invitational elicited some heart-racing mid-distance efforts, topped by a mile that saw five men go under 4:00. Erik van Ingen of Binghamton won in 3:57.11, while former Williams College star Mack Chaffee finished fifth in 3:58.80 to become the 353rd American under the mythical barrier.
Rob Novak of the New York AC had a 1:47.20 in the 800m to claim the U.S. lead.
PREP SHOT PUTTERS UP THE ANTE
Already the national high school leader in the boys' shot, Oregon prep Ryan Crouser upped his PR to 22.68m/74-5 at the Husky Classic. Across the country at the Niswonger Invitational in Johnson City, Tenn., Georgian Ben Glauser moved to #7 on the all-time performer list with his 21.45m/70-4.5. New Jersey's Nick Vena has also topped 70 this year, tossing the 12-pound ball 21.88m71-9.5.