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Lagat named USATF Athlete of the Week

7/27/2011
 
INDIANAPOLIS - Bernard Lagat has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after improving his own American Record in the 5,000m at the Herculis Monaco Diamond League meet on July 22.

Lagat finished second to Mo Farah of Great Britain in a time of 12:53.60. Lagat previously held the American Record from his 2010 effort in Oslo, Norway, where he ran 12:54.12.

After the race, Lagat’s biggest fans, his kids, reacted with mixed emotions.

“No, my kids do not understand the American Record. All they know is who wins, or if I got a trophy,” Lagat said. “When I told him after the race, that I got the American Record, Miika asked, ‘But Mo won?’ After I explained that I was the fastest American, then he said ‘good job, daddy’ and gave me a hug.”

Lagat’s next race will be at the Diamond League Aviva Grand Prix in London, August 5-6 before he travels to South Korea for the IAAF World Championships.

“My goal for this year is gold in Daegu,” Lagat said. “So, celebrations [with my family] will have to wait until September.”

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; February 23, Ryan Crouser; March 2, Jillian Camarena-Williams; March 10, Bill Collins; March 16, Miles Batty; March 23, Shalane Flanagan; March 30, John Nunn; April 6, Aries Merritt; April 13, Gunnar Nixon; April 20, Desiree Davila; April 27, Nolan Shaheed; May 4, Emma Coburn; May 11, Willie Gault; May 18, English Gardner; May 25, Kibwé Johnson; June 1, Khadevis Robinson; June 8, Carmelita Jeter; June 15, Lukas Verzbicas; June 22, Aisling Cuffe; June 29, Trevor Barron; July 6, Aldrich Bailey; July 13, Jillian Camarena-Williams; July 20, Johnnye Valien; July 27, Bernard Lagat

WEEK IN REVIEW -- JULY 18-24
From USATF Statistician Glen McMicken

KD SPEE-DEE IN LIGNANO
Khadevis Robinson made another stop on his summer of rejuvenation tour in Lignano, Italy, on July 17 and knocked off a field populated by runners 7-10 years younger with a stellar 1:44.45.

Morgan Uceny, who has been very successful in 1500s this summer, dropped down to the two-lapper to lead five U.S. finishers under 2:00. Uceny's PR of 1:58.37 topped personal bests from Alice Schmidt (1:58.61), Molly Beckwith (1:59.12) and Geena Gall (1:59.62), among others.

In the women's 5,000, Liz Maloy led another 1-5 U.S. finish with her lifetime-best 15:15.34 clocking to take the measure of Jen Rhines and Amy Hastings. Kellie Wells picked up another win in the 100H at 12.81, and Becky Holliday won the pole vault with a 4.40/14-5.25 clearance.

DIX, DEMUS SHINE AT LUCERNE

U.S. double sprint champ Walter Dix lowered his season best and national-leading mark in the 200 to 20.02 at Lucerne, Switzerland, on July 19, winning by more than a half second.

Lashinda Demus was almost a second and a half better than the runner-up in the women's 400H, winning in 54.18, her second fastest time of the season.

Having the best season of her career, Jill Camarena Williams had another big competition in the shot put, winning with a toss of 19.74/64-9.25 to beat Germany's 2009 World Champs silver medalist Nadine Kleinert by more than two feet.

In the 800, Alice Schmidt followed up on her PR from Lignano two days earlier with a 1:59.74 win over Maggie Vessey, who was second in 2:00.51. In other top U.S. performances, Jamie Nieto won the men's high jump, while Ben Blankenship ran the fastest outdoor 3K by an American this year with a 7:49.70 PR that placed him second. Miles Smith notched a season best 45.19 in winning the 400.

BARCELONA HOT FOR MID-DISTANCE, DISTANCE CORPS

Steeplechaser Ben Bruce, who was fifth at the USA Championships in Eugene, rolled to a personal best and Daegu A standard with his fifth-place 8:19.10, lopping more than three seconds off his previous PR.

Lopez Lomong also garnered an A standard in the 1500 with his season-best 3:33.59 for fourth place, and Tyler Mulder matched his PR in the 800 with a 1:44.83 to take third in the A section.


Katie Branham
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