Lagat gets it right the first time

02-06-2010

Contact:
Vicky Oddi
Communications Coordinator
USA Track & Field
317-713-4670

BOSTON - As the Mid-Atlantic weathered a blizzard, a drive up Interstate 95 found the world's best track and field athletes scorching the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center in front of a capacity crowd at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games. The star of the night was World Champion, Olympic medalist and President of the Millrose Games boards, American Bernard Lagat.

Lagat had stated his goal: to break the American record at 5000m in his maiden race indoors at the distance. Despite the enlistment of pace-setters, Lagat's goal looked unlikely as the field was more than two seconds behind record pace early on. By the 3,000m mark, the record seemed so improbable that the in-stadium announcer had stopped announcing lap splits.

But with 1000m to go, the reigning American record holder, Galen Rupp, seized the lead and pushed the pace. Lagat and Ethiopians Dejen Gebremeskel and Bekana Daba covered the move, the pace benefiting from Rupp's efforts.

With 300m to go Lagat narrowly escaped being boxed in and moved to the front. Employing his miler-trained kick, he took the win and set the American Record in 13:11.50. Gebremeskel pushed his way to second in 13:11.78 with Bekana Daba taking third in 13:11.78.

For the second straight week, Lagat was named the Team USA Athlete of the Meet presented by Visa. Lagat will once again donate his $2500 bonus for the award to the Haitian Relief Fund.

Trammell takes hurdles again

The defending Indoor Visa Champion and Millrose winner, Terrence Trammell crashed into the first three hurdles while storming to his second victory of the Visa Championship Series season in the Visa men's 60m hurdles. His victory, in 7.49 seconds, broke his own meet record (7.53). American Eric Mitchum moved up for second in 7.61, followed by 2005 world champion Ladji Doucoure of France, third in 7.68.

Ethiopia-U.S. battle in women's 3000m

The 3,000m became a three-woman race with four laps remaining as Ethiopian stars Kalkidan Gezahegn and Genzebe Dibaba joined American 1,500m star Shannon Rowbury in rousing the crowd. Gezahegn fended off a final move by Dibaba on the bell lap to take the victory in 8:46.19. Dibaba was second (8:47.01) and Rowbury followed in third (8:47.18)

Batman heroic

Bershawn "Batman" Jackson worked hard for his second win in as many weeks. Batman went from first to third on the final lap of the men's 400m after being jostled. Using a strong move on the back straight, he pulled even with World Outdoor bronze medalist Renny Quow of Trinidad. Jackson surged to the lead with 15m to go and finished first (46.86), with Quow taking second (47.15) and Jamaal Torrance third (48.00).

Dibaba the destroyer

In the highly anticipated Visa women's 5,000m, Ethiopian legend Tirunesh "The Baby-faced Destroyer" Dibaba put on another solo-running workshop, completing the final 10 minutes of her race alone before winning in 14:44.53. Former 9-time NCAA champion Sally Kipyego was second in 14:52.67.

Barber does it again

Millrose Games winner Lisa Barber proved once again that she is fully recovered from her 2009 achilles injury. Showing her usual, explosive start, Barber led from start to finish to take the victory in the women's 60m in 7.22. Marshevet Myers (7.29) took second followed by Muna Lee (7.30).

Ivory coasts

New week, same result as Ivory Williams bested 2009 US Outdoor 100m champion, Michael Rodgers, for the victory in the Visa Men's 60m. The race unfolded similar to the Millrose Games as Williams (6.51) took the lead from the start and hung on for a close victory over Rodgers (6.53). Daniel Bailey moved up for a third place finish (6.54).

Around the Reggie

In other events, DeeDee Trotter showed she has fully recovered from a knee injury in 2008 and a subpar 2009 to return to the top of the podium, leading wire-to-wire in the women's 400m, winning in 53.09. Jeremy Scott won the men's pole vault with a clearance of 5.60m/18-4.5, while Chelsea Johnson won the women's vault for the second straight week, with a clearance of 4.55m/14-11. Shalonda Solomon won the Reebok women's 200m in 23.53, and Damu Cherry came from behind to win the women's 60m hurdles in 8.00, just ahead of Canadian Perdita Felicien (8.01).

Winners of exhibition events Saturday night included Emily Lipari in the high school girls' mile, setting a meet record in 4:46.77. Alex Hatz won the boys' high school mile going away in 4:12.08. Chris Teague waited until the last lap to take the lead of the men's masters mile run and held on for the victory in 4:29:05, and the Cambridge Jets won the youth 4x200m relay in 1:42.93.

For more information and full quotes from the 2010 Reebok Boston Indoor Games, visit www.bostonindoorgames.com. For more information on the2010 Visa Championship Series, visit www.visachampionshipseries.com.