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Lagat races to fifth national mark

Lagat races to fifth national mark at 2-mile NYRR Deuce Record Challenge

Lagat wins Nationals

Lagat wins Nationals

INDIANAPOLIS – Bernard Lagat secured a fifth national indoor record Saturday night breaking the two-mile mark in 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.

”With six laps to go I started to take off,” Lagat said. ”With two laps to go I thought I was going to get it. I was feeling good. I felt like I had it. Today I felt unbelievable.”

Lagat now owns U.S. national indoor mark at 1,500 meters, one mile, 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters. He is also the USA outdoor record-holder at 1,500 meters, 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters.

“All the records are special, but this one is very special,” said Lagat, 36, of Tucson, Ariz., who was running his first professional indoor 2-mile race.

Lagat was led through the first 1,200m by University of Virginia sophomore Robby Andrews, then recent New Balance Grand Prix mile champion Russell Brown of the Nike Oregon Track Club took over, going to 2,000m.  “The easy consistent pace made it possible for me to have energy at the end,” Lagat said.

In the same race, Lukas Verzbicas, a high school senior from Carl Sandberg (Ill.), missed Gerry Lindgren’s 1964 prep mark by three seconds. Verbicas finished in 8:43.24, still the third fastest time in U.S. high school annuals.

New York Road Runners presented Lagat a check for $10,000 for breaking the mark.  The USA runner also owns a Millrose Games record eight Wanamaker Mile titles.   The NYRR Deuce Record Challenge was a featured attraction of the NYRR Saturday Night at the Armory III Collegiate meet at the Armory with Brown, Columbia, Rutgers, Iona, St. John’s, West Point, Virginia, Pennsylvania and eight other teams participating.  – Courtesy NYRR

Michta betters Olympic Games standard; Sorensen sets record

Maria Michta, a post graduate student at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, bettered the Olympic “B” standard of sub 1:38:00 Sunday at the AIMS certified 20 kilometer course at the USATF Pan American Cup Race Walk Trials at Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek, Florida.

Walking personal best times at 10 and 15 kilometers, Michta, from Nesconset, N.Y., broke away from Teresa Vaill and Rachel Seaman after the 12 kilometer mark and gradually lengthened that advantage all the way to the finish.

While the final team composition will depend on collegiate commitments, Erin Gray of the Bowerman Athletic Club in Oregon,  Miranda Melville of the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, and Solomiya Login of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s Athletics Club finished 2nd through 4th to join Michta on the women’s squad that will compete in Medellin, Columbia at the end of March.  Alternates will be Erin Talcott and Susan Randall – as six women in the field earned qualifying standards for the four women team.

Men representing Team USA at the 2011 Pan American Cup will be Patrick Stroupe, John Nunn and Dan Seriani.

Stroupe, 26, from Columbia, Mo., nearly caught Trevor Barron at the finish as his 18-year old competitor from the junior ranks chased a fast early season qualifying time for the 2011 World Outdoor Championships in Daegu, Korea.

At the finish, Barron outlasted Stroupe 1:27:32 to 1:27:35.  Nunn, representing the Army, is the veteran member of the very young team that will represent the USA in Colombia.  Seriani, from Rochester, N.Y., had a big personal best of 1:32:57 in fourth place to earn his spot.

Prize money for the race was donated in the name of USATF Official Dale Mulanax.

Tyler Sorenson, a junior at Tory Pines HS in San Diego, topped the competition in the Junior Men’s field and broke the USA Junior Men’s 10 km record with a clocking of 42:54.  The previous record of 43:05 was set last year by his New York AC teammate Trevor Barron.

Joning Sorensen and Barron on the junior team for Pan American Cup will be Alex Chavez of the South Texas Race Walkers.  This was the same squad that had America’s top finish ever last year at the IAAF World Race Walk Cup in Mexico.

In 2010 the USA didn’t send any junior competitors to the World RW Cup.  In 2009 only one junior woman represented the USA at the Pan American Cup.  But marking a complete turn-around in USA Race Walk fortunes in the Junior ranks, the American team in 2011 will have three women compete for the team title.

Leading the way will be Furman University (South Carolina) freshman Erika Shaver.   Shaver posted a four-minute personal best with her winning time of 52:36.  Joining Shaver on the Team USA roster will be Nicollette Sorensen from San Diego, and Maite Moscoso, from Orlando, Fla., who joined Shaver in posting respective personal best times on Sunday of 54:07 and 54:21.