Bernard Lagat leading in the Two Miles at the 2013 Millrose Games (© Kirby Lee)
New York, USA – US indoor records by Bernard Lagat in the Two Miles, as well as Alysia Montano and Erik Sowinski in the men’s and women’s 600m respectively, highlighted the 106th Millrose Games at The Armory on Saturday evening (16).
The famous meeting is the second stop of the 2013 Indoor USATF Championship Series, which also includes the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston – an IAAF Indoor Permit meeting – held on 2 February, and the USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque on 1-2 March.
Lagat clocked 8:09.49 to dip under the mark of 8:09.72 set by Galen Rupp in 2012 in the first running of the event at the Millrose Games since 1979.
Johnson ran 1:23.59 in the first-ever appearance of the women’s 600m on a Millrose games programme to shatter the 1981 standard of 1:26.56 set by Delisa Walton. In the men’s 600m, Sowinski took down Duane Solomon’s mark of 1:15.70 set in Glasgow three weeks ago.
The meeting also included world-leading marks by Darvis 'Doc' Patton in the 60m with 6.50 and a meeting record of 3:51.24 by Lopez Lomong in the famed Wanamaker Mile.
Lagat getting better with age
Lagat, 38, set his eighth US record in winning the Two Miles in 8:09.72, turning the race into a time trial after breaking away from Evan Jaeger with 800 metres to go.
“I was more concerned about getting the time than in winning, because when it comes down to the last two laps, 400 metres, I was going to hold off anybody,” said Lagat, whose triumph was the 10th Millrose title for Lagat in 12 appearances , which also included a record eight Wanamaker Mile wins and a US 5000m record last year.
His time also eclipsed his facility record of 8:10.07 in 2011 and obliterated the meeting record of 8:28.00 set by Ethiopia’s two-time Olympic champion Miruts Yifter in 1974.
There was no one within striking distance of Lagat on Saturday. Andrew Bumbalough was second in 8:13.02 and 2012 NCAA 5000m and 10000m champion Cam Levins edged Jaeger for third, 8:14.69 to 8:14.95.
“People ask me: `How do you do it at 38?’ I say, `The magic is in the training’,’’added Lagat .“When we begin our training in the beginning of the year, there is one important race, The Armory.”
Lagat’s seven-year old son Miika Lagat took a victory lap with his father and credited Lagat’s cheetah spotted spikes that he suggested to be made for his dad.
“They’re awesome,” said Lagat junior. “They make you fast.”
Lagat also helped pull Edward Cheserek, who finished eighth, to national high school record of 8:39.15 to break a 49-year-old mark of 8:40.0.
Sowinski and Montano also enter the record books
Sowinski’s win in 1:15.61, the fifth fastest time ever, was the second time the US 600m record had been broken in the last three weeks.
The record had lasted 26 years before Solomon ran 1:15.70 in Glasgow on 26 January and he appeared to be on pace for another record at the Millrose Games, taking the lead from the gun before being passed by Sowinski on the home stretch and coming home second in 1:16.04.
In the rarely-run women’s 600m, Montano looked set to break the 2004 world best of 1:23.44 by Russia’s Olga Kotlyarova aftre going through 400m in 54.38 but had to settle for a US record of 1:23.59, improving the previous mark by more than three seconds and the second fastest time ever.
High school student Ajee’ Wilson finished second in 1:26.45 for the fastest time ever by a junior woman.
Lomong outdueled defending Wanamaker Mile champion Matthew Centrowitz, 3:51.24 to 3:51.34, the fastest pair of times ever at the Millrose Games and not just on the 200m banked oval at The Armory.
Ireland’s Ciaran O'Lionaird was third in 3:52.10 while Great Britain’s Chris O’Hare, of Tulsa University, was fourth in a US collegiate record 3:52.98.
The top three finishers were under the meeting record of 3:52.87 run by Lagat on the tightly banked 160-yard track at Madison Square Garden in 2005. Lomong and Centrowitz also moved into third and fourth on the US all-time list.
Canada’s Sheila Reid won the women’s Wanamaker Mile in 4:27.02 with 2012 World Junior Championships 1,500m finalist Mary Cain closing strongly to take second and lower her own national high school record by more than four seconds with 4:28.25.
Doc Patton 6.50, DeLoach defeats Reese
Patton, 35, won the 60m in a world-leading 6.50 to break his personal best of 6.58 set back in 2003. Zambia’s US-based Gerald Phiri was second in 6.64 and Keith Ricks was third in 6.67.
English Gardner won the women’s 60m in 7.19 coming home ahead of Jeneba Tarmoh, second in 7.22, with Lauryn Williams third 7.24.
Jeff Porter sped to victory in the 60m Hurdles in 7.59, beating Jamaica’s Andrew Riley over the barriers with the latter second in 7.60. Reigning 110m Hurdles World champion Jason Richardson had a poor run and was down fifth in 7.71.
The women’s 400m went down to the wire with Mary Wineberg holding off Francena McCorory at the line, the pair clocking 52.19 to 52.20 respectively.
In the women’s 60m Hurdles, Yvette Lewis set a facility record when winning in a quick 7.84, with Ginnie Crawford second in 7.97 and 2012 US indoor champion Kristi Castlin third in 8.00.
Janay DeLoach defeated reigning Olympic and World champion Brittney Reese in the women’s Long Jump with a third round effort of 6.90m to move up to second place on the 2013 world indoor list.
Reese, who also won at the 2010 and 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships, was second with 6.85m
London 2012 Olympic Games Pole vault champion Jenn Suhr won over Kyle Hutson at 4.65m.
Suhr went over 4.55m and 4.65m at the first time of asking while Hutson had first-time failures at both those heights.
Hutson then decided to attempt a personal best of 4.75m while Suhr passed and watched her bring the bar down three times before three unsuccessful attempts of her own at 4.81m.
Kirby Lee for the IAAF