Nov. 30, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Three-time World Champion and two-time Olympic medalist Bernard Lagat will be honored and celebrated for his accomplishments by his alma mater, Washington State University, Sunday, Dec. 9, at Beasley Coliseum as part of the Cougar women's and men's basketball doubleheader that day.
WSU Athletics will host a reception for Lagat and his family from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Cougar Lounge, prior to the women's 3 p.m. basketball game against Boise State. Lagat will sign autographs in the Coliseum concourse area from 5 to 5:30 p.m. prior to the men's basketball game against Portland State. He will also be recognized at halftime of the men's game on Friel Court. All events are open to the public but fans must purchase a ticket for the basketball games or have a student sports pass for admittance into Beasley Coliseum.
"Bernard's accomplishments, not only at Washington State University but on the national and world stages of competition, are outstanding," WSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk said. "We are proud to have the chance to honor Bernard in person and thank him for his continued great representation of Washington State University."
Lagat became the first athlete to win both the 1500m and the 5000m races at the 2007 World Championships last summer in Osaka, Japan. At the 2007 USA Outdoor Track & Field championships he won the 5000m race and placed third in the 1500m race but had already piled up a plethora of wins in 2007, including the 5000m at the USA Outdoor Championships, the mile at the prestigious Millrose Indoor Games and the 3000m at the Birmingham Indoor.
Originally from Kapsabet, Kenya, Lagat competed at Washington State in the late 1990s and earned All-America status 11 times (twice in cross country and nine times in track and field) while wearing a Cougar uniform. He was also accomplished in the classroom earning bachelor's degrees in Management Information Systems (2000), and Decision Science/Econometrics (2001).
Married to another WSU graduate, Gladys Tom, the Lagats have a son, Miika, who is nearly two-years old, and the family lives in Tucson, Arizona. Lagat became a U.S. citizen March 29, 2005, and then had to wait until this year to compete for the United States due to International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) three-year waiting period between international competitions. He last raced for his native Kenya, Aug. 25, 2004, and became eligible to compete for the United States Aug. 25, 2007, one day after the beginning of the 2007 World Outdoor Championships in Osaka, Japan.