Aug. 13, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University's outstanding distance runner, Bernard Lagat, ran a collegiate record time of 3:30.56 in the 1500m race at the Weltklasse Zurich Meet in Switzerland, Aug. 11. The Kenyan has broken his own record time of 3:34.38 (1998, Stuttgart) on the Cougar all-time list for the 1500m twice this summer.
Lagat, a two-time cross country and nine-time track and field All-American who won the NCAA 5,000m race last June in Boise, competed this summer in the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) 1999 Grand Prix and Golden League races throughout Europe. He broke the collegiate 1500m record twice this summer: Lagat clocked a 3:30.61 time at the Herculis Zepter Meet in Monaco, Aug. 4. His latest time is the third-fastest this year and makes Lagat the 14th fastest person to run the 1500m in history.
The versatile Lagat also set a school record in the rare-distance of 2000m, running a 4:55.49 at the DN Galan Meet in Stockholm, Sweden, July 30. Lagat eclipsed Joshua Kimeto's 1976 time of 5:03.7.
In the 1999 Grand Prix point standings for the men's 1500m race, Lagat is seventh with 25 points. Fellow Kenyan, Noah Ngeny, is the leader with 68 points. Ngeny won races in Stockholm and Monaco but finished second to Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj, the 1500m world record-holder, at Zurich. Lagat was third in Zurich and Stockholm, second in Monaco.
Lagat will return to WSU for his senior seasons in cross country and indoor track but has exhausted his eligibility in outdoor track.