March 31, 2009
Washington State junior Lisa Egami continued her streak of record-breaking performances this past weekend at the Stanford Invitational. Egami set a lifetime best in the 1500m, clocking a time of 4 minutes, 22.57 seconds on Friday night.
Her time qualified her for the NCAA Regional Championships, as well as improved her personal best by five seconds. Her previous personal record of 4 minute 27.45 seconds came last year at the same meet.
"Stanford has become a huge meet, known for distance events. People from all over the country come, and they have the competition to run good times," Egami said.
Egami's race was a prime example of the great competition. Three women who competed in the 800m at the NCAA Indoor Championships ran in her heat, including 2009 champ Lacey Cramer from BYU, and Phoebe Wright from Tennessee who was the national runner-up. Wright and Chanelle Price are members of the current world record distance medley relay team from Tennessee. Friday at Stanford, Cramer won the 1500m with Egami second, Wright third and Price eighth.
Despite the caliber of the competition, Egami wasn't too nervous.
"I just try to stay relaxed and I feel like everything plays out the way it should," she said, "Some people visualize and focus on their race, but I'm the opposite. I try to avoid thinking about it until I'm in the marshalling tent right before walking out to the track."
For the Stanford Invite, Egami and distance coach Jason Drake wanted her time close to her mile time conversion from indoor. Egami, who set the school record in the mile in indoor, has set her goal at running 4 minutes, 20 seconds this year.
"We are thrilled with Lisa's progress this year," Drake said. "She continues to get better with each race, and I am excited to see where she ends up by the end of the year. The Pac-10 is the best middle distance/distance conference in the country, and Lisa is beginning to establish herself within the top."
Egami feels that her preparation and training has moved up in intensity this year. She cites Drake's "four-year program," longer runs at a faster pace, and having consistent training for the past few years as the reason for her continued success.
Next up for Egami is running the 800m at UCLA Rafer Johnon/Jackie Joyner Kersee Invitational, April 9-11. She is hoping to break another record and improve her lifetime best in the event, something she hasn't done since her junior year in high school in Coquitlam, British Columbia.
"I'm hoping for a PR," she said, "It's been a long time coming."
If Egami's next race is anything like the past few, yet another record breaking performance is on the horizon.