Bernard Lagat contributed many things to the Washington State Cross Country team during the 1996-1998 seasons. One of his achievements includes finishing first at the Mountain West Classic in Missoula, Mont., Sept. 26, 1998. Lagat was one of eight runners who ran this course in under 25 minutes.
As a sophomore, Lagat finished the season strong with many accomplishments. He won the Pacific-10 Conference Cross Country Championship, finished second at the NCAA West Regional Championships and finished third at the NCAA Championships.
Since graduation in 1999, Lagat has made a living through his passion for running. He has won 11 World Championships and Olympic medals, including four golds, five silvers and two bronze. He holds the American records in the indoor 1,500m, mile, 3,000m, as well as the outdoor 1,500m, 3,000m and 5,000. Additionally he was the 2007 World Outdoor 1,500m and 5,000m champion; 2008 Olympic Trials 5,000m and 1,500m champion; 2004, 2010 World Indoor Champs 3,000m Gold medalist; 2002 World Cup 1,500m champion; 2010 and 2011 USA Indoor 3,000m champ; 2007, 2010 and 2011 USA Outdoor 5,000 champion; 2006 USA Outdoor 1,500m and 5,000m champion. Lagat also has won the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games a record eight times.
The one race that had eluded Lagat is New York's Fifth Avenue Mile. He finished second twice and fourth once in the last three consecutive years but could never capture first place until this year. Sunday, Sept. 24, Lagat took on the 31st annual Fifth Avenue Mile and beat defending champion Amine Laalou of Morocco. He crossed the finish line in just 3:50:5. Lagat is known for his late race kick where he jumps into another gear to complete the race, and during the 2011 Fifth Avenue Mile, he broke away with 100 meters to go and soared to victory.
Lagat was one of seven inducted into the Class of 2009 WSU Athletic Hall of Fame. His numerous honors and awards have made him a legend at Washington State as well as a rolemodel throughout the world. At 36, he continues to train with the goal of competing for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
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