Cougar Bernard Lagat to Race at Third Olympic Games
June 28, 2012
EUGENE -- Washington State alumnus Bernard Lagat, a two-time Olympian, punched his ticket to the 2012 London Games Thursday evening with his second-place finish in the men's 5000m final at the United States Track & Field Olympic Trials at Eugene's Hayward Field.
Under dark stormy skies and drizzle often associated with London, Lagat ran a time of 13-minutes, 22.82 seconds, just behind fellow Nike-sponsored runner Galen Rupp's time of 13:22.67. Rupp, an Oregon grad running on his home oval, broke Steve Prefontaine's meet record of 13:22.80 run in 1982. Lopez Lomong finished third in a time of 13:24.47, to complete the US 5k contingent for the 2012 Games.
Lagat won a bronze medal in the 1500m at the 2000 Olympic Games and won a silver medal in the 1500m at the 2004 Olympic Games.
Lagat's post-race quotes posted online by USA Track & Field, ""First of all making the team was the most important thing. I have been looking for something I don't have, an Olympic Gold medal. (About the last 25 meters...) "At that point with 100 meters to go all I could think was I have to push harder." (About his training...) "My training is about 90% and I was able to do this. I am going to make sure it is at 100% by London." (About his family...) "Hearing go daddy, go daddy from my kids and even a crowd cheering go daddy was amazing."
The 2011 US Outdoor intermediate hurdles champion Jeshua Anderson advanced to the Friday men's 400m hurdles semifinals after finishing third in the fourth heat Thursday. Anderson's time of 50.49 seconds was ninth-best overall in the qualifying round. He will race at 3:35 p.m. Friday.
Thursday's results were not as satisfying for another Cougar alum. Two-time Olympian discus thrower Ian (eye-an) Waltz will not be competing at the 2012 Games. Waltz, who threw a distance of 201-feet, 2 inches (61.33m) Thursday night was in third place until his long-time friend and frequent training partner Jarred Rome threw 207-10 on his final attempt to leap from fourth place to second place, knocking Waltz down to fourth.
USA Track & Field ("USATF") may enter up to three athletes for each individual event on the London Olympic athletics (track and field) program, provided they have achieved the Olympic "A" standard. In addition USA Track & Field may enter one replacement athlete for the same individual event provided he/she has also achieved the Olympic "A" standard.
For more information on the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field, visit www.usatf.org/events/2012/OlympicTrials-TF/.
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