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Eleven Supermen in One Race to Test Armory's 'Fastest' Track - Millrose Games

Published by
RunnerSpace.com/Pro   on Jan 23 2012, 10:36 PM

Eleven Supermen in One Race to Test Armory’s `Fastest’ Track

                 

NEW YORK, January 22, 2012 – Not one, not two, but three U.S. National records could fall during the men’s 5,000m event in the 105th Millrose Games, February 11 at the Armory’s New Balance Track & Field Center.

Millrose Games meet director Ray Flynn announced today the completion of a super 5,000m field that includes eight-time Wanamaker Mile winner and record holder Bernard Lagat, who is attempting to break Galen Rupp’s American Indoor record of 13:11.44. The other two American records at stake in the race will be the collegiate and high school marks.

A fourth record – the Millrose mark of 13:20.4 – could be eclipsed. Suleiman Nyambui of Tanzania established that record in 1981 when he edged Alberto Salazar (13:22.6) to set a World record. Salazar’s second-place time was an American record.

``The chance of seeing four records going down in one race makes the 5,000m one of the most exciting ever,’’ Flynn said. ``This is what it’s all about.’’

Joining Lagat in the 5000m event will be four of the country’s premier collegiate runners, each with an excellent chance to surpass Rupp’s college mark of 13:18.12. Those runners are Lawi Lalang, the NCAA Cross Country Champion from the University of Arizona; Leonard Korir, the NCAA Indoor 5000m champion from Iona; Elliott Heath, the NCAA Indoor 3,000m NCAA champion from Stanford; and NCAA Cross Country runner-up Chris Derrick of Stanford.

Kenyan Steven Sambu and Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico – training partners with Lagat – are featured in the event. Sambu was a First-Team All-American in the 10,000m at the University of Arizona while Barrios is the recent Pan Am Games 5,000m Gold medal winner.

Two of Britain’s most celebrated track & field athletes, Andy Baddeley and Mark Draper are in the field along with Sam Chelanga, a former NCAA champion at Liberty University in the 5,000m, 10000m (NCAA record in 2010 with a 27:08.39) and cross country.

Baddeley and Draper are members of the British record holding relay team in the 4x1500m (14:54.57) and Baddeley, a 2008 Olympian, turned back Lagat  to win the 2009 NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile. He also won the New Balance Mile at the Armory this past weekend in a world-leading 3.57.22.

Last, but certainly not least, is the addition of Edward Cheserek. In December the junior from St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, N.J. captured the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships in San Diego. He will take aim at the 5,000m indoor mark set by Lukas Verzbicas at 14:06.78. On Saturday, Cheserek ran the second fastest Indoor Mile ever by a high school athlete, 4:02.21 in the New Balance Games at the Armory.

"Kip (Lagat) and Lawi are all training really well, doing some of the best workouts I have seen them do," said James Li from the University of Arizona, coach of both Lagat and Lalang. "They are both very excited about coming to New York to run in the 5,000m at Millrose."

Besides being owner of the American Indoor two-mile record, Lagat is the country’s record holder in the 1,500m, mile, and 3,000m as well as the Outdoor 1,500m, 3,000m and 5,000m. Lagat previously held the Indoor 5,000m until last February when Rupp clipped his record by a mere 6/100th of a second in Birmingham, England.

MORE ABOUT THE 105th MILLROSE GAMES: The country’s top men’s and women’s track & field athletes along with the finest college and high school student-athletes will showcase their talents in the Millrose Games at the Armory.

The Armory previously announced 22-year-old Matthew Centrowitz, the 1500m Bronze medal winner in the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, will be in this year’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile. Other celebrated track & field representatives confirmed for the Millrose Games include 2008 Olympic Gold Medal winner LaShawn Merritt, who will compete in the 500m event, and eight-time Wanamaker Mile champion Bernard Lagat will be running in the 5000m.

Contender for an Olympic Gold medal and current Outdoor High Jump World ChampionJesse Williams joins 2008 Olympic Gold medalist Allyson Felix and World Champion/2008 USA Olympian Jennifer Simpson as confirmed athletes in the nation’s premier indoor track & field event. Felix will compete in the Women’s 60m event and Simpson will participate in the Millrose Games’ first New York Road Runners’ Wanamaker Metric Mile for Women.

Seven-time Wanamaker Mile champion and ``Chairman of the Boards’’ Eamonn Coghlanreturns to be part of this year’s Millrose Games. Coghlan will be the honorary coach of Ireland’s ``Dream Team’’ from Dublin City University to compete in the  Byron Dyce College Men’s Distance Medley Relay against national college power Villanova, coached by five-time Wanamaker Mile champion Marcus O’Sullivan of Ireland, and Duke, Providence, Iona, LaSalle, Albany and Brown.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.armorytrack.com . Click on to Millrose Games for more information, including ticket prices and seating chart. Note: there is an 8 ticket limit for online sales. For group sales of more than 8 tickets please call the Group Sales at(818) 276-6790 (818-ARMORY-0).

For more information on the Millrose Games, click to www.millrose-games.org.

ABOUT THE ARMORY FOUNDATION:

A New York City non-profit, the Armory will be the proud home of the Millrose Games beginning in 2012.  With more than 100 additional indoor track & field meets, the Armory will welcome over 125,000 individual athletes. Besides its many youth sports and educational programs, the Armory runs the Hispanic Games, the New Balance Games, and the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, the largest indoor college meet in the United States. The Armory is also the home to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.

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