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Reigning world champ Lagat to run mile at Drake Relays

March 30, 2010
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Bernard Lagat

DES MOINES, IOWA - After a five-year absence, two-time Olympic
medalist and 2007 double world champion Bernard Lagat will return to
the Drake Relays to compete in the men's invitational mile scheduled
for 4:06 p.m. on Saturday, April 24.

It will mark Lagat's first appearance at the Drake Relays since
winning the invitational mile in 2004 in three minutes 57.1 seconds.
He also won the mile at the 2002 Drake Relays.

"I've always watched from afar Kip Lagat
dominate track and field," said Drake Relays Director Brian Brown.
"Ever since I've been Drake Relays director I've always placed a call
to James Li (Lagat's coach) to determine if his training would allow
him to grace our blue oval track. Kip is truly am ambassador for track
and field and we're thrilled he will be joining us."


Lagat has dominated middle distance running in the United States,
setting American indoor records in the 1,500, mile, 3,000 and 5,000,
while establishing a U.S. outdoor mark in the 1,500 in 2005.

"This is perfect timing to compete at the Drake Relays," Lagat said. "I want to build on my momentum from the World Indoor
Championships. I want to run my best at Drake and run faster than the
3:57.11 time in 2004."

"Normally, I don't open the outdoor season with a fast mile. But
this will be one of the few miles I will run this season," Lagat
added. "I've always enjoyed running at the Drake Relays. It is an
amazing event because fans in Des Moines know their track and field
and it make it fun and exciting to run."

A U.S. resident since 1996, he has been ranked in the top four in the
world in the 1,500/mile every year since 1999 and has been ranked No.
1 in the United States every year in the 1,500/mile since
2005.



He also has been ranked No. 1 in the U.S. in the 5,000 since
2006.

Lagat, 35, is coming off a stellar indoor
track season in which he set an American indoor record in the 5,000 in
13 minutes 11.50 seconds at the Reebok Boston Indoor games.

He captured the 3,000 at the World Indoor Championships in Doha,
Qatar, March 14, in 7:37.97. He also won the 3,000 at the 2004 World
Indoor Championships.

At the Millrose Games in New York, N.Y. Jan. 29, Lagat won the famed
Wanamaker Mile for a record eighth time in 3:56.34.

He earned a bronze medal in the 1,500 at the 2000 Olympics and a
silver medal in the 1,500 at the 2004 Olympics while competing for his
native Kenya.

Lagat became eligible to compete for the United States on Aug. 25,
2007
, one day after the beginning of the 2007 World Outdoor
Championships.

He has won five medals in the World Outdoor Championships, becoming the first runner ever to win the 1,500/5,000 middle distance
double at the Worlds in 2007. In addition, became the first American ever to win
the gold medal in the 1,500 at the World Championship and the first
ever to win a World Championship medal of any kind in the 5,000.

Lagat captured the 1,500 and 5,000 national titles at the 2008 U.S.
Olympic Trials for the second time in his career, having first
accomplished the feat in 2006. He also won the 1,500 at the 2007 U.S.
Outdoor Championships.

He also captured the silver medal at the 2009 World Outdoor
Championships, while earning a bronze medal in the 1500. He also won
the silver medal in the 1,500 at the 2001 World Outdoor
Championship.

He set both American indoor and outdoor records in the 1,500 in 2005,
running a 3:29.30 outdoors at Rieti, Italy, and a 3:33:34 indoors in
Fayetteville, Ark.

Lagat broke the American record in the indoor 3,000 with his time of
7:32.43 in Birmingham, England in 2007.

As a collegian at Washington State, Lagat
won the mile and 3,000-meter races at the 1999 NCAA Indoor
Championships, earning the title of NCAA Indoor Male Athlete of the
Year. That same year he also won the 5,000 at the NCAA Outdoor
Championships.