NEW YORK, January 23, 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 Indoor 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 5,000m 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 5,000m 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, 10,000m (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.To send email correction or further classifications, please shoot us an email at lcummings [at] world-track.org.