Friday, July 15, 2016

Lagat makes fifth Olympic team, earns USATF Athlete of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bernard Lagat earns USATF Athlete of the Week after making his fifth Olympic team at 41 years old, making him the most experienced U.S. Olympian in a running event. Lagat (Tucson, Arizona) captured his second Olympic Trials 5,000m victory on Saturday, July 9.

Lagat showed trademark speed, making a surge in the final 100m to finish in a remarkable 13:35.50. Lagat will represent Team USA at the Olympic Games for the third time and has competed in the Olympics five times (2000, 2004 for Kenya; 2008, 2012, 2016 for the United States). He currently has the fifth-fastest qualifying time coming into Rio.

“Last year, I was in tears. I was thinking that my kids told me, ‘Daddy, you’re going to make it.’ They knew what I was going through; I was sick,” Lagat said following his victory. “Coming in here and not knowing how I was going to run, my kids were telling me, ‘Daddy we are going to make it,’ and I told them, ‘Kids, I’m going to do my best and do it for you guys.’"

Lagat, a 16-time Nike Prefontaine Classic veteran, recently joined the masters ranks and has set seven world masters records. He also holds the American masters record in the 5000m, 1500m, mile, and two-mile. Lagat is a three-time World Indoor 3,000m champion and two-time USATF Outdoor 1500m champion.

Lagat will be the oldest American to compete in a running event in the Olympic Games and will be the second-oldest U.S. track & field competitor, right behind John Deni, who competed in the 50k race walk at 49 years old in 1952.

Other notable performances include:

World Indoor champion and American record holder Michelle Carter (Ovilla, Texas) secured her second Trials victory, besting a meet record with her throw of 19.59m/64-3.25 in the women’s shot put.

Matt Centrowitz (Arnold, Maryland) broke the 1500m meet record of 3:35.15 from the 1980 U.S. Olympic Trials. The 2016 World Indoor champion, Centrowitz claimed his second Olympic berth in 3:34.09.

Sydney McLaughlin (Dunellen, New Jersey), a 16-year-old high schooler, claimed an Olympic berth in the 400m hurdles, becoming the youngest track & field athlete to compete in the Olympic Games since 1972. She broke the previous world junior record (54.40 - Xing Wang, China - 2004) in a remarkable 54.15.

Dalilah Muhammad (Bayside, New York) dominated the 400m hurdles by capturing a meet record and world-leading time of 52.88. Muhammad jumped over U.S. Olympic Trials record of 52.95 (Sheena Johnson, 2004).

Now in its 15th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

2016 Winners: Jan. 13, Garrett Heath; Jan. 20, Donavan Brazier; Jan. 27, Keni Harrison; Feb. 3, Jenn Suhr; Feb. 10, Vashti Cunningham; Feb. 17, Galen Rupp; Feb. 24, John Nunn; March 2, Curtis Beach; March 11, Bill Collins; March 16, Da’mira Allen; March 24, Michelle Carter; March 31, Janet Bawcom; April 8, Maria Michta-Coffey; April 14, Keni Harrison; April 22, LaShawn Merritt; April 28, Courtney Okolo; May 6, Ida Keeling; May 12, Willie Gault; May 18, Marquise Goodwin; June 2, Keni Harrison; June 9, Tia Brooks; June 16, Donavan Brazier; June 23, Sydney McLaughlin; June 30, Tia Jones; July 7, Allyson Felix; July 15, Bernard Lagat.

We welcome your nominations!
To nominate an athlete for USATF Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to

Maya Allen
Communications Intern

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