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Lagat among Olympians lining up for USA Indoor

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He will be joined by other Olympians such as Wariner, DeLoach, Hardee

Bernard Lagat has never lost on the city of Albuquerque’s fast indoor track.

Saturday, he’ll try to make it 4-for-4.

Lagat, a two-time Olympic medalist and a five-time world champion, has been confirmed as planning to compete at this weekend’s USA Track & Field Indoor Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Friday-Sunday
USATF Indoor Championships, Albuquerque Convention Center. Tickets: unmtickets.com, or call 505-925-5858

He’s scheduled to run the men’s 3,000 meters, an event he has won in Albuquerque the past three years.

Other athletes planning to compete include:

♦ Jeremy Wariner, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the 400 meters and a five-time world champion.

♦ Janay DeLoach, a 2012 bronze medalist in the women’s long jump and the two-time defending national indoor champion in her specialty.

♦ Eric Sowinski, who set a U.S. record in the men’s 600-meter run (1 minute, 15.61 seconds) at last weekend’s Millrose Games in New York City. Sowinski is scheduled to run the 800 meters in Albuquerque.

♦ Brad Walker, the U.S. record holder, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist and a world indoor and outdoor champion in the pole vault.

♦ Trey Hardee, the silver medalist in the decathlon in London. Hardee has qualified to compete this weekend in the 60-meter hurdles as well as the heptathlon.

♦ Nick Symmonds, a two-time Olympian and a five-time U.S. outdoor champion. Symmonds is entered in the mile and the 800 meters.

♦ Matt Centrowitz, the 2011 world outdoor champion in the men’s 1,500 meters and a 2012 Olympian.

♦ Mary Cain, a New York high school junior who in the past month has set national indoor prep records at distances of a mile, 3,000 meters and 2 miles. Her 1,500-meter and mile times are the fastest of any U.S. woman this season.

Lagat had never visited Albuquerque before coming here for 2010. He quickly made himself at home, beating friendly rival Galen Rupp to the finish line in a time of 8:12.6. He outran Rupp to the tape again in 2011, winning easily in 7:41.44.

Last year, Rupp finished third behind Lopez Lomong as Lagat breezed to victory in 7:47.54.

Lagat is the American record holder at 3,000 indoors with a time of 7:32.43.

As of now, neither Rupp nor Lomong is listed as an entrant in this year’s event.

Lagat, 38, is coming off a record-breaking performance at the Millrose Games, where he established a U.S. best in the indoor 2-mile (8:49.9). On March 17, he’s scheduled to make his half-marathon debut in New York City.

Like Rupp, Amber Campbell is undefeated in Albuquerque. But the former Tucumcari resident is not just a three-time champion, but a six-time champion in the women’s 20-pound weight throw. Campbell, a 2012 Olympian, is confirmed as going for seven on Saturday.

Other defending champions expected back are DeLoach in the women’s long jump, Walker in the men’s pole vault, A.G. Kruger in the men’s weight throw and Amanda Smock in the women’s triple jump.

Olympians from London include Lagat, DeLoach, Smock, Kruger, Campbell, Centrowitz, weight thrower Amanda Bingson, heptathlete Sharon Day, high hurdler Jeff Porter shot putter Michelle Carter and racewalkers John Nunn and Trevor Barron.
— This article appeared on page B1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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