Veteran Lagat, in-form Rowbury spark Millrose miles

Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:50pm EST
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Millrose Games marvel Bernard Lagat hopes to demonstrate there is potent life after 40 on the track as he joins a stellar field for the fabled Wanamaker Mile at the New York Armory on Saturday.

Fresh off setting an over-40 masters indoor 3,000 meters record last week in Boston, Lagat looks to add a ninth Wanamaker title to his record total and improve the masters mark of 3:58.15 set in 1994 by Ireland's Eamonn Coghlin.

Kenyan-born American Lagat, who ran a fast 7:48.33 in Boston for a close second to 25-year-old Ethiopian Dejen Gebremeskel, the 2012 Olympic 5,000 silver medalist, said life on the track is different for him at age 40, in a good way.

"It changes because you have no pressure on you. You just go in there, and have fun and enjoy," he said on Thursday. "When you are out there training with the young guys ... it brings the best out in you."

The women's mile could also produce fireworks set up by a sizzling run two weeks ago by Shannon Rowbury in North Carolina.

Rowbury became the fifth-fastest indoor miler with a 4:22.66 on a flat track. Using a standard conversion chart, the time equates to 4:20.09 on a banked track, like the Armory's -- a time that would be a U.S. record and third-fastest all-time.

Challenging Rowbury will be last year's winner Mary Cain, Treniere Moser and Jordan Hasay.

Other featured athletes include Olympic and world champions Sanya Richards-Ross (400m) and decathlete Ashton Eaton (60 hurdles and long jump), and world champion hurdler David Oliver (60 hurdles).   Continued...