The latest track at Madison Square Garden was not known for yielding fast times, but no one told Bernard Lagat. Confident that he would have no trouble winning his 3rd Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games, and with an eye on the beautiful Waterford Crystal trophy that went to the meet's Outstanding Performer, Lagat set his sights on Eamonn Coghlan's 24-year old hand-timed meet record of 3:53.0.
A quick 55.8 first-quarter split by pacer Elkanah Angwenyi left Lagat well ahead of Laban Rotich, who had beaten Lagat the previous week in Boston, and Alan Webb, who was making his long-anticipated Millrose debut. Lagat followed Angwenyi closely through the 1/2-way point (1:54.3-1:54.5) and was all alone as he went through the 3/4-split in 2:52.8.
Needing a 60.1 final 1/4 to break Coghlan's record, Lagat did just that to close out his 3:52.87 winning performance. He also took down Noureddine Morceli's Madison Square Garden Record of 3:52.99, set at the U.S. Indoor Nationals in 1991. Rotich finished a distant 2nd in 4:00.33, with Webb in 3rd at 4:00.91.
Lagat will compete for his ninth NYRR Wanamaker Mile title at the 108th NYRR Millrose Games. Find more information on the Mile field at http://www.armorytrack.com/gprofile.php?mgroup_id=45586&do=news&news_id=313215