Saturday, February 2, 2008

2008 Millrose Games Wrap-Up: Lagat & Nelson Win Big

World-leading 72 feet, 5 inches for Adam Nelson at Millrose

Lagat leaves field in dust.

They say timing is everything. So far in 2008 – and specifically Friday at Madison Square Garden – that adage held true for Bernard Lagat.

Lagat was off to a slow start in the race before Craig Mottram took the lead at mid-race point fearing the pace was too slow. Bernard took the lead with one and a half laps to go and blistered the field to win his 6th Wanamaker Mile in 3:57.51 over Mottram, Nick Willis and Galen Rupp.

After the race Lagat said, “It might have looked easy. Like always, I have to prepare myself for a great race. I have run with him [Mottram] several times and stick to my strategy that I had prepared coming into the race. Before I came to the arena, I had envisioned the race as it happened. I passed him with two laps to go.”

Other Millrose highlights

Women’s 60-meter: Carmelita Jeter has been putting together solid finishes lately. She surged at Osaka to place third in the 100-meter world final. At Fresno State, she sealed the deal at the finish line. On Friday at Millrose, she continued her streak to win in 7.29 seconds at the finish line over Miki Barber (7.30) and Daigel-Bowen(7.32).

Men’s 60-meter: Reigning World Indoor 60-meter champion Leonard Scott demonstrated his indoor dominance again in winning the Metro men's 60-meters in 6.59 seconds.

Women’s high jump: Amy Acuff showed why she’s a three-time Olympian with a first-place finish of 6 feet, 3.50 inches.

Women’s pole vault: Jenn Stuczynski will have to wait another year for a Millrose victory. Both Jenn and 2004 Olympian Jillian Schwartz cleared 15 feet, 2¼ inches, but Schwartz won because she had fewer misses.

Men’s shot put: Men’s shot put was a highlight of the Millrose events with an energetic performance by Adam Nelson. Nelson stole the show heaving a massive 72 feet, 5 inches throw while setting a MSG record in front of 12,647 screaming fans. Christian Cantwell took second with 69 feet, 11 inches in front of reigning world champ Reese Hoffa’s 69 feet, 4 inches. For his sick performance, Nelson has the world’s top throw and was named the Millrose Games Athlete of the meet.

The women’s mile came down to sprinting power. Sarah Hall swung wide coming down the homestretch giving 10,000-meter runner, Kara Goucher, enough room to slide inside to narrowly win in 4:36.03.

600 yards is a difficult event. Quarter mile runners find the distance too long and 800 meter runs have found the race too short to get going. Bershawn Jackson found the race to be the perfect length in a narrow victory over two lap star Khadevis Robinson. Jackson took the early lead and finished in 1:10.34 over Robinson’s 1:10.53.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist

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