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Bernard Lagat’s final Olympics quest set to begin

WASHINGTON STATE track and field great Bernard Lagat, age 41, begins his quest on Monday to make the US Olympic team in the 5,000 meters. The first round in the 5,000 meters at the US team trials in Eugene will be held July 4, with the final run five days later. If Lagat qualifies, he will become a five-time Olympian.

About the only thing missing from Lagat’s storied career is an Olympic gold medal.  He won the bronze medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, the silver medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and finished fourth in the 5000 meters at the 2012 Beijing Games.

Lagat was a nine-time track and field All-American and two-time cross country All-American at Washington State from 1996-99. He was named NCAA Indoor Male Athlete of the Year in 1999 and was a four-time Pac-10 champion.

On Friday, he was running third in the 10,000 meters at the Olympic Trials before dropping out.


Also on Friday, 2015 WSU grad Jesse Jorgensen was unable to qualify for the 800 meters semifinal, clocking a 1:49.91.

Seven Cougs in all are competing in the US Olympic Track and Field Trials that run through July 10: Lagat (5,000 and 10,000 meters); Jorgensen (800 meters); C.J. Allen (400-meter hurdles), Jeshua Anderson (400-meter hurdles), Than Pierson (high jump). On the women's side, Collier Lawrence (3,000 meter steeplechase) and Blessing Ufodiama (triple jump). Current WSU assistant track and field coach Brad Walker is also competing in the pole vault.  Allen is the lone WSU undergraduate.

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