Saturday, June 4, 2011

Verzbicas Sets National HS Mark at Pre 2-Mile

Lukas Verzbicas was in a very loaded field at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, OR, on Saturday, but it was his chance to shine and he didn't waste it. While Bernard Lagat won a splendidly strategic race with a magnificent kick in 8:13.62, Verzbicas, 18, a recent graduate of Sandburg High School in Orland Park, ran his own race, hanging onto the back of the pack for a few laps, but never falling off the radar screen as the leaders pulled away. In the end, Lukas ran an 8:29.46, setting an American high school record by almost five seconds. Lagat made it a point to shake Lukas's hand after he crossed the line. That was a real class act. The previous 2-mile record was Californian German Fernandez’s 8:34.40, set in 2008. Before that, it was a 8:36.3, run in 1979 by Jeff Nelson of Burbank, CA. Gerry Lindgren, one of the greats during my high school days, ran an 8:40 in Spokane, WA, back in 1964. Just to clear it up, the 2-mile is not the same distance as the 3,200 meters. It is slightly longer.

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