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Lagat sets American indoor record for 5,000 meters

BOSTON — Bernard Lagat shattered the American record in the indoor 5,000 meters at the Reebok Boston Indoor Games on Saturday night, holding off a charge by Ethiopia's Dejen Gebremeskel with his trademark kick.

Lagat's time of 13 minutes, 11.50 seconds beat the previous mark by almost 7 seconds. Lagat, who won the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games in New York for a record eighth time last week beat Gebremeskel by .28 seconds.

Lagat led for much of the race, but Galen Rupp made a bold move on him with 1,000 meters to go before fading near the end. Lagat ripped off a 27-second last lap on the 200-meter track to hold off Gebremeskel.

Lagat usually doesn "I realize it is not an easy thing, but as long as you are comfortable you can do it."

Rupp, the former top American, was fourth in 13:14.21, still ahead of his old record of 13:18.12. He said he moved early because he didn't want the race to come down to Lagat's superior speed.

"He's just a little bit faster than me," Rupp said. "Bernard, he's still got it."

Lagat and Rupp said they hoped to run as the American team in the 3,000 meters in the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar, in March if they qualify at the U.S. championships in Albuquerque, N.M., later this month.

Ethiopians ran 1-2 in a strong women's 3,000-meter field, with world junior champ Kalkidan Gezahegn holding off Genzebe Dibaba and American Shannon Rowbury to win in 8:45.19.

Dibaba is the younger sister of Tirunesh Dibaba, the two-time Olympic gold medalist who ran away with the 5,000 meters in 14:44.53.

New Zealand's Nick Willis, the silver medalist in the 1,500 at Beijing, defended his title in the men's mile in 3:55.27.

American Terrence Trammell equaled the fastest time of the indoor season in the 60-meter hurdles with a meet-record 7.49, easily beating Eric Mitchum.

"To not have run my best race technically but still win, I'm pleased with that," Trammell said.

Anna Pierce of the U.S., ranked No. 2 in the world at 800 meters in 2009, fell short in the women's 1,000 meters, as she was overtaken in the final strides by Kenia Sinclair of Jamaica, 2:38.62

"I just need a couple of meets to really get in shape," Pierce said. "I really felt it the final 50 meters."

American Dee Dee Trotter stumbled badly during the women's 400 meters, but recovered quickly to pull away from the field in 53.08.

Americans won both pole vaults, too. Jeremy Scott folded his 6-foot-9 frame over the bar at 18 feet, 4 inches to take the men's and Chelsea Johnson cleared 14 feet, 11 inches.

Millrose 60 meters champ Ivory Williams made it two in a row, winning in 6.51 seconds to beat his New York time by .08 of a second. Lisa Barber won the women's 60 in 7.22 for another American sweep.

Shalonda Salomon led start to finish in the women's 200 meters to win in 23.54. Bershawn Jackson won the men's 400 meters in 46.87, and Damu Cheery edged Canada's Perdita Felicien by .01 to win the women's 60-meter hurdles in 8.00 even.