Lopez Lomong, Evan Jager, Andrew Bumbalough, Chris Derrick, Matt Tegenkamp, and Elliott Heath will lead a contingent from coach Jerry Schumacher’s Portland, OR, Nike training group to the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory on Friday night, reportedly to chase the IAAF World Championships “A” standard of 13:15:00, but possibly also to challenge the U.S. record.
For Lomong, a two-time U.S. Olympian, it will be a return to the venue where he won the men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile earlier this month, as well as another homecoming: One of the “Lost Boys of Sudan,” Lomong settled in Tully, NY, after arriving in the United States at the age of 16.
“It always means so much to me to go to New York,” Lomong tweeted earlier this week. “Come and cheer for us in big numbers.”
New York Road Runners is helping to cover some of the travel costs for the Schumacher athletes. Admission to the Friday night portion of the Columbia “Last Chance” meet, during which the 5000 meters will be run, is free.
Joining Lomong will be Bumbalough, the fourth-place finisher at 5000 meters in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and runner-up in the Millrose two-mile; Jager, the U.S. record-holder in the 3000-meter steeplechase; Derrick, the 2012 U.S. cross country champion; Tegenkamp, a two-time Olympian and the fifth-fastest U.S. 5000-meter performer in history (12:58.56), who finished third at the cross country championships; and Heath, the fourth-place finisher in that race.
“We’re coming back to NYC, y’all,” tweeted Bumbalough, adding #letsdoitagain. Tegenkamp tweeted, “Excited to finally step foot on one of the best tracks in the world!”
The U.S. indoor record of 13:07.15 was set by Bernard Lagat at the 2012 Millrose Games, on this same track. Dan Huling, a top U.S. steeplechaser, and Travis Mahoney of the NJ-NY Track Club, are set to be the pacemakers.
The race is scheduled to start at 8:40 p.m. ET.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg