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Lagat ties Coghlan’s record with Millrose win

Bernard Lagat celebrates after winning the Millrose Wanamaker Mile. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Bernard Lagat celebrates after winning the Millrose Wanamaker Mile. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

Former Washington State University star Bernard Lagat won the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games for the seventh time Friday night to tie Eamonn Coghlan’s record.

Lagat finished in 3 minutes, 58.44 seconds. He beat New Zealand’s Nick Willis, the Olympic bronze medalist in the 1,500 meters.

Coghlan, dubbed the “Chairman of the Boards” for his dominance on the old wooden Millrose track, was in attendance at New York’s Madison Square Garden at the 102nd edition of the meet. The Irishman last won the Wanamaker Mile in 1987.

Lagat raced past Willis on the final lap.

“This is not any other race for me,” Lagat said. “This is a race that means a lot.

“This is a race I’ve had a lot of respect for it, respect for athletes who have competed here, particularly Eamonn Coghlan.”


Nadal rises Down Under in 5-hour semi; Federer next

After five arduous hours, Rafael Nadal couldn’t hold back the tears when he pulled within a point of making the Australian Open final.

Yet he managed to compose himself and held off Fernando Verdasco in five sets. Verdasco double-faulted after saving two match points, and Nadal won 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (1), 6-4 in the longest match in the tournament’s history, at Melbourne. Nadal flopped on his back – exhausted and elated – after a match few expected to go long.

The 5-hour, 14-minute semifinal between the Spanish left-handers started at dusk Friday (Australian time) and ended at 1:07 a.m. today.

The top-ranked Nadal advanced to another final against Roger Federer, who is bidding to equal Pete Sampras’ record 14 Grand Slam singles titles.

Nadal meets Federer for the seventh time to decide a Grand Slam on Sunday. Nadal has a 4-2 edge highlighted by last year’s epic 4:48, five-set win at Wimbledon.


Watney takes 2nd-round lead at FBR Open

Nick Watney shot an 8-under-par 63 to take the second-round lead at the FBR Open at Scottsdale, Ariz. Play was called due to darkness with three players, all above the cut line, still on the course.

At 9 under through two rounds, Watney had a one-stroke lead over Charley Hoffman, Matt Kuchar and first-round co-leader James Nitties. Kenny Perry and Cameron Beckman were two shots back.

For the first time in a pro career that began in 1992, Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his season debut.


Cavaliers coach Brown will lead East All-Stars

Cavaliers coach Mike Brown will lead the Eastern Conference in the NBA All-Star game Feb. 15 in Phoenix.

He’ll be joined by the Lakers’ Phil Jackson. All-Star coaches are picked from the teams with the best winning percentage in each conference.

Boston’s Doc Rivers is ineligible because he coached in last season’s game, even though the Celtics (.813) are ahead of Cleveland (.800).

•Kirilenko has surgery: Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko had surgery to remove a bone fragment from his right ankle.

Kirilenko has missed the past four games and his return is uncertain.

•Mason undergoes surgery: Oklahoma City Thunder guard Desmond Mason has undergone successful surgery after suffering a hyperextended right knee.

Thunder officials have said they expect Mason will make a full recovery, although he will miss the rest of the season.

•Wallace out of hospital: Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace has been released from a Los Angeles hospital after being treated for a partially collapsed lung that resulted from a flagrant foul in a game this week.


Vonn wins World Cup slalom, extends lead

Lindsey Vonn of the United States won a World Cup slalom ahead of Maria Riesch to extend her overall lead in the standings, at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

Vonn had a blistering second run to move from third to first and post her second slalom win of the season. She finished in a combined time of 1 minute, 47.17 seconds for her 17th career World Cup victory.


Suspended Hurricanes guard stole $6K worth

Suspended Miami Hurricanes guard Eddie Rios helped steal more than $6,000 in property from other students in at least two separate robberies on the Coral Gables campus, according to a police report.

•Torre unapologetic: Don’t expect an apology, Joe Torre is standing by everything he says in his new book.

The former Yankees manager told CNN’s Larry King on Friday night he’s shocked by the uproar “The Yankee Years” has caused. Torre added the book is merely an honest account of his 12 years with the club.

•Washington’s violations common: The secondary violations committed by new Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff in their first month of recruiting usually result in nothing more than administrative reprimands.

That is the word from the NCAA official to whom the Huskies have self-reported two violations in the last two weeks, Pac-10 associate commissioner for compliance Mike Matthews.

“Secondary violations are very common,” Matthews said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.

•Urango beats Ngoudjo to claim vacant belt: At Montreal, hard-hitting Juan Urango (21-1-1) knocked down hometown favorite Herman Ngoudjo (17-3) twice in the third round, then cruised to a unanimous decision to capture the vacant IBF junior welterweight boxing title.