Final: Thursday, June 28 — 7:38 PM
Bernard Lagat has stated his main mission is to win a gold medal in the 5,000m this summer in London and there’s no reason not to believe him. The Kenyan-born 37-year-old, who trains in Arizona, is the reigning national champion and the American record holder in the event. He enters as the favorite and looked smooth in his qualifying heat, but will be given a run for his money by Galen Rupp, who won the 10,000 meters on the opening night of competition in Eugene, and 2008 U.S. 1,500m Olympian Lopez Lomong, a relative newcomer to the 5,000 who ran a then world-leading 13:11.63 at the Payton Jordan meet at the end of April. Brent Vaughn, the 2011 U.S. cross country champion, could fly in under the radar and grab a surprise spot on the team if the right opportunity arises, as might Ben True, Andrew Bumbalough, or Lagat’s younger brother Robert Cheseret. With a deep field of tremendous talent and killer closing speed, look for an epic fight to the finish over the last two laps.