Strong Field Slated To Run The Bowerman Mile

Leo Manzano is the fastest-seeded American to appear in the Bowerman Mile. Photo: www.photorun.net

Olympic medalist Leo Manzano leads the charge for the Americans.

(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

One day after announcing a tremendous women’s 800m field that features a pair of Olympic gold medalists, organizers of the Prefontaine Classic released the elite lineup for the annual Bowerman Mile, to be run June 1 at the fourth IAAF Diamond League stop. Each of the 2012 Olympic medalists at 1500m are entered, as are a pair of 2008 Olympic medalists and three of America’s best milers.

Run every year in honor of legendary Oregon head track and field coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, the Bowerman Mile has traditionally been filled with the top 1500m and milers in the world. This year may present the best field in the race’s 39-year history.

Leading the charge are each of the past two Olympic gold medalists at the metric mile, Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi and Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop. Makhloufi, the surprise winner in London last August, will be making both his mile and American debut, having never raced in the United States before. The 25-year-old carries a 1500m personal best of 3:30.80, though hasn’t raced yet in 2013.

A veteran of the Bowerman Mile and Hayward Field, Kiprop will try to win his fourth event title in five years, having taken the 2009, 2010, and 2012 editions. He has looked to be in prime shape thus far this year, winning the 1500m at both the Doha and Shanghai Diamond League meetings, the latter with a dramatic come-from-behind kick.

London Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano, 2011 World Championships bronze medalist Matthew Centrowitz, and two-time Olympian Lopez Lomong lead the American squad, aiming to give the red, white, and blue their first Bowerman Mile title since 2006. Manzano, 28, placed 12th in 3:53.07 last year.

Others taking to the line will be 2008 Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis — who was forced to skip Saturday’s adidas Grand Prix because of a fall he suffered at the Shanghai meet — as well as Morocco’s Abdelaati Iguider, who took home the London Olympics bronze medal at 1500m.

Last year’s Bowerman Mile runner-up Mekonnen Gebremedhin will toe the line against a group of top Kenyans, including 2012 Diamond League titlist Silas Kiplagat, Bethwell Birgen, Nixon Chepseba, Collins Cheboi, and Caleb Ndiku.

Rounding out the field is 20-year-old Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti, a national record holder at three distances, and two-time Pre Classic International Mile winner Ryan Gregson of Australia.

In 2012, all 16 finishers of the race broke 3:57 for the Bowerman Mile, with Kiprop coming out on top in 3:49.40. The race record belongs to Daniel Kipchirchir Komen of Kenya, who won the 2007 edition in 3:48.28.

Below is a complete list of the Bowerman Mile field, with mile and 1500m personal bests included.

Asbel Kiprop (Kenya), 3:48.50 mile best, 3:28.88 1500m best
Silas Kiplagat (Kenya), 3:49.39, 3:29.27
Mekonnen Gebremedhin (Ethiopia), 3:49.70, 3:31.45
Caleb Ndiku (Kenya), 3:49.77, 3:32.02
Ayanleh Souleiman (Djibouti), 3:50.21, 3:30.31
Bethwel Birgen (Kenya), 3:50.43, 3:31.00
Leo Manzano (USA), 3:50.64, 3:32.27
Nick Willis (New Zealand), 3:50.66, 3:30.35
Lopez Lomong (USA), 3:51.21, 3:32.20
Matthew Centrowitz (USA), 3:51.34, 3:31.96
Collins Cheboi (Kenya), 3:51.44, 3:32.08
Abdelaati Iguider (Morocco), 3:51.78, 3:31.47
Ryan Gregson (Australia), 3:52.24, 3:31.06
Nixon Chepseba (Kenya), 3:53.36, 3:29.77
Taoufik Makhloufi (Algeria), none, 3:30.80

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