2017 Pre Meet


Taylor soars, Crouser throws to memorable performances

Action both on the track and in the field made for an exciting weekend of competition at the Prefontaine Classic Friday evening and Saturday, marking the third stop in this year's IAAF Diamond League. 

Setting the tone on Saturday, local favorite Ryan Crouser and two-time Olympic champion Christian Taylor were simply amazing, each putting up memorable performances at historic Hayward Field. 

For Taylor, another epic battle between himself and fellow American Will Claye took place. Taylor jumped to an early lead with a leap of 17.82m on his first jump, a mark Claye would match on his fourth attempt, leaving the two athletes in a tie with three jumps to go for Taylor and two left for Claye.

With the crowd on their feet, Taylor got everyone in the stadium clapping for his fourth attempt, and as he floated down the runway, his rhythm was in step. Hitting the board, Taylor exploded into the air, soaring, kicking and landing at 18.11m, taking over the lead and recording the third farthest jump in history, only behind Taylor's own American record of 18.21m and the world record of 18.29m.

Crouser, going head-to-head against his fellow Rio medalists Tom Walsh and Joe Kovacs, threw 21.89m and 21.88m on his first and third throws. It wasn't until his fifth throw that he unleashed a 22.43m toss, which not only kept him in first place but also broke the meeting and Hayward Field record. Crouser led a quartet of men who finished with finishing marks over 21 meters.

Just as things were heating up in the field events, action on the track was firing up the crowd. In the mens 5000m, Olympic champion Mo Farah used his patented kick to edge the field, nearly eclipsing the 13-minute mark with a 13:00.70 time. Farah, challenged for much of the race by a strong contingent of competition, flew over the final 400 meters to show he's still the class of world-wide distance running. 

Elsewhere on the track, Caster Semenya outlasted Margaret Wambui in the women's 800m, as the two battled to a 1:57.78-1:57.88 finish. In the men's 100 meters, Ronnie Baker upset a strong and talented field with a fantastic mark of 9.86. While the +2.4 wind reading keeps the mark from being a world-leading time, beating the likes of Justin Gatlin, Andre De Grasse and others sets Baker up as the man to beat in upcoming IAAF Diamond League action. 

In the field events, Maria Lasitskene, competing as a neutral athlete, won the women's high jump on a stacked field of competition in a world-leading mark of 2.03m, setting a new Hayward Field record. Perfect through 1.95m, Lasitskene missed on her first attempt at 1.98m, but made the second, raising the bar to 2.03m. After missing her first two attempts, Lasitskene wowed the crowd by ever so slightly clearing the bar, bringing the crowd to their feet. 

In the short hurdle events, Jasmine Stowers and Omar McLeod won the day with victories in the 100m and 110m hurdles. Stowers beat the field with her winning time of 12.59, as Americans swept places 1-7. For McLeod, he challenged the 13-second barrier yet again, coming up just short with a 13.01 finish. 

Back on the track, Tori Bowie got off to an impressive start in the women's 200 meters and used strong turn running to run away to a 21.77 world-leading mark. Not only did Bowie beat reigning Olympic gold and silver medalists Elaine Thompson and Dafne Schippers, but also edged Rio 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo and the Allyson Felix.

Rounding out the weekend's competition, Kenyan Ronald Kwemoi won the Bowerman Mile, outlasting a tremendous field to win 3:49.04-3:49.08 over countryman Elijah Manangoi.

On Friday evening, Brittney Reese and Tatsiana Khaladovich won their respective IAAF Diamond League events. Reese jumped a world-leading 7.01m mark to win the women's long jump, once again showing her dominance in the event on a big stage, while Khaladovich upset an impressive field in the women's javelin with a 66.30m winning throw. 

For Dibaba, a world record attempt on her sister's 5000m world record was the focus, and while the early pacing was spot on, by 3000m it was clear the Ethiopian standout was going to be hard pressed to break the record. Despite falling off pace, Dibaba continued to drive, never looking back - ultimately finishing in 14:25.22.

The 2017 Prefontaine Classic once again brought the best athletes in track and field to Eugene, putting on a show for those in attendance and the countless fans across the world tuning in. A nearly unending string of personal bests, world-leading marks and upset performances made this edition of the IAAF Diamond League meeting one for the ages. 


Chespol breaks Hayward Field steeplechase record

 Celliphine Chepteek Chespol, the 18-year-old Kenyan sensation, became the second-fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase performer ever with 8:58.78 Chespol broke the Hayward Field and meet record and was at the front of a very fast race that saw four women go under 9:10, including U.S. bronze medalist Emma Coburn, who logged 9:07.96 for the second-fastest time of her career.On the track, Celliphine Chespol and Genzebe Dibaba eah put on a show in front of the Hayward Field faithful. Chespol ran much of the women's 3000m steeplechase with fellow countrywoman Beatrice Chepkoech and world record holder Ruth Jebet. Through six laps the athletes ran stride for stride, well clear of the rest of the field. On the second-to-last water jump, Chespol led, hit the water, then the back of her right shoe came off, forcing her to stop. 

With little time to make up, Chespol used the next 150 meters to catch back up to Chepkoech and Jebet, then used the surge of momentum to move by her competition. Retaking the lead, pushing the pace and coming back from behind put the fans in attendance on their feet, as Chespol ran a new Hayward Field record in 8:58.78. Chepkoech and Jebet finished second and third.

Chespol also beat world record holder and Olympic champion Ruth Jebet of Bahrain, who was third in 9:03.52. Kenyan Beatrice Chepkoech was second with a personal best 9:00.70.


Taylor, Claye wage epic battle in Pre triple jump

EUGENE -- Christian Taylor vs. Will Claye took over the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday at Hayward Field and delivered some of the most compelling moments in a star-studded meet bursting with stories.

Claye produced a short-lived Hayward Field triple jump record when landed in the pit at 58 feet, 5.75 inches (17.82m) on his fourth-round attempt.

Taylor, the two-time Olympic champion and a former University of Florida teammate, answered Claye on the very next jump with 59-5 (18.11m) -- the third-best mark in history and the farthest ever on U.S. soil. It was also the second-best jump of Taylor's life.

Claye came back in the fifth round with a bid to take the lead. He produced a lifetime-best 59-2.75 (18.08). That would have been the eighth-best jump in history if not for a +2.4 wind reading.

"Hayward Magic," Taylor said. "When you have Eugene like this you cannot waste the day. ...(Claye) is always pushing me. He always wants to fight."

A picture-perfect day produced a string of results that set the table for the run-up to the IAAF World Championships in August in London.

British running icon Mo Farah, of the Nike Oregon Project, gave the Eugene crowd a final, indelible memory in the 5,000 meters before announcing that it was his final track race in the U.S.

Farah kicked away from his challengers in the final 200 meters to run 13:00.70 -- the fastest time in the world this year.

"It's hard to maintain year after year, and the year after that," Farah said.

Farah's legacy is cemented with double golds in the 5,000 and 10,000 at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.

His final race at Hayward Field, Farah said, was "emotional."

"This is where it started for me. In 2011, if you guys remember, it was my breakthrough year. I wasn't expected to win the race and I won and broke the British record," he said, referring to the Prefontaine Classic 10,000 he won that year.

"It gave me a massive boost of confidence."

American Tori Bowie ran a sensational time of 21.77 seconds to beat an Olympic final-caliber field in the women's 200 meters. She beat 400 gold medalist Shaunae Miller-Uibo (21.91), 100 and 200 gold medalist Elaine Thompson (21.98), 200 silver medalist Dafne Schippers (22.30) and nine-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix (22.33).

High school pole vault prodigy Mondo Duplantis of Lafayette LA tantalized the crowed in a fourth-place finish that saw him just miss his final two attempts at 19-0.75.

"I wouldn't say (it was) the wrong pole, but maybe the wrong standards. I think if they were in one centimeter I would have made it," Duplantis said.

He finished with 18-8.75 (5.71m), once centimeter better than his father Greg's winning mark at the Pre Classic in 1992.

American Sam Kendricks pulled out a close victory over Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie for the victory with 19-2.75.

In the men's shot put, Ryan Crouser made a successful homecoming after winning the Olympic title last summer. A year ago, coming out of a grueling academic program at the University of Texas, Crouser came to the Pre Classic and had to buy competition gear from a local store. He placed sixth.

Crouser  broke the meet record Saturday with 73-7.25 (22.43m), the second-best throw in the world this year.

"I feel big and strong," Crouser said. "Aesthetically, the throws weren't the prettiest."

Ashley Spencer won the women's 400-meter hurdles with a lifetime-best 53.38 seconds, edging out Shamier Little (53.44). Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad was fifth.

Jasmin Stowers led a 1-7 all-U.S. result in the women's 100 hurdles with 12.59 seconds.

Olympic champion Omar McLeod ran a world-leading 13.01 in the men's 110-meter hurdles, while former Oregon star Devon Allen ran an encouraging 13.11 for third on his way back from knee surgery.

Maria Lasitskene, a Russian athlete competing as a neutral athlete, broke the Hayward Field record in the women's high jump, clearing 6-8 (2.03m).

In the international men's mile, 16-year-old Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen became the youngest man to break the four-minute mark with 3:58.07 for 11th place. His older brother Henrik placed third in the same race and another brother, Filip, was eighth in the Bowerman Mile at the conclusion of the meet.

"He was born to run," Henrik said of his younger brother.

American prep D.J. Principe of La Salle RI fought to hold on at the tail end of the pack in the international race and finished in 4:00.73, a slight PR over his best indoor time from January.

Ronald Kwemoi was the day's fastest miler, winning the Bowerman race in 3:49.04, leading a 1-4 Kenyan sweep. Clayton Murphy was fifth with a PR 3:51.99.

Morolake Akinosun beat a strong field in the women's 100 meters in 10.94 seconds (2.1w). Ronnie Baker won the men's 100 in 9.86 (2.8w).

South African Caster Semenya won the 800 meters in 1:57.78 in an event where the Olympic medalists all finished in the top three.


Faith Kipyegon of Kenya won the women's 1,500 in 3:59.67.

Florida prep Tyrese Cooper ran a wind-legal best of 20.51 to win the Nike Elite Camp boys 200 meters. He was aiming to go a bit faster, but didn't get to go head to head with Hakim Sani Brown, who scratched with a hip injury.