2018 Pre Meet lineup (so far)


                                                                                The 2018 Pre Classic is scheduled for May 25-26

March 21, 2018
For Immediate Release

Air Lavillenie & Kendricks (& Duplantis) Primed for Major Vault at Pre Classic

(The 44th Prefontaine Classic, a member of the IAAF Diamond League of elite international track & field meets, will be held May 25-26 at historic Hayward Field.)

Eugene, Oregon – They can each claim to be a reigning World Champion…current World Record Holder and World Indoor champRenaud Lavillenie will duel World Outdoor champ Sam Kendricks as part of an exceptional field during the “Friday Night at Pre” program at the 2018 Prefontaine Classic.

The duo have combined to claim every IAAF Diamond League title since the series began and lead a field which features every Olympic and World Championships medalist over the last two years. Even an 18-year-old, high school sensation Mondo Duplantis, has joined the field of world-class vaulters who successfully petitioned meet organizers to add the event to the program.

It’s a world-class freebie for fans, courtesy of long-time sponsor NIKE, as part of the always-loaded Friday evening events.
 
Renaud Lavillenie added a record third World Indoor Championships gold to his impressive war chest earlier this month in England. The world record holder at 20-2½ (6.16) battled multiple injuries last year and relinquished a crown he owned since the Diamond League was created in 2010. His 7 DL titles in 2010-16 matched his Track & Field News World Ranking No. 1s over the same period.

Lavillenie, now 31, enjoys vaulting in front of Hayward Field’s East Grandstand. He soared to 19-10¼ (6.05) at the 2015 Pre Classic, the best ever seen in America and the best he’s done anywhere outdoors. His appreciation for Eugene has never been hidden, even wearing a hometown University of Oregon singlet in 2016 as he won his fourth straight Pre Classic, a feat only achieved by Oregon’s Kory Tarppening (1988-91).
 
Sam Kendricks won everything last year, an undefeated season including the World Championships gold and the Diamond League trophy that no one could ever wrestle from Lavillenie. His U.S. jumping is many times golden – he has won every U.S. title he has entered. Before that, he won two NCAA Outdoor titles, both at Hayward Field, while at Mississippi.

Kendricks, 25, earned Olympic bronze in Rio – the first U.S. Olympic medal by an American since 2004. It also made him the youngest American Olympic medalist since Jan Johnson’s bronze in 1972 at age 21.
 
Mondo Duplantis is 18 years old and still in high school in Lafayette, Louisiana. As a 17-year-old, he turned the vault world upside down last spring with a Texas Relays victory of 19-4¼ (5.90) that gave him the World Junior (U20) Record, a mark he’s looking to increase this year. He subsequently became the youngest male vault finalist at the London World Championships, competing for mom Helena’s Sweden. His dad, Greg, won the 1992 Pre Classic.

Brazil’s Thiago Braz, 24, won the 2016 Olympic gold, becoming the first from his country to claim Olympic gold in this sport since 1984, when Joaquim Cruz – an Oregon Duck at the time – won the 800 at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Poland’s Piotr Lisek, 25, was ranked No. 2 in the world last year by T&FN and earned the 2017 World Championships silver medalist after a bronze in in 2015. Indoors, he added a World Indoor bronze to the one he earned in Portland.

Pawel Wojiechowski, 28, is also from Poland. He won the 2011 World Championships and last year earned a No. 4 T&FN world ranking.  He also won bronze at the 2015 World Championships.

Germany’s Raphael Holzdeppe, 28, won the 2013 World Championships and an Olympic bronze in 2012. He was silver medalist at the 2015 Worlds.

Men’s Pole VaultPersonal Best
Renaud Lavillenie (France)20-2½(6.16)
Thiago Braz (Brazil)19-9¼(6.03)
Sam Kendricks (USA)19-8¼(6.00)
Piotr Lisek (Poland)19-8¼(6.00)
Raphael Holzdeppe (Germany)19-5¾(5.94)
Pawel Wojciechowski (Poland)19-5½(5.93)
Mondo Duplantis (Sweden)19-4¼(5.90)



Vetter, Röhler Set to Rewrite Pre Classic Record

(The 44th Prefontaine Classic, a member of the IAAF Diamond League of elite international track & field meets, will be held May 25-26 at historic Hayward Field.)
 
Eugene, Oregon – The two-year-old Prefontaine Classic and Hayward Field record in the men’s javelin is in serious jeopardy, as the two farthest throwers in the world lead the best field ever assembled in this event at the Pre meet.

The field is impressively deep with all three medalists from last year’s World Championships, three of the last four IAAF Diamond Trophy winners, and even the world Junior (Under 20) recordholder.

Most of the focus will be on German rivals Johannes Vetter and Thomas Röhler, who won the gold medals at the London World Championships and Rio Olympics, topped the Track & Field News world rankings the last two years and produced the three longest throws since the turn of the century.  The only man who has ever thrown farther than either is world record holder Jan Zelezny, whose 323-1 (98.48) dates back to 1996.
           
The current Hayward Field and Prefontaine Record of 286-7 (87.37) was set in 2016 by Ihab Abdelrahman of Egypt. Last year Vetter and Röhler threw farther than that mark a combined 38 times!         
           
Johannes Vetter, who will turn 25 on March 26, reached the pinnacle in August with his gold medal in the London World Championships.  A month earlier he launched the spear an amazing 309-10 (94.44), the farthest since Zelezny’s WR and an improvement of over 15 feet.  His ascension to the medal podium almost came in Rio, where after leading early he finished 4th, less than a foot (0.23m) away from a bronze.

Vetter’s victory in London placed him among Germany’s all-time best, which includes some familiar names.  The only other man from the re-unified Germany to earn a World Championships javelin medal was his coach, Boris Henry, with a bronze in 1995 and 2003.  The last World javelin gold medalist from Germany was Christina Obergföll in 2013 with the women’s spear.  Henry and Obergföll (also the Pre Classic women’s meet record holder) were married later in 2013 (Henry now uses the Obergföll surname).

Vetter has opened up the 2018 season on fire, recording the earliest 300-footer in history with a 304-1 (92.70) at the European Throwing Cup last weekend in Portugal.
 
Thomas Röhler, 26, made his own history in Rio, becoming the first German man to strike Olympic javelin gold since 1972.  Last year he opened up with his best-ever 308-1 (93.90) at Doha, still the Diamond League record.  A month later, he added a 300-3 (91.53) to become the first since Zelezny to have a pair of 300-footers in the same season (Vetter would match the feat by the end of the summer).

Röhler narrowly missed adding another medal last year in London, but he was edged by Petr Frydrych in the last round by 2 inches (6cm) for the bronze.  Röhler has been world-ranked No. 1 or No. 2 three of the last four years by T&FN, the only javelinist with as many top rankings.  He won the 2014 Diamond League trophy.
 
Jakub Vadlejch, 27, of the Czech Republic, won his second straight Diamond League trophy last year.  The only other two-time DL winner in this event was also from the Czech Republic – Vitezslav Vesely in 2012 and ’13.  Vadlejch was the closest  to Vetter at last year’s World Championships, claiming the silver with a massive PR of 294-4 (89.73) for his first major medal.

Petr Frydrych, 30, made his medal debut last in year in London, earning bronze with a PR 289-9 (88.32) at the World Championships. The closest he had ever come to a medal was in 2009, when he was 10th at the World Championships.  It was a special moment for the Czech Republic with two standing on the podium for the first time.  One of those smiling was Frydrych’s coach, Jan Zelezny, 3-time Olympic gold medalist.

Germany’s Andreas Hofmann, 26, is sometimes overlooked, coming from the powerful German group.  He has given Germany three finalists in both of the last two World Championships and last August just missed joining the 300-foot club with a PR 298-9 (91.07) to earn silver at the World University Games in Taipei.

India’s Neeraj Chopra, 20, set the world Junior (U20) record of 283-9 (86.48) as an 18-year-old winning the 2016 World Junior Championships in Poland.  He broke the old record by over 6 feet.  Last week, Chopra recorded his second-longest throw ever at 281-11 (85.94).

The final positions in the field will be filled later this spring with the best-performing throwers not already included.

Men’s JavelinPersonal Best
Johannes Vetter (Germany)309-10(94.44)
Thomas Röhler (Germany)308-1(93.90)
Andreas Hofmann (Germany)298-9(91.07)
Jakub Vadlejch (Czech Republic)294-4(89.73)
Petr Frydrych (Czech Republic)289-9(88.32)
Neeraj Chopra (India)283-9(86.48)


Crouser vs Walsh vs the World in Epic Pre Classic Shot Put


(The 44th Prefontaine Classic, a member of the IAAF Diamond League of elite international track & field meets, will be held May 25-26 at historic Hayward Field.)

 
Eugene, Oregon – A field featuring every medalist from the last three global championships will set the stage for another epic shot put competition at the 2018 Prefontaine Classic. Heading the field are 2016 Olympic Champion and Oregon native Ryan Crouserand 2017 World Champion and 2018 World Indoor champion Tom Walsh. 

With those two testing the boundaries of the throwing sector, they will be joined by a stunning list of competitors so rich it also includes the last three Diamond Trophy winners as well as the farthest 20-year-old thrower ever. Every athlete in the field has a lifetime best over 70 feet, and Hayward Field's record number of 70-plus throws is sure to grow.

Ryan Crouser thrilled last year’s Pre Classic crowd with a Hayward Field record 73-7.25 (22.43m) in his first return since winning Olympic gold at Rio. He provided more fireworks a month later to win the U.S. championships, coming from behind with a lifetime best 74-3.75 (22.65m) – the farthest in the world since 2003.

The 25-year old was on target for the Diamond League title last summer until Darrell Hill one-upped him with his own final-round heroics. Still, Crouser’s season was dominant enough to earn a second-straight No. 1 world ranking by Track & Field News.

Crouser is from an Oregon family of throwers with numerous state prep titles, national high school records and collegiate championships (dad Mitch, uncles Dean and Brian, and cousins Sam and Haley). He won World Youth shot gold in 2009, set two still-standing prep records in 2011 in the discus (237-6/72.40m) and indoor shot (77-2.75/23.54m), and won four NCAA titles for Texas (indoor and outdoor shot).

New Zealand’s Tom Walsh, 26, has the most major gold medals in the field with three. He captured the top spot in last year’s World Championships, then last weekend improved his PR with a world-leading 73-2.50 (22.31m), defending the World Indoor gold he won in Portland two years ago. The Rio Olympic bronze medalist won the 2016 Diamond League and was runner-up in the last two Pre Classics, ranking No. 2 in the T&FN world rankings both years.

Joe Kovacs, 28, joins Crouser as the world’s only other 74-footer since 2003 and is the only man since 1990 with more than one such effort. After winning gold at the 2015 Worlds in Beijing, the American earned silver in the Rio Olympics as well at last year’s World Championships. The 2015 Diamond League winner is the only shot putter to rank among the world’s top three in each of the last four years. Kovacs won the Pre Classic in 2015 and 2016.

American Darrell Hill, 24, has made the difficult U.S. team three straight times and is still looking for his first major medal. But Hill is no stranger to this field loaded with medalists. At the Diamond League final last August in Brussels, he was in 5th place entering the final round and responded with a massive PR 73-7.50 (22.44m) to snatch victory from Crouser. The nearly 2-foot improvement reminded fans of another Hill achievement – at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials when he improved over 1½ feet with his first 70-foot effort.

David Storl, 26, is competing better than he has in two years.  He won his third World Indoor silver last weekend for his first medal since a silver at the 2015 Beijing World Championships. Storl, who won the World Championships in 2011 and 2013 at the ages of 21 and 23, is Germany’s third farthest ever at 72-10 (22.20m), trailing only a pair of former world record holders in Udo Beyer and Ulf Timmermann.

Tomas Stanek, 26, is the Czech Republic record holder at 72-9 (22.17m), set last month in Germany. He earned his first major medal last weekend at the World Indoor, taking the bronze he was just two inches from earning at last summer’s World Championships.

Once an All-American javelin thrower at Florida, Stipe Zunic switched to the shot put after 2013 elbow surgery, eventually becoming NCAA Indoor champion in 2015. The 27-year-old earned the first World Championships medal for a man from Croatia with a bronze last year in London.

The youngest in the field is Poland’s Konrad Bukowiecki, who will turn 21 on March 17. He won the European Indoor Championships last year and last month improved his best to 72-2.25 (22.00m) – merely farthest by any man younger than 21. This will be his second Pre Classic and third meet at Hayward Field, as he won the 2014 World Junior (now U20) Championships.

Also from Poland is Michal Haratyk, who will turn 26 in April.  He was 5th in last summer’s World Championships, just 2 inches away from the bronze medal.
 
Men’s Shot PutPersonal Best
Ryan Crouser (USA)74-3.75(22.65m)
Joe Kovacs (USA)74-0.75(22.57m)
Darrell Hill (USA)73-7.50(22.44m)
Tom Walsh (New Zealand)73-2.50(22.31m)
David Storl (Germany)72-10(22.20m)
Tomas Stanek (Czech Republic)72-9(22.17m)
Konrad Bukowiecki (Poland)72-2.25(22.00m)
Michal Haratyk (Poland)71-9.50(21.88m)
Stipe Zunic (Croatia)70-5.75(21.48m)


Stefanídi, Morris Bring Aerial Show to Pre Classic

(The 44th Prefontaine Classic, a member of the IAAF Diamond League of elite international track & field meets, will be held May 25-26 at historic Hayward Field.)

Eugene, Oregon – The world’s two best women’s pole vaulters are bringing their high-flying rivalry from the Olympics and World Championships to the Prefontaine Classic.

Katerína Stefanídi and Sandi Morris top a star-studded field in the Pre Classic’s first announced event of 2018.  The pole vault is a Hayward Field favorite, and vault lovers in the fabled East Grandstands are in for a treat as every confirmed entrant is among the world’s top 10 for 2017 as ranked by Track & Field News.

Katerína Stefanídi, 28, is the reigning Olympic and World Championships gold medalist, becoming the only Greek athlete with golds in both of track & field’s biggest meets.  She has dominated the vault scene the last two years, including a pair of IAAF Diamond League crowns and owning an undefeated streak that dates back just over a year.  Stefanídi last year became the most recent member of the exclusive 16-foot (4.88) club at the Millrose Games, a meet she won last week for the fourth straight year.

Local fans remember Stefanídi back to her college days.  She won the 2012 NCAA title as a Stanford senior just a month after she set her collegiate best of 14-8¼ (4.48) to win the Pac-12 in her most recent competition at Hayward Field. Continuing her affinity for vaulting in Oregon, she won her first major medal with a bronze at 2016 World Indoor at Portland.

Sandi Morris, 25, is America’s top vaulter with silver medals in the Rio Olympics and last year’s World Championships.  She is the last person to beat Stefanídi (early February last year indoors) and earned T&FN’s No. 1 world ranking in 2016.  After losing to Stefanídi on misses in Rio, Morris became the third member of the uber-exclusive 5-meter club, scaling the 16-4¾ (5.00) barrier at the IAAF Diamond League’s Van Damme Memorial in Brussels and she remains the IDL record holder.

Morris’s career took off in her senior year at Arkansas in 2015, winning the NCAA Indoor crown and outdoors qualifying for her first international team.  At the Beijing World Championships, she finished just out of the medals in a tie for 4th.  She has medaled every time since, first at the 2016 World Indoor (silver) followed by Rio and London last year.

Head-to-head, Stefanídi owns a career 17-9 edge over Morris.

British record holder Holly Bradshaw, 26,  was 7th as a 19-year-old in the 2012 Pre Classic competition.  Bradshaw bettered that performance in London with a 6th-place tie in the Olympics, which she upped to 5th in Rio.  She was No. 4 in last year’s T&FN world rankings.

Two-time Olympian Lisa Ryzih, 29, of Germany, reached her highest T&FN ranking of No. 5 last year.  She was 5th in last year’s London Worlds, her third straight finals.  A former World Youth and World Junior gold medalist, she was silver medalist behind Stefanidi in last year’s European Indoor Championships and the 2016 European Championships.

Nichole Büchler of Switzerland is the oldest in the field at 34.  A three-time Olympian, she reached the world’s elite level in 2016 with a 4th-place finish at the World Indoor and 6th in Rio.  She ranked No. 4 in the 2016 T&FN world rankings and No. 8 last year.  Her PR 15-9 (4.80) came in the Portland World Indoor, where she matched the same height Stefanídi cleared to earn bronze.

Canadian record holder Alysha Newman is the youngest in the field at 23.  After taking 7th in the London World Championships, she saved her best for last with a 15-7 (4.75) PR for 3rd in the IAAF Diamond League final at Brussels behind Stefanídi and Morris, matching the same height as Morris.  Her No. 7 position in last year’s T&FN world rankings is the highest ever by a Canadian vaulter.  As a collegian, Newman was NCAA runner-up for Miami in 2016 at Hayward Field.

American Katie Nageotte, 26, came out of international nowhere to rate as the No. 6 vaulter in the world by T&FN.  She was NCAA Division II champion at Ohio’s Ashland University in 2013, first scaled 15 feet in 2016, and was runner-up to Morris at the U.S. Indoor last year.  At the recent Millrose Games, she lost to Stefanídi on the countback as both cleared 15-5½ (4.71).

Anzhelika Sidorova, 26, will be competing as an authorized neutral athlete. She is the 3rd-highest-ever Russian vaulter with her 15-11¼ (4.86) set earlier this month in Moscow. Sidorova is enjoying her best vaulting since earning silver at the 2014 World Indoor Championships as well as European gold at the 2014 outdoor and 2015 indoor Championships.

Women’s Pole Vault

Personal Best

Sandi Morris (USA)

16-4¾

(5.00)

Katerína Stefanídi (Greece)

16-1¼

(4.91)

Holly Bradshaw (Great Britain)

15-11¾

(4.87)

Anzhelika Sidorova (ANA)

15-11¼

(4.86)

Nicole Büchler (Switzerland)

15-9

(4.80)

Katie Nageotte (USA)

15-7¼

(4.76)

Lisa Ryzih (Germany)

15-7

(4.75)

Alysha Newman (Canada)

15-7

(4.75)