Prefontaine Classic (2012 Overview)


2012 PREFONTAINE CLASSIC

A DIAMOND LEAGUE EVENT

 


DATE: SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 2012 

START TIME: 11 a.m. 

TELEVISED: 12 p.m. PT - 1:30 p.m. on NBC 

SCHEDULE (PST): TBA

 

EVENTS:

FRIDAY  (HOLLISTER NIGHT AT HAYWARD) 6 p.m. Start Time

MEN

INTERNATIONAL MILE*

OLYMPIC TRIALS 10,000 METERS* (Kenyan athletes only)

SDL TRIPLE JUMP

WOMEN

800 METERS* (NATIONAL EVENT)

1500 METERS* (NATIONAL EVENT)

10,000 METERS*

SDL DISCUS

THROW

HAMMER THROW*

SATURDAY

MEN

100 METERS*

SDL 200 METERS

SDL 400 METERS

SDL 800 METERS

SDL BOWERMAN MILE

SDL 5000 METERS

SDL 110 HURDLES

SDL SHOT PUT

SDL JAVELIN THROW

WOMEN

SDL 200 METERS

SDL 400 METERS

3000 METERS*

SDL STEEPLECHASE

SDL HIGH JUMP

SDL POLE VAULT

SDL LONG JUMP

*Additional Event

 

2012 TICKET PRICES: $38.50 Reserved (plus $2 ticket office fee). $29.50 Adult General Admission (plus $2 ticket office fee). $24.50 Seniors & Students (11-17) (plus $1.50 ticket office fee). $6.50 Child’s GA (2-10) (plus $.50 ticket office fee). Under age 2, free. Group discounts--$33.00 in reserved for orders of 20 or more (plus $2 ticket office fee. 

Note--there is no admission charge for Friday's Hollister Night at Hayward.

         Steve Prefontaine is a legend in the sport of track & field and is perhaps the most inspirational distance runner in American history. He set a national high school 2-mile record while at Coos Bay High School that lasted nearly two decades.  While competing for the University of Oregon, he won national cross country championships (3) and outdoor track 3-mile/5000-meter championships (4) every time he competed, and never lost a collegiate track race at any distance.  As a collegiate junior, he made the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team and nearly won an Olympic medal, finishing 4th in the 5K at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at age 22.  After finishing college in 1973 and preparing for a return to the Olympics in 1976, he continued to improve, setting many American records.  His life ended tragically on May 30, 1975, the result of an auto accident, at age 24.  The Pre Classic began soon after and has been held every year since.

Pre Classic Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles:  CAN IT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS?  YES IT CAN! 

              Eugene, Oregon – What is the best event at this year’s Pre Classic?  Even that is stirring up competition.  The latest field to be finalized includes the five fastest men’s 110-meter hurdlers in the world, the last two Olympic gold medalists and all three medalists from last year’s World Championships.

              The 38th Prefontaine Classic, a major stop on the road to the 2012 London Olympics, and part of the elite Samsung Diamond League of international meets, will be held June 1-2 at Hayward Field.

              The illustrious group of hurdlers coming to Eugene is the strongest field ever assembled in the United States.  Headlining the group are the last two Olympic gold medalists, Cuba’s Dayron Robles (2008) and China’sLiu Xiang (2004).  They are also the two fastest hurdlers in history - Robles is the current world record holder with a time of 12.87 and Liu is a 2-time world record setter with a best of 12.88.  Robles’s appearance will be his first-ever in the U.S.

                But there are more headliners.  The Pre Classic field also includes the reigning World Championships gold medalist, American Jason Richardson, who defeated both Robles and Liu last August in Daegu to earn the gold.  But Richardson wasn’t the first to cross the finish line, which should add even more intrigue to this Olympic build-up rematch.  Robles finished ahead of Richardson in Daegu last August, but was disqualified for interference with Liu. Talk about sub-plots!

              And who can forget the fastest in the world last year?  The USA’s David Oliver achieved 2011’s fastest time of 12.94 in winning a thrilling Pre Classic race over Liu (13.00).  Oliver, the American record holder at 12.89 (3rd fastest ever in the world behind only Robles and Liu), has many other fond memories of the Pre Classic and Hayward Field.  He won the Olympic Trials in 2008 in Eugene and also equaled a then-American record 12.90 at the 2010 Pre Classic.

              Yet there is another World Championships medalist in the field.  Daegu bronze medalist and 2-time Olympian Andrew Turner of Great Britain returns to Eugene and completes a rare reunion of all three medalists from last year’s World Chamionships.  The 31-year-old Turner ran his PR 13.22 last year.  Ranked ahead of him byTrack & Field News magazine is American Aries Merritt, No. 5 in the world last year, but ripping it up in 2012 as he has won the World Indoor Championships 60-meter hurdles gold medal over Liu this year in Istanbul and recently lowered his PR to 13.03.

              Also in the field are 2011 World Championships decathlon silver medalistAshton Eaton, a 2-time NCAA decathlon champion at the University of Oregon and a world-class athlete in this event (PR 13.35 in last year’s Pre), and  Dongpeng Shi, a two-time World Championships finalist with a lifetime best of 13.19.

 

Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles

Dayron Robles (Cuba)              Liu Xiang (China)

Jason Richardson (USA)         David Oliver (USA)

Aries Merritt (USA)                      Andrew Turner (Great Britain)

Ashton Eaton (USA)                   Dongpeng Shi (China)

               With the addition of the men’s 110-meter hurdles, 62 athletes in this year’s Pre Classic have won 84 Olympic or World Championships gold medals.  Meet organizers expect the greatest collection of talent ever for an invitational on this continent, as the 63 athletes account for 193 medals (85 gold, 59 silver, 49 bronze).  And more events are still to be announced.

   

Pre Classic Men’s & Women’s 400s:  GOLD MEDALISTS

JAMES AND MONTSHO READY TO TAKE ON MORE GOLD MEDALISTS

 

             Eugene, Oregon – Even the best in the world have competition, and the reigning World Champions in the men’s and women’s 400 meters at the 38th Prefontaine Classic are no exception.  Each will feel pressure from previous Olympic or World gold medalists as the Pre Classic has assembled astonishing fields in both events.

       

             The men’s 400 headlines Kirani James of Grenada, who won the World Championships in Daegu last year as an 18-year old.  James has already made a path of gold:  2009 World Youth gold, 2010 World Junior gold, 2011 World Championships gold.  An Olympic gold in London would make him the first teenager to accomplish such a feat since Steve Lewis of the U.S. in 1988. In Daegu today, he affirmed his fitness with a nearly one-second win in 44.72 over an international field.

             At Pre, James will contend with four other Olympic or World Championships gold medalists, led by the reigning Olympic champion, LaShawn Merritt of the U.S.  Merritt and James waged a memorable duel last year at the World Championships in Daegu, with James better by just 0.03.  Merritt, also the 2009 World Champion, seeks to reclaim the top spot.

             American Jeremy Wariner, 2004 Olympic gold medalist, had an “off” year in 2011 but has more gold than anyone in the field.  He “only” ranked No. 7 last year in the world by Track & Field News while recovering from injury.  He feels healthy, which means trouble for the rest of the world as he was ranked No. 1 in the world five times from 2004-2010 (the other two years he was No. 2).

             The Pre 400 field isn’t nearly finished.  Completing the sweep of medalists from last year’s World Championships is Kevin Borlée of Belgium, the bronze medalist.  He is also the reigning European Championships gold medalist.

             American Angelo Taylor has beaucoup gold, two in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2000 and 2008 Olympics.  As outstanding as he has been in the 400-meter hurdles, he has quite a resume in the 400, ranking among the top 10 by T&FN in the world five times in the event even while concentrating on the 400-meter hurdles.  Taylor is the defending Prefontaine Classic 400 champion.

             Christopher Brown of the Bahamas, ranked No. 4 in the world last year by T&FN, is another gold medalist confirmed.  He is a three-time Olympic veteran and the 2010 World Indoor Championships gold medalist.  Bahamian countrymate Demetrius Pinder, silver medalist at this year’s World Indoor Championships, will join him.  Brown and Pinder aim to mount a charge to challenge the U.S. in the 4x400 relay in London.

             Yet another medalist, Oscar Pistorius of South Africa, is in the field.  Called by many the “Blade Runner,” he is a double amputee who has successfully climbed to compete among the world’s elite.  He was a member of South Africa’s 4 x 400-meter relay team that earned the silver medal at last year’s World Championships.

 

Men’s 400 Meters 

Kirani James (Grenada)                            LaShawn Merritt (USA)

Kevin Borlée (Belgium)                              Christopher Brown (Bahamas)

Jeremy Wariner (USA)                                 Angelo Taylor (USA)

Demetrius Pinder (Bahamas)                    Oscar Pistorius (South Africa)

              Returning to Eugene will be the top-rated women’s 400 runner in the world, Amantle Montsho of Botswana.  Montsho won the gold medal at last year’s World Championships in Daegu after a series of years knocking on the door and not giving up.  Without much fanfare, she ranked No. 2 in the world by T&FN in 2010.  The gold in Daegu was her first, and still only, global medal at any level as she rose to No. 1 in 2011.  Her best is 49.56 from last year.

             But Montsho has many of the world’s very best looking to move ahead.  Prime among them is AmericanSanya Richards-Ross, the 2009 World Championships gold medalist and ranked No. 1 in the world by T&FN five straight years (2005-09).  Richards-Ross, among those vanquished in Daegu by Montsho last year, is looking to return to No. 1 form.  She proved she is once again healthy by winning the World Indoor Championships gold medal in Istanbul in March.  Her PR is 48.60 from 2006.

             Another of the world’s best, Anastastiya Kapachinskaya of Russia, will challenge the field.  She’s the bronze medalist at last year’s World Championships and was ranked No. 3 in the world last year by T&FN.  She posted her PR of 49.35 last year

            Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills set off a sound-alarm in early May when she defeated Richards-Ross at the Jamaica Invitational in 49.99, not far off her best of 49.63 from 2006.  Ranked as high as No. 2 in the world byT&FN in 2006, she has eight Olympic or World Championships medals, but none gold – she aims to change that statistic.

             Fueling the U.S.-Jamaica rivalry is Shericka Williams, the 2008 Olympic and 2009 World Championships silver medalist.  She has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the world by T&FN in 2009 and has a best of 49.32 from 2009.

             American Debbie Dunn (49.64) was ranked as high as No. 3 in the world by T&FN in 2010, and compatriotNatasha Hastings has a PR of 49.84, meaning every entry so far in this year’s Samsung Diamond League 400 Meters has broken 50-seconds in her career!

 

Women’s 400 Meters

Amantle Montsho (Botswana)                         Sanya Richards-Ross (USA)

Anastasiya Kapachinskaya (Russia)             Novlene Williams-Mills (Jamaica)

Shericka Williams (Jamaica)                           Debbie Dunn (USA)

Natasha Hastings (USA)

 

Kenyan rivals highlight ‘greatest field of milers ever’ for Pre Classic

BY CURTIS ANDERSON

The Register-Guard

Published: (Wednesday, May 16, 2012 05:01AM)

The Bowerman Mile has been called the greatest race in America.

With more sub-4-minute performances than at any other U.S. invitational track and field meet, it is the traditional closing event at the Prefontaine Classic.

The entry list for this year’s Bowerman Mile at the 38th edition of the Diamond League meeting on June 2 at Hayward Field was deemed the “greatest field of milers ever assembled on American soil” by meet director Tom Jordan on Tuesday.

“The reason this field is superior to anything you’ll see at the Olympics or World Championships is that we have no limits on the number of entrants per country,” Jordan said. “So, if seven of the top 15 milers are Kenyans, we get the seven best. That’s when you say, ‘this is something you won’t see in London. It will be better.’”

The Bowerman Mile features a grudge match up front between two 22-year-old Kenyans — Asbel Kiprop and Silas Kiplagat. They are the world’s top-ranked milers, and fierce competitors on the track.

Kiprop claimed the gold medal in the 1,500 meters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2011 World Championships.

Ranked No. 1 in the world for the past three years by...

Pre Classic Mile:  REMATCH IN EUGENE

 

             Eugene, Oregon – Nobody does it better when it comes to the Mile than the Prefontaine Classic, and this year’s 38th edition will add to that with a grudge match of the two best milers in the world.

             The Pre Classic, a major stop on the road to the 2012 London Olympics, and part of the elite Samsung Diamong League of international meets, will be held June 1-2 at Eugene, Ore.  The meet features not one, but two world-class competitions of the men’s Mile, an historic event with a following like none other.  The more famous or the two races at Pre is the Bowerman Mile, since 2000 named after legendary Oregon coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman. The more recent is named the International Mile, begun in 2010 as a result of athlete demand. It featured 10 runners under 3:58 in its inaugural year, and 8 runners under 3:58 last year.

             Seeding of the Bowerman and International fields will be finalized over the next two and a half weeks leading up to the events, but sure to be included in the Bowerman are the No. 1 and No. 2 milers in world, KenyansAsbel Kiprop and Silas Kiplagat.

             The two Kenyans are fierce competitive rivals.  Both are 22 years old, and they have met 11 times throughout their young careers at either the mile or the 1500 meters.  Kiplagat holds a 6-5 edge, but it’s not without controversy.  Kiplagat’s latest win, at the May 11 Samsung Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar, came as Kiplagat – in some viewers’ eyes – fouled Kiprop with about 100 meters left.  However, no foul was called.  Kiplagat won the 1500-meter event in a world-leading 3:29.63, just 0.15 seconds ahead of Kiprop.

             Kiprop, who won the gold medal at last year’s World Championships in Daegu as well as the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 1500 meters, has been ranked No.1 in the world the last three straight years by Track & Field News.  Kiprop is familiar with Pre and Eugene – he has run sub-3:50 Miles at Pre the last three years, winning the 2010 and 2009 Bowerman Miles.  His best ever is 3:48.50 from his 2009 victory.

             Kiplagat, the closest to recently challenge Kiprop, was silver medalist at last year’s World Championships.  Kiplagat, who even defeated Kiprop at last year’s Bowerman Mile, was ranked No. 2 in the world by T&FN.  His best is 3:49.39 from last year.

             American Matthew Centrowitz completes the sweep of last year’s World Championships 1500 medalists.  He electrified American fans by earning a bronze medal in Daegu, but is at age 22 a relative newcomer to the international scene.  His Mile best is “only” 3:53.92, a time he achieved winning this year’s venerable Wannamaker Mile at the Millrose Games in February.

             But there are loads more fast Milers in this year’s Pre Classic, including the winner of last year’s Bowerman Mile, Haron Keitany of Kenya, who beat both Kiprop and Kiplagat as all three broke 3:50.  Keitany, ranked No. 4 in the world last year by T&FN, has a best of 3:48.78 from 2009, when he was runner-up to Kiprop in the Bowerman Mile.

             Centrowitz has an American teammate in the field, and perhaps the best veteran ever.  Bernard Lagat has won five World Championships gold medals, but none of them the gold that he desires – the Olympic variety.  Lagat, though 37, is still one of the best in the world – he proved so in Istanbul by winning the World Indoor Championships 3000 meters.  He is a two-time winner of the Bowerman Mile with a PR in the Mile of 3:47.28.

             The Kenyans and Americans will be surrounded by world-class competition, led by Mekonnen Gebremedhin of Ethiopia and Abdelaati Iguider of Morocco.  Gebremedhin, ranked No. 6 in the world last year byT&FN, was third in the Bowerman Mile in 2010 and fourth last year, when he recorded his PR of 3:49.70.  Iguider, a 2008 Olympic finalist at age 21, won the gold medal at this year’s World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.  He hasn’t run the Mile distance since 2007, but his best 1500 time of 3:31.47 converts to a Mile time of 3:48.39.

             It doesn’t stop there.  The Bowerman Mile meet record is held by Daniel Kipchirchir Komen of Kenya, who ran 3:48.28 in 2007.  Twice ranked No. 1 in the world by T&FN, he was sixth in loaded field last year at 3:50.29.  New Zealand’s Nick Willis, silver medalist at the 2008 Olympics, is a two-time former runner-up in the Bowerman Mile whose 1500 best of 3:31.79 converts to a Mile time of 3:48.74.  Amine Laalou of Morocco, a two-time Olympian in the 800 with a best of 1:43.25, is also quite fast in the Mile.  Ranked No. 2 in the Mile in the world by T&FNin 2010, he has a best of 3:50.22 (as runner-up in the 2010 Bowerman Mile) and a 1500 PR of 3:29.53 that converts to a Mile of 3:46.30, which would make him the fastest in the field.

             Several Americans are also aiming to run fast in Eugene, led by hometown favorite Andrew Wheatingon the comeback trail after being injured in 2011; American record holder Alan Webb (3:46.91 in 2007), fastest in the field but also seeking to bounce back after injury;  and Russell Brown, who has thrown a first dart at the target of making the U.S. Olympic team by posting a PR 3:34.11 in the 1500 to become the fastest American thus far this year (that 1500 converts to a mile of 3:51.24).  Among the other top Americans expected are Leonel Manzano (3:49.36 converted), David Torrence (3:51.39 converted), Lopez Lomong (3:49.18 converted), Will Leer (3:53.64 converted), Dorian Ulrey (3:52.45 converted), and Jeff See (3:55.47).

 Bowerman and International Miles

Silas Kiplagat (Kenya)                         Asbel Kiprop (Kenya)

Abdelaati Iguider (Morocco)               Mekonnen Gebremedhin (Ethiopia)

Haron Keitany (Kenya)                        Nick Willis (New Zealand)

Collins Cheboi (Kenya)                       Russell Brown (USA)

Amine Laalou (Morocco)                     Daniel Kipchirchir Komen (Kenya)

Matthew Centrowitz (USA)                   David Torrence (USA)

Leonel Manzano (USA)                        Andrew Wheating (USA)

Aman Wote (Ethiopia)                          Bethwell Birgen (Kenya)

Bernard Lagat (USA)                            Dawit Wolde (Ethiopia)

Tesfaye Cheru (Ethiopia)                    Lopez Lomong (USA)

Nicholas Kemboi (Qatar)                    Will Leer (USA)

Dorian Ulrey (USA)                               Jeff See (USA)

Alan Webb (USA)                                  Gideon Gathimba (Kenya)

Mohamed Al Garni (Qatar)                  Remmy Limo Ndiwa (Kenya)

Mohammed Shaween (Kuwait)

 PreClassicVerticalJumps:  WORLD-LEADING AMERICANS SUHR & LOWE TAKE ON THE WORLD’S BEST

 

             Eugene, Oregon – Americans Jenn Suhr and Chaunte Lowe are very familiar with success.  They have both won gold medals or been ranked No. 1 in the world.  At the 38th Prefontaine Classic, they will find plenty of international competition with similar accomplishments, as the road to the 2012 London Olympics makes a major stop as part of the Samsung Diamond League at Hayward Field on June 1-2.

             Suhr, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist and American record holder outdoors and indoors in the pole vault, was ranked No. 1 in the world last year by Track & Field News.  Suhr has the highest personal best in the field, holding the American record at 16-1.75 (4.92).  Among her challengers at Pre are none other than the gold and silver medalists at last year’s Daegu World Championships: Fabiana Murer of Brazil and Martina Strutz of Germany.  Suhr finished 4th at Deagu last year and aims for redemption.

             Murer and Strutz, like Suhr and others slated to compete, are over 30 in an event where experience plays a major factor in success as athletes can get better with age.  Murer, in addition to winning the gold medal at the World Championships, was last year ranked No. 1 in the world in 2010 and has been ranked among the top 10 in each of the last six years by Track & Field News.  She has vaulted 15-11 (4.85).  Strutz, with a best of 15-9 (4.80), earned the silver last year in Daegu.

             The women’s pole vault field has plenty more, including two with World Championships gold medals:  Svetlana Feofanova of Russia and Anna Rogowska of Poland.  Feofanova, the 2003 World Championships gold medalist, won medals at the 2004 (silver) and 2008 (bronze) Olympics.  Feofanova’s best is 16-0 (4.88).  Rogowska, the 2009 World Championships gold medalist, was also the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist.  She has a best of 15-11 (4.85).

             The veterans will be challenged by a two youngsters, led by 20-year-old Holly Bleasdale of Great Britain.   With a best of 15-11.75 (4.87), Bleasdale was the bronze medalist at this year’s World Indoor Championships in Instanbul.  But 18-year-old Angelica Bengtsson of Sweden is on a big-time rise.  She won golds at the 2010 World Junior Championships and 2011 European Junior Championships.

             Another exciting entrant is former two-time NCAA champion Kylie Hutson, with a best of 15-5 (4.70).

 

Women’s Pole Vault

Fabiana Murer (Brazil)                                                     Jennifer Suhr (USA)

Svetlana Feofanova (Russia)                                         Anna Rogowska (Poland)

Martina Strutz (Germany)                                                 Angelica Bengtsson (Sweden)

Holly Bleasdale (Great Britain)                                       Kylie Hutson (USA)

 

             Chaunte Lowe seems like a new person after the birth of her second child in April 2011.  This winter the two-time Olympian jumped higher than she ever has indoors – an American record 6-7.5 (2.02) – and won her first gold medal by claiming the World Indoor Championships in Instanbul.  Her best remains an American record outdoors of 6-8.75 (2.05).

             She will once again meet many of the best in the world, including six of last year’s top 10 ranked by T&FN.  Prime among them is No. 1 Anna Chicherova of Russia, who won last year’s gold medal at the Daegu World Championships after two straight silver medals and a 2008 Olympic bronze.

             A stunning group of world-class talent will contend, including four more 2008 Olympians from around the globe.  Emma Green Tregaro of Sweden was a bronze medalist at the 2005 World Championships and has jumped the highest of the group at 6-7 (2.01).  She has been a finalist at every Olympics or World Championships since 2005 and was ranked No. 6 in the world last year by T&FN.  Svetlana Shkolina of Russia was ranked No. 4 in the world by T&FNlast year and has a best of 6-6.75 (2.00).  Melanie Melfort of France has a best of 6-5.5 (1.97) and was ranked No. 8 in the world last year.  Xingjuan Zheng of China was ranked No. 10 and has a best of 6-4.75 (1.95).

             The world-class talent doesn’t end there.  Sweden’s Ebba Jungmark was the silver medalist behind Lowe at the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul this March.  She was ranked No. 7 last year by T&FNand has a best of 6-5 (1.96).  Ariane Friedrich of Germany, a bronze medalist at the 2009 World Championships, has a best of 6-9 (2.06).  Mariya Kuchina, last year’s European Junior champ from Russia, is still just 19 and has a best of 6-5.5 (1.97).

 

Women’s High Jump

Anna Chicherova (Russia)                 Svetlana Shkolina (Russia)

Xingjuan Zheng (China)                      Emma Green Tregaro (Sweden)

Melanie Melfort (France)                      Ebba Jungmark (Sweden)

Chaunte Lowe (USA)                            Ariane Friedrich (Germany)

Mariya Kuchina (Russia)

 

Pre Classic Middle Distances (non-Mile):  FAN FAVORITE JENNY SIMPSON LEADING THE 1500

 

                Eugene, Oregon— Jenny Simpson impressed fans around the world with her gritty gold medal victory at last year’s World Championships 1500 meters.  Now she’s looking for the Olympic variety.  She has plenty of company as the 38th Prefontaine Classic has assembled world-class fields in the women’s 1500 meters and men’s and women’s 800 meters.

            The Pre Classic, a major stop on the road to the 2012 London Olympics, will be held June 1-2 at Eugene, Ore.  While the men’s 800 will be held on Saturday, the women’s 1500 and 800 will be held as part of the Friday portion of this year’s edition that has been named Hollister Night at Hayward, in tribute to the late Geoff Hollister.  Admission is free on Friday, thanks to long-time sponsor NIKE, in tribute to Hollister, one of the original executives at the company.

            Simpson’s victory last August in Daegu gave the U.S. its first gold in the women’s 1500 since Mary Decker in 1983, about three years before Simpson was born as Jennifer Barringer, her maiden name.  A former steeplechaser with 3-time NCAA champion and 2008 Olympic experience, she has concentrated on the 1500 since graduating from Colorado in 2009.  She is the fifth-fastest American ever with a best of 3:59.90.

            Several others will contest Simpson.  One of the most prominent is American Anna Pierce, a fellow former steeplechaser who also has world-class credentials, having been ranked by Track & Field News No. 6 in the world in the 1500 in 2009 and a 2008 Olympian in the event.  Pierce has an amazing range of talent, having ranked as high as No. 2 in the world by T&FN in the 800 (2009).  She is the third-fastest American in history with a best of 3:59.38.

            Also looking toward London is another American, Shannon Rowbury, the 2009 World Championships bronze medalist and a 2008 Olympian.  Rowbury, a teammate of Simpson on the 2011 World Championships team, has a best of 4:00.33, seventh-best in U.S. history.

            A Canadian with impressive experience, Sheila Reid will enter the contest.  Last June she became the first woman to sweep the 1500 and 5000 at the NCAA Championships while running for Villanova.  She continued such winning ways in the fall by winning the NCAA cross country title.

            An 18-year-old from Ethiopia, Tizita Bogale, will likely keep the race honest.  She has a best of 4:03.94 and won the World Junior Championships gold in 2010 at age 16.

 

Women’s 1500 meters

Jenny Simpson (USA)                   Tizita Bogale (Ethiopia)

Anna Pierce (USA)                          Shannon Rowbury (USA)

Brenda Martinez (USA)                   Gabreile Anderson (USA)

Katie Follett Mackey (USA)             Jemma Simpson (GBR)

Lidia Chojecka (POL)                     Bertukan Feyesa (ETH)

Sheila Reid (CAN)

 

                The men’s 800 meters features great examples of the extremes of experience and youth, both from America and beyond.  Abubaker Kaki of Sudan earned the silver medal at last year’s World Championships as a 22-year-old.  With a best of 1:42.23, he is the fifth-fastest ever at 800 and was ranked No. 2 in the world last year by T&FN.

            Four other finalists from Daegu will be on hand for a pre-London reunion.  The most decorated of the group is bronze medalist Yuriy Borzakovskiy of Russia.  The 31-year-old is the 2004 Olympic gold medalist whose bronze last year in Daegu is just one of four World Championships medals (he also has two silvers and another bronze from that meet).  His best of 1:42.47 makes him the eighth-fastest in history, and he ranked No. 3 in world last year by T&FN.

            Perhaps the most intriguing of the entrants is the youngest, 18-year-old Mohamed Aman of Ethiopia.  He opened the world’s eyes last year by making the Daegu final as a 17-year-old with a best of 1:43.37 in the semifinals.  He made the world look even closer last September, when he ended world record holder and gold medalist David Rudisha’s 34-meet winning streak in Milan.  T&FN ranked him No. 5 in the world last year.  He has started 2012 on a tear, winning the World Indoor Championships gold in Instanbul in March.

            The two other Daegu finalists, Nick Symmonds of the U.S. and Adam Kszczot of Poland, were ranked No. 6 and No. 7, respectively by T&FN last year after finishing fifth and sixth in Daegu.  Kszczot has a PR of 1:43.30, while 2008 Olympian Symmonds’ best of 1:43.76 makes him the eighth-fastest American ever.

            One of Symmonds’s U.S. teammates is Olympian Khadevis Robinson, who at age 35 is the clearly the most experienced in the field.  But the veteran of seven World Championships is still world class, able to rank No. 9 in the world last year by T&FN.  His best of 1:43.68, No. 6 in U.S. history, is the best of any American currently competing.

            Robinson has company in the 30-plus club.  Mbulaeni Mulaudzi is a 31-year-old South African with medals of all colors: gold (2009 World Championships), silver (2004 Olympics), and bronze (2003 World Championships).  He has a best o f 1:42.86 and will be joined by yet another sub-1:43 runner, 2008 Olympian Boaz Kiplagat Lalang of Kenya (1:42.95).

            American Tyler Mulder, a former NCAA Indoor champion who trains locally with the Oregon Track Club Elite, completes the field.  He has improved every year of his career and owns a best of 1:44.83.

 

 

Men’s 800 meters

Abubaker Kaki (Sudan)                                Adam Kszczot (Poland)

Mohamed Aman (Ethiopia)                          Nick Symmonds (USA)

Khadevis Robinson (USA)                           Yuriy Borzakovskiy (Russia)

Boaz Kiplagat Lalang (Kenya)                     Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (South Africa)

Anthony Chemut (Kenya)                              Tyler Mulder (USA)

 

            The women’s 800 meters brings together an elite field led by two world-class Americans who are the fastest since the turn of the century in Alysia Montano and Maggie Vessey.

            Both Montano and Vessey were finalists at last year’s World Championships in Daegu.  Montano was just out of the medals in fourth and Vessey a stride back in sixth.  Montano, a three-time U.S. champion who earned bronze at the 2010 World Indoor Championships, has a best of 1:57.34, making her the fifth-fastest in U.S. history.  Vessey, with a best of 1:57.84, is not far behind as the eighth-fastest American.

Pre Classic Women’s Throws:  4 GOLD MEDALISTS, 3 WORLD RECORD SETTERS

 

                Eugene, Oregon—Gold should be the color of choice for the women’s throwers confirmed to compete at this year’s Prefontaine Classic, a major stop on the road to the 2012 London Olympics.  Four of the contestants have won Olympic or World Championships gold medals among their collection of honors in the hammer and discus throws.

            The 38th annual Pre Classic will be held June 1-2 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. The Friday portion of this year’s edition has been named Hollister Night at Hayward, in tribute to the late Geoff Hollister.  Admission isfree on Friday, thanks to long-time sponsor NIKE, in tribute to Hollister, one of the original executives at the company.  Both of the women’s throwing events are included in the free portion of this year’s Pre Classic.

            The women’s hammer throw brings together a glittering collection highlighted by three World Championships gold medalists and five of the top six ranked throwers in the world last year, according to Track & Field News.  The group also includes the last three year’s No. 1 throwers in the world, and four in the last six years.

            Three of the throwers have set world records, including the current holder, Betty Heidler of Germany.  Heidler set her mark of 260-7 (79.42) last May and later in August earned her second consecutive World Championships silver.  She won the gold medal in 2007, but more recently she has been ranked No. 1 in the world by T&FN in 2010 and 2011.

            Two other world record setters are in the field, including Tatyana Lysenko of Russia.  Lysenko won the gold in the World Championships last year in defeating Heidler.  The third world record setter is Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland, the 2009 World Championships gold medalist and owner of the world record that Heidler broke.

            The stellar fields gets even better with two more of last year’s top six, Wenxiu Zhang of China and Kathrin Klaas of Germany.  Zhang, ranked No. 3 in the world last year, has taken an early world lead by increasing her PR to a world-leading 248-5 (75.72).  She was bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympics as well as the 2007 and 2011 World Championships. Klaas, ranked No. 5 last year, was ranked No. 4 in the world in both 2009 and 2010.

            The hammer field doesn’t end there.  Add to that group a pair of Americans and a Canadian:  Jessica CosbyAmber Campbell, and Sultana Frizell.  Cosby is a four-time U.S. champ and No. 10 in the world last year, and Campbell and Frizell are 2008 Olympians.  Cosby earlier this year increased her PR to 241-10 (73.71), just six inches short of the American record.  Campbell is the third-longest thrower in American history at 238-2 (72.59).  Frizell, of Canada, earlier this year increased her PR to 246-2 (75.04).

Women's Hammer Throw

Betty Heidler (Germany)                                  Tatyana Lysenko (Russia)

Wenxiu Zhang (China)                                     Kathrin Klaas (Germany)

Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland)                              Amber Cambell (USA)            

Jessica Cosby (USA)                                       Sultana Frizell (Canada)

 

            The women’s discus throw is one of 16 elite events in the meet designated as part of the worldwide Samsung Diamond League.  The field features reigning Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Brown-Trafton of the U.S.  She is the only American to ever be ranked No. 1 in the world in the women’s discus by T&FN (2008).

            Brown-Trafton will have plenty of competition.  The field includes a select group of the world’s best, includingAretha Thurmond of the U.S., Zaneta Glanc of Poland, and Sandra Perkovic of Croatia. Thurmond, a four-time U.S. champion, is a three-time Olympian who was ranked No. 7 in the world last year by T&FN.  Glanc, who has finished fourth in the last two World Championships, was ranked No. 4 in the world last year, as she was in 2009.  Perkovic was ranked No. 2 in the world in 2010 and had the second-longest throw in the world last year (222-11).

            Two more Olympians join the fray in Kateryna Karsak of Ukraine and former two-time World Junior gold medalist Xuejun Ma of China.  Also included are two more with World Championships experience: American Gia Lewis-Smallwood and Darya Pishchalnikova of Russia.

                With the addition of the women’s throwing events to the previously announced women’s 10K and men’s 5K, 12 athletes in this year’s Prefontaine Classic have won a total of 32 Olympic or World Championships medals (19 gold, 5 silver, 8 bronze).

 

Women's Discus Throw

Stephanie Brown-Trafton (USA)                                            Aretha Thurmond (USA)

Zaneta Glanc (Poland)                                                            Kateryna Karsak (Ukraine)

Darya Pishchalnikova (Russia)                                            Gia Lewis-Smallwood (USA)

Sandra Perkovic (Croatia)                                                       Xuejun Ma (China)

Pre Classic Men’s 5K:  BEKELE AND FARAH TO DUEL PRE-LONDON

 

                Eugene, Oregon—Steve Prefontaine would have loved this year’s men’s 5000 field at the meet named in his honor.  After all, the world’s best are competing in his trademark Olympic event and it includes an impressive group of fearless young talent, along with some Americans with extreme motivation.  Plus, the race will occur on Saturday, June 2nd at Hayward Field, the cathedral of quality distance running made famous by the likes of Pre.

            Shining the most light on the men’s 5K field are the reigning Olympic gold medalist and world record holder in Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia and the reigning World Championships gold medalist in Mo Farah of Great Britain.  Both are very familiar with Hayward Field and plan to meet again in London at the Olympics.

            Bekele won the 2008 Pre 10K in 26:25.97, the 4th fastest time ever.  Later that summer we won double Olympic gold medals by sweeping the 5K and 10K in Beijing.  Four years earlier in Athens, he “only” won gold (10K) and silver (5K).  He is one of the all-time greats at the distances, collecting five gold medals in the World Championships (four at 5K, one at 10K).  His world record of 12:37.35 from 2004 still stands.

            In 2010, Farah won the 5K/10K double at the European Championships.  Soon after he moved to train in Portland, and 2011 brought an elevated set of medals: gold and silver from the World Championships in Daegu, with the gold coming in the 5K.  He recorded his 10K and 5K PRs of 26:46.57 (European Record set at Pre) and 12:53.11 last year.

            An impressive group of veterans and newcomers adds to a very fast field.

            Fastest among the group are the veterans, led by Ethiopian Tariku Bekele, Kenyan Edwin Cheruiyot Soi, Kenyan Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa, and Kenyan Jacob Cheshari.  Bekele (12:52.45) was ranked No. 2 in the world in 2010 by Track & Field News.  Soi (12:52.40) was the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist.  Longosiwa (12:51.95), a 2008 Olympic and 2011 World Championships finalist, ranked No. 7 in the world last year by T&FN.  Cheshari (12:59.72) was ranked No. 10 in the world last year by T&FN.

            The U.S. will be represented by three world-class runners with 2008 Olympic experience.  Galen Rupp (13:06.86), more accomplished at the 10K (finalist at 2008 Olympics and last three World Championships), is the only American in the field who competed in the 5K at the Daegu World Championships (doubled 5K/10K).  Matt Tegenkamp (12:58.56), 4th at the 2007 World Championships, was a finalist at the Beijing Olympics as well as the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.  Dathan Ritzenhein has range that reaches as far as the marathon, in which he was 9th at the Beijing Olympics, and set his 5K PR of 12:56.27 in 2009, which was an American record at the time.  Since finishing 4th at the 2012 U.S. Olympic marathon trials in January, he’s decided to attack the track again this summer.

            But there is also a stunning group of young guns, and one of them has impressive experience already.  Isaiah Kiplangat Koech of Kenya, at age 17, was just out of the medals at last year’s World Championships, finishing 4th and was ranked No. 4 in the world by T&FN.  His best of 12:53.29 is the indoor World Junior record.  At 17, he was 3rd in last year’s Pre 2-Mile (8:14.16).  He is now 18 and will turn 19 in December.

            Koech has company, some slightly older, some even younger.  Among the slightly older are a pair of Ethiopians with world-class times, 22-year-old Yenew Alamirew (13:00.46) and 21-year-old Abera Kuma (13:00.15).  Kuma was 5th in last year’s World Championships.

            The youngest runners in the field may provide the most intrigue.  Albert Rop, a 17-year-old from Kenya who doesn’t turn 18 until December, came out of nowhere to run 13:03.70 last year.  Tesfaye Cheru, a 19-year-old Ethiopian, will debut at this distance after bursting on the scene last year with a 2K world junior record.  William Malel, an 18-year-old Kenyan, won last year’s 3K World Youth Championships gold medal.  David Bett, a 19-year-old Kenyan, won the 2010 World Junior Championships gold medal at age 17 and has a best of 13:06.06.

            Also in the field are two-time Olympian Alistair Ian Cragg of Ireland (13:03.53), three-time Olympian Craig Mottram of Australia (12:55.76), 2008 Olympian Collis Birmingham of Australia (13:10.97), and 2010 European silver medalist Chris Thompson of Great Britain (13:11.51).

     

            With the addition of the men’s 5K to the previously announced women’s 10K, 7 athletes in this year’s Prefontaine Classic have won a total of 22 Olympic or World Championships medals (15 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze).

 

 

Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia)                                      Mo Farah (Great Britain)

Isaiah Kiplangat Koech (Kenya)                               Yenew Alamirew (Ethiopia)

Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa (Kenya)                      Tariku Bekele (Ethiopia)

Edwin Cheruiyot Soi (Kenya)                                     Abera Kuma (Ethiopia)

Jacob Cheshari (Kenya)                                             Galen Rupp (USA)

Alistair Ian Cragg (Ireland)                                          Albert Rop (Kenya)

Craig Mottram (Australia)                                            Collis Birmingham (Australia)

Matt Tegenkamp (USA)                                                Tesfaye Cheru (Ethiopia)

Dathan Ritzenhein (USA)                                             Chris Thompson (Great Britain)

William Malel (Kenya)                                                    David Bett (Kenya)

Pre Classic Women’s 10K:  OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST RETURNS TO BIG TIME

 

                Eugene, Oregon—Add another feather in the cap of Hollister Night at Hayward.  Already the host of Kenya’s Olympic trials selection race in the men’s 10,000 meters, the Friday portion of the 38th Prefontaine Classic, named in honor of the late Geoff Hollister, has added reigning double Olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia to the women’s 10K, fresh off a victory in Sunday’s Carlsbad 5K road race.

            This year’s Pre Classic will be held June 1-2 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.  Admission is free on Friday, thanks to long-time sponsor NIKE, in tribute to Hollister, one of the original executives at the company.

                Dibaba is the world record holder in the 5K (14:11.15) and second fastest ever at 10K (29:54.66).  She is the owner of 11 Olympic or World gold medals, but missed the 2011 season while recovering from injury.  Her 5K/10K double at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was the first time a woman won both events at the same Olympics.  She has been ranked No. 1 in the world nine times by Track & Field News at either 10K or 5K, including 2010 when she was No. 1 in both.  Dibaba will turn 27 on June 1, the day of the Pre Classic women’s 10K.  She is married to Sileshi Sihine, himself a two-time Olympic silver medalist (2004 and 2008 10K).

                Dibaba headlines a talented international field with a definite East African accent, as 14 of the entrants are from Ethiopia (9) or Kenya (5) and another competes for Azerbaijan but was born in Ethiopia.  The lone runner without a tie to East Africa is American Amy Yoder Begley, the fourth-fastest American ever (31:13.78) and a 2008 Olympian who was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. in 2009 and 2010 by Track & Field News.  The field plans to tap into Eugene’s energy for fueling excellent distance performances.

                An accomplished group of veterans is looking for a springboard to the Olympics, led by Worknesh Kidane (30:07.15) of Ethiopia, who is a two-time Olympian (4th in 2004), a two-time World cross country champion, and the 2003 World Championships silver medalist at 10K.  She is joined by a trio of fellow sub-31:00 runners:  Wude Ayalew (30:11.87) of Ethiopia, the 2009 World Championships bronze medalist at 10K; Lucy Kabuu Wangui (30:39.96) of Kenya, a two-time Olympic finalist who has been ranked in the world’s top 10 three times by T&FN; and Aberu Kebede (30:48.26) of Ethiopia, the 2009 World half-marathon bronze medalist who finished 12th in last year’s World Championships marathon.  Add to that group Sule Utura (32:06.89) of Ethiopia, who was ranked No. 8 in the world last year at 5K by T&FN, and Pauline Korikwiang (31:06.29) of Kenya, a former World cross country champion who was ranked No. 7 in the 10K in 2010.

                Several gifted young runners with impressive credentials are also looking to the big stage: Belaynesh Oljira (31:17.80) of Ethiopia is a 21-year-old who is the defending Ethiopian national champion; Tigist Kiros Gebreselassie (31:20.38) of Ethiopia is a 19-year-old who was a finalist in last year’s World Championships; and Ethiopian-bornLayes Abdullayeva (32:18.05) of Azerbaijan, who will turn 21 three days before the race, swept the 5K and 10K at last summer’s European under-23 championships.

 

Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia)                                                   Sule Utura (Ethiopia)

Pauline Korikwiang (Kenya)                                                  Wude Ayalew (Ethiopia)

Belaynesh Oljira (Ethiopia)                                                    Tigist Kiros Gebreselassie (Ethiopia)

Layes Abdullayeva (Azerbaijan)                                             Lineth Chepkurui (Kenya)

Abebech Afework (Ethiopia)                                                   Amy Yoder Begley (USA)

Lucy Kabuu Wangui (Kenya)                                                  Pauline Njerike (Kenya)

Margaret Wangari (Kenya)                                                      Worknesh Kidane (Ethiopia)

Aheza Kiros (Ethiopia)                                                              Aberu Kebede (Ethiopia)

 KENYAN OLYMPIC TRIALS RACE TO BE HELD AT THE PREFONTAINE CLASSIC

 

                Eugene, Oregon—Athletics Kenya and the Prefontaine Classic jointly announce that the Olympic Trials 10,000-meter race to select Kenya’s men’s team to the London Olympic Games will be held in conjunction with the Eugene Samsung Diamond League Prefontaine Classic on Friday evening, June 1st.

                The race will be a part of a special “Hollister Night at Hayward”, in honor of the late Geoff Hollister, a Nike executive who was instrumental in the creation of many of Oregon’s most notable track & field and running events, including the Prefontaine Classic. Hollister Night will precede the main Eugene Samsung Diamond League meet on Saturday, June 2nd.

                “We are honored that Athletics Kenya has asked the Pre Classic to host its men’s 10,000-meter selection race for the London Olympics,” said meet director Tom Jordan. “That it will be part of Hollister Night at Hayward makes it even more special.” Thanks to title sponsor Nike, Inc., there will be no admission charge for the Friday evening program.

                The race will feature the top 15 Kenyan athletes in the event as identified by Athletics Kenya, the national governing body. The race will be comprised exclusively of Kenyan athletes. As with the U.S. Olympic Trials, no pacesetters will be provided, promising a race of strategy and suspense over the 25 laps.  The top 2 finishers will automatically make the team to London, with the 3rd member being selected by the federation.

                The decision by Athletics Kenya to move the race from Nairobi where it is typically held was based on the fact that Eugene’s altitude and weather conditions are similar to those the runners are likely to encounter in London.  At 1680 meters (5672 feet), Nairobi’s altitude is vastly higher than London’s at sea-level (16 meters), while Eugene at 116 meters is comparable to the Olympic host city.

                The Olympic Trials race during Hollister Night at Hayward will be a fitting introduction to Saturday’s 38th annual Prefontaine Classic, the 4th stop on the prestigious Samsung Diamond League circuit of the world’s top track & field meets. Last year, the SDL Eugene meeting was rated No. 1 in the world for quality of results by All-Athletics.com, the statistical partner of the Samsung Diamond League.

PREFONTAINE CLASSIC GOES ON TOP WITH HUGE SCORE

June 5, 2011

Last year's Prefontaine Classic was the best ever edition in the meeting's history, and this year it was yet another class of improvement. With a huge score of 94377 Eugene took the number one spot  in the 2011 All-Athletics.com Competition Ranking in the 'Invitational/One-day competitions' category.


In 2010 the meeting produced a "PB" of  92586points which was good enough for the 9th rank at the end of the year.

This year's Competition Score is higher than World number one Weltklasse Zürich's 2010 score (94242). It will be interesting to see how the Eugene meeting will finish in the All-Athletics.com Competition Rankings this year.

So far the Top-3 spots are taken by Eugene, Roma (92500 points) and Doha (90808).

Currently there are 140 meetings which have met the ranking requirements in 2011 in this category and the number is permanently growing.


View the full Competition Rankings

Please note that in order to view the complete rankings – and the full contents of All-Athletics.com – you need an All-Access Pass. If you have not yet subscribed, you can subscribe here. It’s not expensive and you can get VERY many useful and interesting information!

The Competition Rankings are published in 12 categories and they are permanently updated.

(Photo Samsung Diamond League)

Competition:

Eugene Prefontaine Classic (USA) 03.06.2011-04.06.2011

Roma Compeed Golden Gala (ITA) 26.05.2011

Doha Samsung Diamond League Meeting (QAT) 06.05.2011

Zürich Weltklasse (SUI) 18.08.2010-19.08.2010

Here is an over all recap

Two blazing 100-meter races and a national prep record in the two-mile by University of Oregon recruit Lukas Verzbicas were among the highlights of the 37th Prefontaine Classic before 12,188 on Saturday at Hayward Field.


In his first major race since returning from a four-year doping ban, former world record-holder Justin Gatlin was sixth in the men’s 100 meters.

Gatlin ran a season-best 9.97 seconds, his first sub-10 in his comeback. The race was won by Steve Mullings of Jamaica, who ran 9.80, fastest time in the world this year, breaking the Pre Classic meet record of 9.88 by Shawn Crawford in 2004.


Abubaker Kaki of Sudan became the first runner to break 1:44 in the 800 meters at Hayward Field, running 1:43.68.  The previous Hayward Field and Pre Classic record was 1:44.01 by Alfred Kirwa Yego of Kenya in 2008.

It was a disappointing race for Oregon Track Club Elite runners Andrew Wheating and Nick Symmonds; Wheating


In the women’s 100 meters, Carmelita Jeter ran the fourth-fastest 100 meters ever, a clocking of 10.70 seconds, fastest time in the world this year, and a Pre Classic and Hayward Field record, eclipsing the previous mark of 10.78, run most recently last year by Veronica Campbell-Brown.

On a calm morning, all the sprint races were wind-legal.


Verzbicas, the Duck-to-be from Illinois, set a national high school record in the two-mile, running 8 minutes, 29.46 seconds.

g was fifth in 1:45.92; Symmonds was eighth, the last finisher, at 1:46.78.


The women’s 800 was won by Kenia Sinclair of Jamaica in 1:58.29, fastest time in the world this year, as she held off hard-charging Caster Semenya of South Africa, second in  1:58.88, a season-best for Semenya. OTC Elite’s Geena Gall was sixth in 1:59.76, a personal best and a World Championships “A” qualifier.


In the Bowerman Mile, Haron Keitany of Kenya led all 12 finishers under 4 minutes with a world-leading 3:49.09. Russell Brown of OTC Elite was ninth in 3:51.45, a personal best.

In the men’s International Mile, Ryan Gregson of Australia won for the second straight year, running 3:53.86, in a race in which eight of the nine finishers broke four minutes.

In other men’s races:

In the 400, Angelo Taylor won in 45.16, holding off Jeremy Wariner, who ran 45.43. Oscar Pistorius, the “Blade Runner” from South Africa, finished eighth in 46.33.

In the 110-meter hurdles, American David Oliver outdueled Liu Xiang of China, running a world-leading 12.94. Former Oregon decathlete Ashton Eaton placed fifth in a personal best 13.35.

In the 200, Walter Dix was the winner, running 20.19.


In the steeplechase, Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya won in 8:08.34, just off the meet record of 8:08.08 set by Paul Koech, who was second. Former Oregon runner Kyle Alcorn was sixth in 8:26.88; Ben Bruce of Oregon Track Club Elite was eighth in 8:37.27.


In other women’s races:

Lashinda Demus won the 400-meter hurdles in 53.51, best time in the world this year.


In the 1,500, the winner was Gelete Burka of Ethiopia, who ran 4:04.63; Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain was second in 4:05.44; former Oregon runner Zoe Buckman was 11th in 4:09.82.

Amantle Montsho of Botswana won the 400 in 50.59; Debbie Dunn was second in 51.37, Allyson Felix third in 51.41.

In women’s field events:


In the triple jump, winner Olha Saladukha of the Ukraine went 48 feet, 7 ¼ inches on her first attempt, and improved to 48-10 ¼ on her second attempt, and then to 49-1 3/4 on her third jump, the best mark in the world this year, all breaking the meet record and Hayward Field record of 47-11 3/4 set last year by Nadezhda Alekhina of Russia.


In the shot put, Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus threw 65-5 on her first attempt, and then 66-1 on her third and 67-6 1/2  on her fifth, all breaking the Pre Classic and Hayward Field record of 62-11 1/2, set in 1997 by Connie Price-Smith. Also in the women’s shot put, Jillian Camarena-Williams of the U.S. threw a personal bests of 64-8, and then  64-10, second-best mark ever by an American thrower and the best throw by an American since Ramona Pagel’s American record of 66-2 1/2 in 1988.


The javelin was won by Christina Obergfoll of German in 214-9. Kara Patterson was sixth in 191-6 and former Oregon star Rachel Yurkovich was seventh in 185-0.


The pole vault was won by Anna Rogowska of Poland, who cleared 15-4 ¼.


In men’s field events:

Raul Spank of Germany won the high jump in 7-7 1/2 , the same height cleared by OTC Elite’s Jesse Williams, who was third.


Greg Rutherford of Great Britain won the long jump in a wind-aided 27-3 1/2. Former Oregon star Ashton Eaton of OTC Elite was sixth in a wind-aided 26-0 ¼.


Reese Hoffa won the shot put in 71-0 ¼.


Robert Harting of Germany won the discus with a throw of 224-4.








PREFONTAINE CLASSIC GOES ON TOP WITH HUGE SCORE


June 5, 2011
Prefontaine Classic goes on top with huge score

Last year's Prefontaine Classic was the best ever edition in the meeting's history, and this year it was yet another class of improvement. With a huge score of 94377 Eugene took the number one spot  in the 2011 All-Athletics.com Competition Ranking in the 'Invitational/One-day competitions' category.

In 2010 the meeting produced a "PB" of  92586points which was good enough for the 9th rank at the end of the year.

This year's Competition Score is higher than World number one Weltklasse Zürich's 2010 score (94242). It will be interesting to see how the Eugene meeting will finish in the All-Athletics.com Competition Rankings this year.

So far the Top-3 spots are taken by Eugene, Roma (92500 points) and Doha (90808).

Currently there are 140 meetings which have met the ranking requirements in 2011 in this category and the number is permanently growing.

View the full Competition Rankings

Please note that in order to view the complete rankings – and the full contents of All-Athletics.com – you need an All-Access Pass. If you have not yet subscribed, you can subscribe here. It’s not expensive and you can get VERY many useful and interesting information!

The Competition Rankings are published in 12 categories and they are permanently updated.

(Photo Samsung Diamond League)



Competition: 

Here is an over all recap

Two blazing 100-meter races and a national prep record in the two-mile by University of Oregon recruit Lukas Verzbicas were among the highlights of the 37th Prefontaine Classic before 12,188 on Saturday at Hayward Field.

In his first major race since returning from a four-year doping ban, former world record-holder Justin Gatlin was sixth in the men’s 100 meters.

Gatlin ran a season-best 9.97 seconds, his first sub-10 in his comeback. The race was won by Steve Mullings of Jamaica, who ran 9.80, fastest time in the world this year, breaking the Pre Classic meet record of 9.88 by Shawn Crawford in 2004.

In the women’s 100 meters, Carmelita Jeter ran the fourth-fastest 100 meters ever, a clocking of 10.70 seconds, fastest time in the world this year, and a Pre Classic and Hayward Field record, eclipsing the previous mark of 10.78, run most recently last year by Veronica Campbell-Brown.

On a calm morning, all the sprint races were wind-legal.

Verzbicas, the Duck-to-be from Illinois, set a national high school record in the two-mile, running 8 minutes, 29.46 seconds.

Verzbicas was the 11th and last finisher in the race, but got the loudest roar from the Hayward Field crowd. Veteran Bernard Lagat, who won the race in 8:13.62, was waiting at the finish line to shake Verzbicas’ hand and then embrace him.

The previous national prep record was 8:34.40, set in 2008 by German Fernandez.

Abubaker Kaki of Sudan became the first runner to break 1:44 in the 800 meters at Hayward Field, running 1:43.68.  The previous Hayward Field and Pre Classic record was 1:44.01 by Alfred Kirwa Yego of Kenya in 2008.

It was a disappointing race for Oregon Track Club Elite runners Andrew Wheating and Nick Symmonds; Wheating was fifth in 1:45.92; Symmonds was eighth, the last finisher, at 1:46.78.

The women’s 800 was won by Kenia Sinclair of Jamaica in 1:58.29, fastest time in the world this year, as she held off hard-charging Caster Semenya of South Africa, second in  1:58.88, a season-best for Semenya. OTC Elite’s Geena Gall was sixth in 1:59.76, a personal best and a World Championships “A” qualifier.

In the Bowerman Mile, Haron Keitany of Kenya led all 12 finishers under 4 minutes with a world-leading 3:49.09. Russell Brown of OTC Elite was ninth in 3:51.45, a personal best.

In the men’s International Mile, Ryan Gregson of Australia won for the second straight year, running 3:53.86, in a race in which eight of the nine finishers broke four minutes.

In other men’s races:

In the 400, Angelo Taylor won in 45.16, holding off Jeremy Wariner, who ran 45.43. Oscar Pistorius, the “Blade Runner” from South Africa, finished eighth in 46.33.

In the 110-meter hurdles, American David Oliver outdueled Liu Xiang of China, running a world-leading 12.94. Former Oregon decathlete Ashton Eaton placed fifth in a personal best 13.35.

In the 200, Walter Dix was the winner, running 20.19.

In the steeplechase, Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya won in 8:08.34, just off the meet record of 8:08.08 set by Paul Koech, who was second. Former Oregon runner Kyle Alcorn was sixth in 8:26.88; Ben Bruce of Oregon Track Club Elite was eighth in 8:37.27.

In other women’s races:

Lashinda Demus won the 400-meter hurdles in 53.51, best time in the world this year.

In the 1,500, the winner was Gelete Burka of Ethiopia, who ran 4:04.63; Maryam Yusuf Jamal of Bahrain was second in 4:05.44; former Oregon runner Zoe Buckman was 11th in 4:09.82.

Amantle Montsho of Botswana won the 400 in 50.59; Debbie Dunn was second in 51.37, Allyson Felix third in 51.41.

In women’s field events:

In the triple jump, winner Olha Saladukha of the Ukraine went 48 feet, 7 ¼ inches on her first attempt, and improved to 48-10 ¼ on her second attempt, and then to 49-1 3/4 on her third jump, the best mark in the world this year, all breaking the meet record and Hayward Field record of 47-11 3/4 set last year by Nadezhda Alekhina of Russia.

In the shot put, Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus threw 65-5 on her first attempt, and then 66-1 on her third and 67-6 1/2  on her fifth, all breaking the Pre Classic and Hayward Field record of 62-11 1/2, set in 1997 by Connie Price-Smith. Also in the women’s shot put, Jillian Camarena-Williams of the U.S. threw a personal bests of 64-8, and then  64-10, second-best mark ever by an American thrower and the best throw by an American since Ramona Pagel’s American record of 66-2 1/2 in 1988.

The javelin was won by Christina Obergfoll of German in 214-9. Kara Patterson was sixth in 191-6 and former Oregon star Rachel Yurkovich was seventh in 185-0.

The pole vault was won by Anna Rogowska of Poland, who cleared 15-4 ¼.

In men’s field events:

Raul Spank of Germany won the high jump in 7-7 1/2 , the same height cleared by OTC Elite’s Jesse Williams, who was third.

Greg Rutherford of Great Britain won the long jump in a wind-aided 27-3 1/2. Former Oregon star Ashton Eaton of OTC Elite was sixth in a wind-aided 26-0 ¼.

Reese Hoffa won the shot put in 71-0 ¼.

Robert Harting of Germany won the discus with a throw of 224-4.

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Premier event: Bowerman Mile. Watch it here.
Results and Articles:
Overview of Meet
Pre Classic: ‘Happiness everywhere’ as records fall

BY RON BELLAMY
The Register-Guard
Appeared in print: Sunday, Jul 4, 2010

It was such a record-setting day at the Prefontaine Classic that not even meet director Tom Jordan could keep up with the memorable marks.

“How many were there?” Jordan wondered Saturday afternoon. “I don’t know. It was incredible.”


For the record, here’s a summary of the records in the 36th Prefontaine Classic track and field meet, witnessed by a standing-room crowd of 12,834 at Hayward Field, the meet’s 15th straight sellout:

One American record, as David Oliver ran 12.90 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles to match the U.S. mark set by Dominique Arnold in 2006.

Three American all-comers records, meaning the best performances ever on U.S. soil, those coming in the men’s 1,000 meters, men’s 5,000 meters and women’s hammer.

Thirteen Prefontaine Classic records, including the Pre Classic debut of the women’s steeplechase and, in fact, 13 Hayward Field records — in 19 events.


Along the way, one venerable University of Oregon record was smashed, as Andrew Wheating ran 3:51.74 in the mile to better the school record of 3:53.00 by Joaquim Cruz in 1984. Meanwhile, Phoebe Wright of Tennessee, who finished fourth in the women’s 800 meters, ran 1:58.22 to break the NCAA record of 1:58.33 by Oregon’s Claudette Groenendaal in 1985.

“I think the fans who came today witnessed certainly the best one-day track meet ever held at Hayward Field, and possibly the greatest we’ll have for who-knows how many years,” Jordan said. “Goodness, almost every event was a meet and field record.”

Jordan offered several reasons for the number of records. The meet is a month later than its traditional time of early June, thanks to the ongoing World Cup soccer tournament, which European meet directors didn’t want to schedule against. That meant fitter athletes, better weather and, fortunately, the absence of wind over the allowable limit for record purposes in sprint races.

Jordan said the meet’s affiliation with the new Diamond League contributed to the depth of the fields. “If this is the result of the Diamond League, then obviously we’re thrilled with it,” Jordan said.

It all added up to a day that could be long remembered as something special.

“It felt like being at a European meet, at a BIG European meet,” said E. Garry Hill, editor of Track & Field News. “The Eugene crowd has always had the European feel, but the depth and breadth of the performances, and the look on the athletes’ faces. ... I just saw happiness everywhere I looked.”

A list of the records, by event:

Men’s 110-meter hurdles: David Oliver, 12.90 seconds. American record; matches Dominique Arnold, USA, 12.90, 2006. Hayward record and Pre Classic record; previous record Liu Xiang, China, 13.06, 2005.

Men’s 1,000 meters: Abubaker Kaki, Sudan, 2:13.62. American all-comers, Hayward and Pre Classic record; previous record Joaquim Cruz, Oregon, 2:14.54, 1984.

Men’s 5,000 meters: Tariku Bekele, Ethiopia, 12:58.93. American all-comers record; previous record Micah Kogo, Kenya, 13:02.90, 2009. Hayward and Pre Classic record; previous record Luke Kipkosgei, Kenya, 13:07.83, 1998.

Men’s 200 meters: Walter Dix, USA, 19.72. Hayward record; previous record Walter Dix, USA, and Shawn Crawford, USA, 19.86, 2008. Pre Classic record; previous record Wallace Spearmon, USA, 20.14, 2008.

Men’s shot put: Christian Cantwell, USA, 73-6 ¼. Hayward and Pre Classic record; previous record Kevin Toth, USA, 72-9 3/4, 2002.

Women’s hammer throw: Tatyana Lysenko, Russia, 249-3. American all-comers record, Hayward record, Pre Classic record; previous record Betty Heidler, Germany, 242-6, 2008.

Women’s 800 meters: Mariya Savinova, Russia, 1:57.56. Hayward and Pre Classic record; previous record Maria Mutola, Mozambique, 1:57.57, 1997.

Women’s 5,000 meters: Tirunesh Dibaba, Ethiopia, 14:34.07. Hayward and Pre Classic record; previous record Mesaret Defar, Ethiopia, 14:38.73, 2008.

Women’s triple jump: Nadezhada Alekhina, Russia, 47-11 3/4. Hayward record; previous record Shani Marks, USA, 47-2 ¼, 2008. Pre Classic record; previous record Anastasiya Zhuravlyeva, 44-9.

Women’s 400-meter hurdles: Lashinda Demus, USA, 53.03. Hayward record; previous record Demus, 53.78, 2009. Pre Classic record; previous record Melaine Walker, Jamaica, 54.14, 2007.

Women’s 100 meters: Veronica Campbell-Brown, Jamaica, 10.78 seconds. Matches Hayward record; previous record Torri Edwards, USA, 10.78, 2008. Pre Classic record; previous record Torri Edwards, USA, 10.94, 2008.

Women’s javelin: Kara Patterson, USA, 216-2. Hayward and Pre Classic record; previous record Barbora Spotakova, Czech Republic, 213-11, 2009.

Women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase: Milcah Chemos Cheiywa, Kenya, 9:26.70. Hayward and Pre Classic (debut) record; previous Hayward Field record Anna Willard, United States, 9:27.59, 2008.

Andrew Wheating: "... I can run with the big dogs."  video

He was 
pounding hard toward the finish line, like always. Heading toward his best performance in an Oregon singlet — in his last performance as a Duck.

Suddenly, the weirdest emotion crept into Andrew Wheating’s mind:

Regret.

Understand, Wheating set a personal best in the mile on Saturday by more than six seconds. His time of 3 minutes, 51.74 seconds also shattered the Oregon record held forever by Joaquim Cruz. Running in a loaded field in the Prefontaine Classic’s Bowerman Mile, he thrilled the home crowd once again.

“Unbelievable,” Wheating said over and over, not long after delivering another remarkable moment at Hayward Field.

Wheating finished fifth, 1.99 seconds behind the world’s best miler. And yet, he couldn’t shake the thought that he played it too safe, waited too long, and then finished with too much energy unspent.

“I was there,” Wheating said. “I could have been in it. I let (the leaders) get away.”

Maybe. But here’s the more important thing Wheating took away: The belief that he more than belonged in what might have been the best field ever assembled for the Bowerman Mile.

“I can run,” he said, “with the big dogs.”

Anyone who watched Saturday surely agrees. And everyone should ponder today what’s next for the tall kid with the big kick and the bigger smile.

Because even as he’s finished a spectacular Oregon career, it feels like he’s just getting started, still figuring out what’s possible.

“He’s good,” Vin Lananna said. “He’s really good” — and the coach placed special emphasis on the adjective.

This whole thing is just a continuation of the story we’ve been following since Wheating arrived in Eugene, a raw runner from Vermont. Most of us didn’t notice until two years and four days ago, and a sophomore’s stunning second-place finish in the 800 meters in the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials.

The focus that night at Hayward Field was on local favorite Nick Symmonds, and he didn’t disappoint — but here came Wheating, storming from the back to earn a trip to Beijing.

We were amazed, and so was he. It was the moment we first wondered whether the guy might be special. And he has been.

A few weeks ago, he capped his collegiate career by winning both the 800 and 1,500 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships — the first time in 26 years anyone had pulled off the double.

The last guy to do it was Cruz, who went on to do slightly bigger things. And doesn’t it seem like Wheating is only beginning to unbundle his potential?

Which brings us back to Saturday, and the Bowerman Mile.

Starting with winner Asbel Kiprop — the reigning Olympic 1,500-meter gold medalist — the field featured seven of the 10 best milers from last year, as ranked by Track & Field News. Despite all of Wheating’s accomplishments, his inclusion seemed a bit of a stretch.

But once the race began, he never seemed stretched, not at all.

Wheating bided his time near the back, like always. He’d heard the third lap would be painful, and that he’d just need to hold on. But despite the fast pace, he felt fine.

Coming off the Bowerman curve into the final straightaway, he turned on that trademark kick.

And then he kicked himself.

Even as Wheating acknowledged the roaring crowd, jumping up and down and popping his jersey — excited and happy about the accomplishment — he was thinking he could have broken 3:50 and factored into the finish.

“Bittersweet,” he said. “More sweet than bitter, but I should have tried to close the gap (on the lead pack).”

Are you thinking he could have closed, if only he’d known?

Me, too.

Next up, Wheating formalizes a deal with agent Mark Wetmore. He chooses a shoe company — and he’s not saying it’s automatically Nike, though it would be a huge surprise if he wore something else.

Then he picks a coach, decides where to train, perhaps concentrates on one distance. He’ll race this month in Paris, Monaco and Morocco. The 800 meters, and then the 1,500 twice.

And if we’re still not sure what Wheating can do, that’s OK.

He’s still figuring it out, too.


Subpages (1): Past History
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Barry Jahn,
Jun 20, 2010, 11:20 AM
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