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Prefontaine Classic Tickets
Sport: Track and Field
First Held: July 1975
Location: Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Title Sponsor: Nike
Prefontaine Classic Tickets|PerformerSteve Prefontaine was a talented member of the University of Oregon’s track team. He held many collegiate records in the 5000-meter, three-mile and cross-country events. At the Hayward Field Restoration Meet in 1973, which was the inaugural fundraising event for the athletic facility, Prefontaine finished second in the mile. The following year, he won the three-mile race, setting an American record. In his career, he held every American record between 2,000 and 10,000 meters and two miles and six miles. Shortly after his death on May 30, 1975, in a car accident, the Hayward Field Meet was renamed the Prefontaine Classic. This event attracts the best track and field athletes in the world. They have included Justin Gatlin, Allyson Felix, Beatrice Chepkoech, Michael Johnson, Mo Farah, Ezekiel Kemboi and Kendra Harrison. Get your Prefontaine Classic tickets at StubHub.
What is the field like at the Prefontaine Classic?Since the old field was torn down, everything is new, including the nine-lane track. Expected to open in the spring of 2020, this location will have seating for 12,500 in the grandstand. Capacity can be expanded on the north side to 25,000 with the addition of temporary seats. All spectators will have unobstructed views of the track, and there will be more seats around the finish line than in the old field. The indoor pole vault area is two stories high. The University of Oregon says fans can expect comfortable seats because they are 22 inches with 44-inch tread depth. At the track level, the first row of seats will be just a few feet from the outside lane.
What are some noteworthy moments from the Prefontaine Classic?In the 220-yard event in 1975, even though Don Quarrie and Steve Williams both ran 19.9 to set a world record, Williams won by nipping Quarrie at the tape. Matt Centrowitz won the men’s 5000 for the fourth time in 1982 while setting an American record of 13:12.91. Suzy Hamilton and Gabriela Szabo of Romania put on a show in 2000 in the 1500-meter event. With 300 meters left in the race, Hamilton had a 15-meter lead, but Szabo hit the gas and began gaining. In the end, Szabo, who had not lost a race in two years, kept her streak alive by beating Hamilton by 0.06 while posting a time of 4:00.73. As for field events, at the 2013 men’s high jump, Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar jumped 7 feet, 10.5 inches to score the highest height ever in the US. He accomplished his feat by missing in his two previous jumps at lower heights. In the 1976 men’s discus, Mac Wilkins hurled the second longest throw in the world with a mark of 231 feet 3 inches.
Who are some noteworthy Prefontaine competitors?Eighteen-year-old Alan Webb overshadowed Hicham El Guerrouji of Morocco, the winner of the men’s mile in 2001. Webb finished fifth in 3:53.43 to break the high school record set by Jim Ryun that had stood since 1965. On the backstretch of the last lap, Webb came from way back to electrify the crowd as he passed runners to end up placing fifth. Also note that in that race, Guerrouji was the first to run a mile in the US in under 3:50 outdoors.
When did the Kenyans make the Prefontaine Classic their Olympic trials?In 2012, Athletics Kenya brought the men’s 10,000-meter team to Eugene, which sits at sea level, and Hayward Field. This compares to the 5,600-foot altitude of the Kenyan capital. The nation’s athletic federation made the move in an effort to better simulate the running conditions anticipated at the upcoming Olympic Games in London. Fourteen of the country’s athletes ran in Oregon with Wilson Kiprop of Kenya topping the podium.
What other events are in the Prefontaine Classic?The two-day event presents many track and field competitions. Among them are the javelin, pole vault, discus throw, 100-meter race, 200-meter race and 400-meter race.
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