EUGENE, Ore. -- Another American record fell on the second day of the Nike Prefontaine Classic, as a sell-out crowd of 13,158 witnessed another phenomenal day of track & field at historic Hayward Field.
Shannon Rowbury set a new American record in the women’s 2-mile, finishing fourth in 9:20.25. Rowbury executed an impressive final 100 meters, holding on to break the previous record of 9:21.35, set by Amy Rudolph back in 1998.
In arguably one of the biggest surprises of the day, Tori Bowie won the women’s 200 meters in a new lifetime best and world-leading 22.18. Three-time Olympic champion Allyson Felix was third in 22.44.
Leo Manzano continued his winning ways with another strong performance, taking the men’s International Mile crown in a then-world lead of 3:52.41. His time would be surpassed by Ayanleh Souleiman in the Bowerman Mile, finishing in a world-leading and meet record 3:47.32.
Two-time Olympic medalist Will Claye set a new Prefontaine Classic record in the men’s triple jump, leaping 17.66m/57-11.25 (+0.8) for a new personal best. Claye was phenomenal Saturday, recovering well from a hamstring injury suffered during the USA Indoor Championships in February. Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor finished second in the event, leaping 17.42m/57-1.75 on his final attempt to earn two points in the Diamond League standings.
Justin Gatlin captured his third Pre Classic title, crossing in a wind-aided 9.76 (+2.7) for the win. Countryman Michael Rodgers finished right behind Gatlin, earning three Diamond League points with his time of 9.80.
It was a photo finish in the men’s 400 meters, as LaShawn Merritt and Kirani James renewed their rivalry down to finish. Both men crossed in 43.97 but James just edged Merritt for the victory. The event was a fabulous precursor for what should be a fantastic Diamond League season.
Full results are available on the Diamond League - Eugene website. The third stop on the summer-long IAAF tour, the Nike Prefontaine Classic kicks off the first of two domestic Diamond League competitions.
The Nike Prefontaine Classic is part of the USATF Championship Series. The final stop of the summer is the USATF Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Tickets are available at sacsports.com.
Nike Prefontaine - Day 2 quotes
Jordan Hasay, women’s 2-mile - 9th place
“I’m having great workouts, I just need to translate it to the races. I think that’s just going to come with time. We’re still kind of learning what works, and what doesn’t work. I had a great week of workouts last week, it may have been a little bit too much. I felt a little bit tired out there. But, you know, I think that my time is going to come.”
“Our training is going very well and I’m excited about the way things are going. It gives me a lot of confidence that her workouts are going well and that I’ll be right there with her one of these days.”
Leo Manzano, men’s international mile winner
“It was just incredible. It was fun. I have had some great workouts, I didn’t know what I could do, I haven’t been in an individual race in a while. I had a not so great indoors. I’ve had a pretty good little outdoor stint with the road races and a couple of good relay events I was in. I didn’t really show what I was capable of, but today was just amazing.”
“I love track and field. I’m going to go back to when I thought I was going to give up, when I thought I was going to give up. I’m going to go back to the reason I started with and that’s that I love the sport. If all goes well, I’m going to go through September 13, the Fifth Avenue mile.”
Justin Gatlin, men’s 100m winner
“I’ve just been trying to better my times. I know if I put down really good times, I’m just happy to come out here and be healthy, be in good shape and to be able to perform in front of a crowd like this...it’s amazing. I looked up at the scoreboard and saw my time, my competitors’ times and they’re definitely right there with me.”
“My whole motto this year has just been ‘go’. My teammates make fun of me and call me Ricky Bobby because all I want to do is go fast. I don’t have to govern myself this year. I don’t have to wait to peak. There’s no world championships or just one final, so I can go out there and run as fast as I want, when I want to run.”
Shannon Rowbury, women’s 2-mile AR holder - 4th
“I thought I’d have a shot at the record, that being said you never know on a given day. The last 100 meters, I knew it was going to be close. I heard the announcer and I just tried with all my might to close in time. I’ve been on the other end of it when I’ve just come short. It’s always a nice feeling to accomplish those goals.”
“So much fun to race at Hayward. I think Hayward is part of the reason I was able to accomplish it today. The crowd is so great and the excitement is just palpable. It really makes a difference.”
Tori Bowie, women’s 200m winner
“To start off with the sprints, I was the girl who was supposed to be the alternate. If something happens then I take their spot. Someone pulled out of the race and I found out two days ago that I’d be running, that I had to fill lane 1. It was an awful feeling knowing that lane one! I’m in the heat with an amazing field. It’s kind of a scary feeling to be in lane one. So I went out there and my main goal was to be the first person to come off the curve. I knew if I was the first person off the curve, I knew I’d have a great race. I tried to beat everyone off the curve today.
I wasn’t even thinking about time. I was just scared. it was just my second 200 my entire life. I didn’t want anyone to pass me. I just kept running and kept running. It paid off.
Will Claye, men’s triple jump winner
“There’s so much I’ve been going through the past few months. Not being able to jump, tearing my hamstring set me back. It was exciting to be able to compete again and to compete here meant everything. I’ve been jumping here since I was 17. It feels like home to me. The crowd is always so supportive. Everything I wanted to start a clap, they’d clap with me. They were just so supportive. It’s just all love for this meet. Christian and I always want to have fun, so it was probably one of the most fun meets for us this year.”
Christian Taylor, men’s triple jump runner-up
“I’m in the U.S. and it’s always good to be here. I just wanted to put on a show and when Will and I are here together, it’s just like Florida days. Just like running with Tony (last weekend). It’s like a reunion. We always have a good time.”
“Some of my best jumps are from (Hayward). It’s such a great atmosphere, such a friendly track atmosphere. The track is just such a good track. I’m so happy when I compete here. I’m glad they’re doing junior outdoors and World Juniors here. I think it’ll be great to bring track attention to the U.S. and great for younger athletes to compete in front of such a knowledgeable crowd.”
“If I can get in a lane, I’ll run a 400. I definitely need to get my rhythm and find the triple jump again, so I’m glad to compete like I did here.”