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Olympians, World Champions set for Nike Prefontaine Classic


EUGENE, Oregon --  In it’s 44th year, the Nike Prefontaine Classic is set to once again be a can’t-miss track and field event. The fields are stacked with Olympians and World Champions, established veterans and young athletes looking to take down elite international athletes Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Friday night’s session is free to attend and will be broadcast on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold starting at 10:30 p.m. ET. The Saturday broadcast will be on NBC and NBC Sports Gold starting at 4:00 p.m. ET, with NBC Sports Gold providing multiple field event feeds.

Friday Night Preview

Bowerman Mile

Matthew Centrowitz takes on an impressive field as he returns to Hayward Field for the first time since winning Olympic gold in Rio. Centrowitz, the former University of Oregon Duck, is the fastest American miler ever at Hayward. Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy joins 2016 Olympian Ben Blankenship and World Indoor 1500m finalist Craig Engels.

Men’s Pole Vault

Men’s pole vault will feature the reigning World Champion and Olympic bronze medalist Sam Kendricks. He will take on the current world record holder and 2018 World Indoor champion from France Renaud Lavillenie and high school sensation Mondo Duplantis representing Sweden.

Men’s 800m

USATF Indoor champion and IAAF World Indoor team member Donavan Brazier returns to the track where he broke both the collegiate and Hayward records in June 2016 with a time of 1:43.55. Americans Erik Sowinski - a 2016 World Indoor bronze medalist and three-time USATF indoor champion - and Harun Abda will toe the line with Brazier looking to take down the top-ranked 800m runner and reigning IAAF Diamond League champion from Botswana, Nijel Amos.

Men’s 2 mile

Leading the American contingent in the two-mile will be 2016 Olympic silver medalist and World Championships bronze medalist Paul Chelimo, the only athlete in the field with medals from both Rio and London. Chelimo will be joined by 2016 World Indoor silver medalist, Ryan Hill, the fastest American in the field; Shadrack Kipchirchir, the USATF Indoor 3000m runner-up and IAAF World Indoor team member; three-time USATF champion, Lopez Lomong; 2017 USATF 10,000m Champion, Hassan Mead; New York City half-marathon winner, Ben True; and Eric Jenkins returns to the track where he helped the University of Oregon win multiple NCAA team titles.

Saturday Preview

Women’s Pole Vault

America’s top vaulter, Olympic medalist and 2018 World Indoor Champion Sandi Morris, will take on a stacked field that features the top 10 vaulters in the world from 2017 as ranked by Track & Field News. Morris has started the outdoor season undefeated with victories at the Drake Relays (4.88m/16-0), where she challenged her own American record of 5.00m/16-4.75, and Doha Diamond League (4.84m/15-10.50). Morris’ top rival, Katerina Stefanidi, is the reigning Olympic and World Champion, and has the upper hand in head-to-head competition with a 17-9 edge over Morris. USATF Indoor national champion, Katie Nageotte, and 2012 Olympic gold medalist, Jenn Suhr will challenge Morris and Stefanidi in the first event of Saturday’s Prefontaine Classic.

Men’s Triple Jump

Headlining the field are two Americans no stranger to head-to-head competition, Christian Taylor and Will Claye, that have dominated their competition with a combined seven gold medals and 14 total medals from the Olympics, Outdoor and Indoor World Championships. Taylor a two-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time World Champion and six-time Diamond League champion returns to the triple jump for the first time since taking second in Doha earlier this month with a jump of 17.81m/58-5.25. Claye is coming off his second World Indoor gold medal having previously won in 2012. At last year’s Prefontaine Classic, Claye leapt to the two best marks of his life, setting a new personal best of 18.05m/59-7.50, which was just short of Taylor’s 18.11m/59-5 as the best mark ever on U.S. soil. Fellow American and 2016 Olympian, Chris Benard, joins the competition returning to the site of his 2012 Pac-12 conference title.

Men’s International Mile

The men’s international mile will add to the the long and storied history of the Prefontaine Classic and Hayward Field. The winner will record the 400th sub-4 mile in Pre Classic meet history and the 6th place finisher will own the 500th sub-4 time ever at Hayward Field. The field is stacked with Americans including Brody Hasty, a high school senior that has committed to run for the Oregon Ducks. Hasty is seeking his first sub-4 mile after missing it by just 0.05 seconds at the Millrose Games in February; Izaic Yorks, the second-fastest miler in the field at 3:53.40, was the 2016 NCAA 1500m runner-up and two-time Pack-12 champion; Henry Wynne the 2016 NCAA Indoor Mile Champion; USATF Road Mile National Champion Riley Masters; and Blake Haney a junior at the University of Oregon with a outdoor best of 3:58.79.

Men’s 100m

Set to make his outdoor season debut is Christian Coleman, the reigning World Indoor Champion and world record holder at 60m. Coleman will be challenged by fellow Americans Ronnie Baker, World Indoor bronze medalist and last year’s Pre Classic winner, and 2012 Olympian Isiah Young. Baker currently holds the world’s fastest time in 2018 when he ran a personal best of 9.97 at the Mt. SAC Relays.

Men’s 3000m Steeplechase

American record holder Evan Jager will take on the reigning Olympic and World Champion from Kenya, Conseslus Kipruto. Jager, the silver medalist in London and bronze medalist at last year’s World Championships has a streak of 6 consecutive USATF National titles will make his 2018 steeplechase debut alongside fellow countrymen Stanley Kipkoech Kebenei owner of the second-fastest time in U.S. history, Rio Olympian Hillary Bor, 2012 NCAA 1500m champion Andy Bayer, and Haron Lagat.

Women’s 1500m

World Championship silver medalist and Olympic bronze medalist Jenny Simpson leads the Olympic caliber field as she is coming off her American record setting two-mile at the Drake Relays last month. Olympian and World Championship silver medalist Brenda Martinez enters her first 1500m of the season with two-time Olympian Kate Grace, World Indoor 1500m and 3000m finalist Shelby Houlihan and World Indoor 3000m finalist Colleen Quigley.

Women’s 400m

The star-studded women’s 400 features five olympians, three of which are Americans. Reigning world champion Phyllis Francis will duel with Allyson Felix, making her first outdoor appearance of the season on U.S. soil and her first Pre Classic 400m appearance since her 2015 victory. In Rio, Felix led Team USA to gold in both relays and took silver in the 400m behind Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who will also toe the line on Saturday afternoon. Rounding out the stacked field is 2018 World Indoor champion Courtney Okolo and making their Prefontaine Classic debuts will be World Indoor silver medalist Shakima Wimbley and Jaide Stepter.

Women’s 100m

World champion and Rio Olympic silver medalist Tori Bowie returns to the Prefontaine Classic 100m for the first time since 2015. Bowie enters with a season best of 11.04 and is joined by USATF Indoor 60m champion and World Indoor team member Javianne Oliver.  

Women’s 800m

Ajee Wilson, the 2017 World Championships bronze medalist and two-time World Indoor silver medalist, enters the meet as the fastest American woman this year in the outdoor 800m at 1:59.27.  She will be joined by 2017 Prefontaine Classic 800m winner Charlene Lipsey, Olympian Chrishauna Williams who finished second in this event last year and Raevyn Rogers, the 2018 USATF Indoor Championships runner-up and World Indoor finalist.

Women’s 400h

The 400m hurdles will feature Olympic gold medalist Dalilah Muhammad who enters with the fastest time of the season in the field with a time of 53.77. The top two finishers from last year’s Pre Classic 400 hurdles are also entered in the strong field. Olympic bronze medalist Ashley Spencer will try to repeat her performance as 2015 World Championships silver medalist Shamier Little looks to improve upon her second place finish.

Important links

Start lists


Tickets for Saturday can be purchased here.

Live Stream: NBC Sports Gold

Fans are encouraged to follow along using #PreClassic on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.


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