Nike Prefontaine Classic
Held: June 4, 2005 at Hayward Field, Eugene, OR
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win in Olympic sprint rematches
In the Nike men's 100, 2004 Olympic gold medalist Justin Gatlin
jumpstarted his season with a wind-aided (+3.4 m/s) personal best
9.84, nosing ahead of 2005 world leader Asafa Powell of Jamaica at
the finish (second, 9.84w), in perhaps the most anticipated sprint
matchup of the season. Close behind, American Leonard Scott (third,
9.94) dipped below 10.00 seconds for the first time ever.
On the women's side, Olympic silver medalist Lauryn Williams
wasted little time in the 100 and ran away with a comfortable,
.13-second win into a headwind (11.16, w:-0.7), with Olympic Trials
champion LaTasha Colander (second, 11.29) and Muna Lee (third,
11.32) in tow. Olympic gold medalist Yuliya Nesterenko of Belarus
finished eighth in 11.47.
Record-setting 2 mile race
In the meet finale and special edition two-mile, Kenyan Eliude
Kipchoge broke the U.S. All-Comers record formerly held by U.S.
Olympian Bob Kennedy from the 1995 Prefontaine Classic (8:14.53).
The Kenyan comfortably strided through a 4:02 first mile with
American Alan Webb a few steps back, and Webb hung on for second
overall in an American two-mile record of 8:11.48. Fellow American
Dathan Ritzenhein utilized a more cautious strategy and raced solo
in the back half of the field en route to sixth place (8:23.45). The
two-mile also featured full-automatic-timed 3,000 splits, and
Kipchoge's mark of 7:35.44 broke former University of Oregon NCAA
champion Rudy Chapa's Hayward Field track record and then-American
record of 7:37.70 from 1979.
gold medalists go 1-1 in sprint hurdles
Chinese gold medalist Liu Xiang won the 24 Hour Fitness men's 110
hurdles in a world-leading time of 13.06, breaking the former meet
and Hayward Field record of 13.12 run by Allen Johnson and Larry
Wade. The eight-man field was filled out by a septet of Americans
paced by Terrence Trammell (second, 13.12) and Dominique Arnold
(third, 13.16). Four-time world champion Allen Johnson false-started
and was disqualified. Already ranked third in the world in '05,
Trammell improved his season best by .06 seconds, and Arnold enjoyed
a .05-second season best.
In the Visa women's 100 hurdles, Canada's world champion, Perdita
Felicien, braved a .-0.6 m/s headwind to claim a .06-second world
season leader (12.58), and dispatch America's Olympic gold medalist
Joanna Hayes (12.72).
In the men's 400 hurdles, American and world leader Bershawn
Jackson survived a stumble on the second hurdle to win by .04
seconds (47.91), and was only .22 seconds off former Olympic gold
medalist Kevin Young's Hayward Field record (47.69, 1993). Jackson
took the lead in the final 50 meters when he passed American James
Carter (second, 47.95), and Carter's .47-second season best moved
him to second in the world this year.
Middle distance report
In the Nike Bowerman Mile, Kenyan Alex Kipchirchir won by almost a half
second (3:50.91), and was more than five seconds faster than the previous 2005
world leader (3:56.08). Bernard Lagat (third, 3:51.53) led the U.S. contingent.
Four other American - Rob Myers (fifth, 3:54.87), Charlie Gruber (seventh,
3:56.92), Scott McGowan (eighth, 3:57.21) and Adam Goucher (ninth, 3:57.23) -
added sub-4:00 clockings.
Former Eugene resident and Springfield High School graduate Maria Mutola
raised her Prefontaine Classic unbeaten streak to 13 races straight as she won
the women's 800 (1:59.95 world leader) by .20 seconds over Jamaican Kenia
Sinclair (second, 2:00.15). Americans Frances Santin and Hazel Clark were DNFs
after they crashed on the backstretch.
Christin Wurth-Thomas won the 1,500 (4:09.45) over American Treniere Clement
(second, 4:10.46) in a race marred by a collision at the bell that took down
favorites Shayne Culpepper of the U.S. and Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain.
Canadian Gary Reed clocked the second-fastest time in the world this campaign
in the 800 (first, 1:44.82) and survived a kick by Russian Olympic gold medalist
Yuri Borzakovskiy (second, 1:44.91). Americans Khadevis Robinson and David
Krummenacker followed in third (1:45.43) and fourth (1:45.43), respectively.
prevails in women's 400m duel
In the Hershey's women's 400, Tonique Williams-Darling of the
Bahamas took the lead early en route to the win (49.95) , 03 seconds
ahead of American Sanya Richards (second, 49.98). Darling's mark
moved her atop the world season list by .01 seconds ahead of
Richards who had run 49.96 in Kingston, Jamaica in early May, and
Richards now owns the second- and third-fastest times in the world
Jamaican Michael Blackwood won the Visa men's 400 (45.48) over
four Americans who was separated by only .03 seconds - LaShawn
Merritt (second, 45.57), Andrew Rock (third, 45.58) and Tyree
Washington (fourth 45.59), while Olympic bronze medalist Derrick
Brew was fifth, (45.64).
Walker, Aldrich break out in the field
In the field, American Brad Walker moved to second in the world in the pole
vault (5.90m/19-4.25) with a three-inch personal best and first-attempt
clearance at his final bar. Olympians Toby Stevenson (second, 5.90m/19-4.25) and
Derek Miles (third, 5.80m/19-0.25).
High jumper Erin Aldrich moved into a tie at #1 on the U.S. season best list
and #2 in the world as she tied her personal best Saturday with a winning
clearance of 1.95m/6-4.75). Fellow American Ifoma Jones was second with a
personal-best 1.92m/6-3.5. Olympic gold medalist Yelena Slesarenko was third.
In the triple jump, Leevan Sands leaped his daily best on his second attempt
(17.16m/56-3.75 w:+2.9) for a half-inch win over Yanxi Li of China (second,
Russian Tatyana Kotova saved her best marks for her last two attempts
(6.80m/22-3.75 w:1.1 and 6.79m/22-3.5 w:1.5) to win the competition.
Top U.S. Performances -
Nike Prefontaine Classic
Next up in the Visa Championship Series:
June 11, Reebok Grand Prix in
New York City, NY. On NBC June 11, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. ET.