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Steve Prefontaine

Photo of Steve Prefontaine

Inducted: 1976, athlete

Born: January 25, 1951 - Coos Bay, Oregon
Deceased: May 30, 1975

Events
1,500 m - 3:38.10
1 mi. - 3:54.60
2 mi. - 8:18
3 mi. - 12:51
5,000 m - 13:21.87
10,000 m - 27:43.60


Steve Prefontaine was a major reason that Eugene, Oregon, became the unofficial running capital of the U.S. One of the University of Oregon's greatest athletes, Prefontaine was better known as "Pre" to the crowds that chanted his name as he ran. While at Oregon, he won six national collegiate distance titles, including cross country, under Hall of Fame coaches Bill Bowerman and Bill Dellinger. He also won two AAU crowns and set 15 American records at every distance from two miles through 10,000 meters. He was also an outstanding distance runner at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay and some of his high school records still stand. In all, he won 119 of 151 outdoor track races, including his high school performances. Even his rare losses were run with flair and determination. One of the most memorable of them was the 5000m final at the 1972 Olympics, where 21-year-old Prefontaine boldly took the lead with four laps to go and pushed the pace, only to lose a medal in the final strides of the race. Three years later, a fatal automobile accident cut short his career.

Records Held
American Record: 2 mi. - 8:18 (July 18, 1974 - )
American Record: 3 mi. - 12:51 (June 8, 1974 - )
American Record: 5,000 m - 13:21.87 (June 26, 1974 - )
American Record: 10,000 m - 27:43.60 (April 27, 1974 - )

Championships
1972 Olympics: 5,000 m (4th)

Education
high school: Marshfield (Coos Bay, Oregon), 1969
undergraduate: Oregon (Eugene, Oregon), 1973

Occupations
Athlete

Pre Rock
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