2013 Pre Meet info

Here is the latest information on the Pre meet

           Tickets for the 39th annual edition of the Prefontaine Classic, to be held May 31-June 1 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., are available now from PreClassic.com and from 1-800-WEBFOOT.  Sponsored by NIKE continuously since 1984, the Prefontaine Classic will be shown live to an international audience and by NBC Sports from 1:30 till 3:00 p.m. PT on June 1st.

           The Prefontaine Classic is the longest-running outdoor invitational track and field meet in America and is part of the elite IAAF Diamond League of meets held worldwide annually.  Last year’s Pre Classic presented the most 2012 Olympic gold medalists (20) of any invitational meet in the world.

Friday May 31st 6.00pm no tickets needed

Note:  = IDL = Diamond League Scoring event

  • International mile    (IDL)
  • 10,000 Meters
  • IDL Long Jump
  • 800 Meters National
  • 1500 Meters National
  • 10,000 Meters  
  • IDL Shot Put
  • Hammer Throw
  • IDL Javelin Trow

Saturday June 1st 12.00pm
  • 100 Meters  
  • IDL Steeplechase
  • IDL 200 Meters                                             
  • IDL 110 Hurdles
  • IDL 400 Meters                                             
  • IDL High Jump
  • 1000 Meters                                                 
  • IDL Pole Vault
  • IDL Bowerman Mile                                      
  • IDL Discus Throw
  • 5000 Meters
  • IDL 100 Meters                                            
  • IDL 800 Metes
  • 400 Meters                                                
  • IDL 3000 Meters
  • 1500 Meters                                               
  • IDL 400 Hurdles
  • IDL Triple Jump     


        Eugene, Oregon – The iconic Bowerman Mile annually closes the Prefontaine Classic on the highest of notes, but this year’s finale seems destined to send Eugene’s fans into orbit.  Not only is every London Olympic 1500-meter medalist confirmed, but so is each of the IAAF Diamond League’s previous winners.

           It doesn’t stop there.  Also confirmed are every one of the top 10 in the world as ranked by Track & Field News, as well as all 11 currently top-rated by All-Athletics.com, which combines 2012 accomplishments with current-year performances.

           The Bowerman Mile is a cornerstone of the Pre Classic, the 39th edition to be held June 1.  It annually holds the best men’s mile race in the world, and since 2000 has been named in honor of legendary Oregon coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman.

           Two Olympic 1500-meter gold medalists are among this year’s headliners. Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria stunned the world with his London gold, having never previously ranked among the world’s top 10. The 25-year-old has never raced the classic mile distance, nor any race in the U.S.

           But the 2008 Olympic champ has.  Asbel Kiprop of Kenya, the Beijing gold medalist, has ranked no lower in the world than No. 2 since 2008, including three No. 1 rankings.  Kiprop is a Hayward Field legend, winning the Bowerman Mile three times out of four, all since 2009.  Every one of his four Hayward Field performances has been sub-3:50.  He was the first Diamond League winner in 2010, and is currently rated No. 1 in the world by All-Athletics.com.

           Another young Kenyan in the field was last year’s best.  Silas Kiplagat earned the 2012 No. 1 ranking by T&FN, after having been No. 2 in 2011 and No. 3 in 2010.  He has twice raced in the Bowerman Mile, finishing as runner-up in a sub 3:50 in 2011.  Kiplagat capped last year’s campaign by winning the Diamond League title.

           Three Americans in the field have experienced memorable victories at Hayward Field.  Matthew Centrowitz, an Oregon grad, was the 2011 NCAA champion and won the bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships.  He just missed a medal in London, finishing 4th.  His numerous Hayward Field victories include the 2011 USATF 1500-meter title.  Centrowitz was ranked No. 5 in the world last year by T&FN.

           Leo Manzano surprised many with his London silver in the 1500.  None of the Texas grad’s four NCAA indoor/outdoor titles occurred in Eugene, but winning last year’s Olympic Trials 1500 did.  He won his first race at Hayward Field in the 2005 Oregon Relays.

           Northern Arizona grad Lopez Lomong, the Olympic flag bearer for the U.S. in Beijing, has made the World Championships final at 1500 meters and now owns the American Record in the indoor 5k at 13:07.00.  He ran a scorching 3:51.21 indoors this February.

           Mekonnen Gebremedhin, is Ethiopia’s 2nd fastest ever in the 1500 and the mile.  He was runner-up in last year’s Bowerman Mile and was bronze medalist in last year’s World Indoor Championships and was ranked No. 3 in the world last year byT&FN.  Gebremedhin is currently rated No. 3 by All-Athletics.com.

           Rated No. 4 in the world is Kenya’s Bethwell Birgen,  4th in last year’s Bowerman Mile.  Countryman Nixon Chepseba will be running in Eugene for the first time.  The third member of Kenya’s Olympic 1500-meter team (joining Kiprop and Kiplagat), he won the 2011 Diamond League title as a 20-year-old.  They are rated No. 4 and No. 5 in the world by All-Athletics.com.

           While there are only three spots on the Kenyan Olympic team, the Pre Classic accepts the best in the world, with no limits by country.  Also lining up will be two more from the East African powerhouse: Collins Cheboi, the 2011 All-Africa Games silver medalist, and Caleb Ndiku, winner of the 2010 World Junior Championships.  As an 18-year-old Ndiku was 5th in the 2011 Bowerman Mile, running 3:49.77, the fastest ever for that age.  He was 5th again last year, just ahead of Cheboi, who was 6th.  All-Athletics.com currently has Cheboi No. 8 and Ndiku No. 10 in the world.

           East Africa has another young entrant in Ayanleh Souleiman.  Only 20 years old, he owns Djibouti’s national records in the 800, 1500, and 3000.  He was 3rd in last year’s Bowerman Mile in 3:50.21, another national best.  Last year’s African Championships silver medalist, he is rated No. 9 in the world by All-Athletics.com.

           Abdelaati Iguider of Morocco has much more experience, earning the bronze medal in London as well as reaching the final in the 5000.  His career includes a gold medal in the 2004 World Junior Championships.  Last year’s World Indoor Championships gold medalist at 1500, Iguider is rated No. 11 in the world by All-Athletics.com.

           Nick Willis of New Zealand was the 2008 Olympic silver medalist and won the 2005 NCAA Indoor mile while at Michigan.  Ryan Gregson of Australia is a two-time winner of the Pre Classic’s International Mile.

           With 15 fields announced, the Pre Classic now numbers 75 major medalists, of whom 36 own major gold medals, and more still to come.  With 12 of the announced events featuring the London gold medalist, nine include a sweep of medalists, including the Bowerman Mile.


           Eugene, Oregon – Distance fans will once again thrive at the Prefontaine Classic's “Distance Night in Eugene” on Friday, May 31st.  The men’s 10k revives a duel between the reigning Olympic gold medalist and the current world record holder.

        The 39th Pre Classic, a member of the IAAF Diamond League of world-class meets, will be held on May 31 and June 1 at historic Hayward Field.  The men’s 10k is the climax of Friday’s program, which begins at 6:00 p.m.

           Mo Farah, the 5k and 10k London Olympic gold medalist, tops a loaded international field. Farah, who trains in nearby Portland under the tutelage of Oregon legend Alberto Salazar, became Great Britain’s first to win Olympic golds in the 5k and 10k and is now a regular attraction at the Pre Classic.  He won last year’s 5k in the fastest time ever in the U.S., 12:56.98.  His 10k best of 26:46.57 was set in winning the 2011 Pre Classic that saw an amazing 9 runners dip below 27 minutes (no other race in the U.S. has had more than one).

           Kenenisa Bekele has run even faster at Hayward Field.  The Ethiopian legend set the U.S. all-comers best of 26:25.17 at the 2008 Pre Classic.  He is the world record holder at 26:17.53 and has 3 Olympic gold medals, plus an amazing 11 world cross country titles.

        Bekele and Farah, both 30, first raced against each other as 17-year-olds in 1999 at the inaugural World Youth Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.  The distance was only 3k, and Bekele earned the silver while Farah finished 6th.  At the 10k distance, they’ve only met twice, with Farah besting Bekele both times. Brilliant kicking, even off the stiffest of paces, is the hallmark of these two superstars.

        While the Pre Classic 10k was originally destined to be Ethiopia’s World Championships trials, the Ethiopian Athletic Federation has decided to go in a different direction.  Still, Ethiopia’s best 10k runners are confirmed as part of a stellar field that includes 7 of the 10 best in the world as rated by All-Athletics.com, which combines 2012 accomplishments with 2013 performances, including cross-country achievements.

        No. 2 on that list is Ethiopia’s Tariku Bekele, Kenenisa's younger brother.  Tariku earned the bronze in London, just a second ahead of Kenenisa in his first year of running the 10k.  Prior to 2012, Tariku’s main target was the 5k, and he was ranked among the world’s top 10 by Track & Field News 7 times since 2005, with a best of No. 2 in 2010.  Tariku won the 2010 Pre Classic 5k in 12:58.93, the first-ever sub-13 time in the western hemisphere.  It was the Pre Classic record until Farah broke it last year.  At the 10k, Tariku and Kenenisa are 1-1 head-to-head.  Since 2008, Tariku owns a 3-1 edge at all distances.

        Three of the top Kenyans remember last year’s electric Pre Classic race, which saw 15 of that nation’s best race 25 memorable laps at Hayward Field for a chance to run again in London.  Bidan Karoki, now 22, was 3rd, running a PR 27:05.50 to make the team.  He ended up as Kenya’s highest finisher at London in 5th place and was ranked No. 5 in the world last year by T&FN.

           Emmanuel Bett remembers last year’s Pre Classic for a different reason.  He finished in the agonizing 4th place, but later in the summer lowered his PR to 26:51.15, fastest in the world, and was ranked No. 6 by T&FN.  So deep is Kenya’s talent thatVincent Chepkok didn’t even make last year’s Olympic Trials race.  The 2011 World Cross-Country bronze medalist ended up proving he belonged, running 26:51.68 last summer, 2012’s second-fastest.

        The East African talent base continues.  Eritrea’s Teklemariam Medhin, 23, finished 7th in London and is No. 7 in the All-Athletics.com ratings.  That’s just ahead of a pair of impressive Ethiopians.  Imane Merga, 24, won the 2011 World Cross-Country gold and was runner-up to Farah in the fantastic 2011 Pre Classic 10k race.  Yigrem Demelash is Ethiopia’s fastest Junior-aged runner of all time at 26:57.56.  He is still just 19 years old and will certainly threaten the World Junior Record of 26:41.75.




        No, it's not Mary Cain, the exceptional 17-year old who will race in the IDL 800 Meters at Pre on June 1st.  It's Faith Kipyegon, who at 19 has already run faster than three of the last four Olympic gold medalists in the women’s 1500 meters on Saturday, June 1st.  She will make her U.S. debut in the 1500 meters at the Pre Classic, after shattering the World Junior Record earlier this month by nearly 3 seconds at 3:56.98, also becoming the fastest Kenyan of any age.  The previous WJR had stood since 2005 and the previous Kenyan record since 1998.  Kipyegon is still eligible to set more Junior-aged records this year.

        Kipyegon has an incredible record already.  She won the 2011 World Youth Championships and 2012 World Junior Championships.  Then, earlier this year she added the World Junior Cross-Country gold.

        The Pre Classic presents an interesting challenge for the young Kenyan.  A former Olympic gold medalist and a 2-time World Championships gold medalist lead a world-class field in Nancy Langat of Kenya and Maryam Jamal of Bahrain.  Langat won the Beijing gold, while Jamal took home the 2007 and 2009 World Championships gold medals. Only Jamal (3:56.18) and Russia’s Yelena Soboleva (3:56.43) have faster personal bests in the field.

         The field also includes two of America's fastest in Anna Willard and Treniere Moser.  Willard is a former American record holder in the steeplechase.  She is the fastest American at 1500 since 2000, as her 3:59.38 best trails only Mary Slaney and Suzy Favor Hamilton.  Moser, the last woman to win 3 straight national titles in a decade, has reinvented her career, running her fastest since the most recent of three national championships titles in 2007.



        Eugene, Oregon – Mary Cain, the phenomenal 17-year-old from Bronxville, New York, has been added to the IAAF Diamond League 800m at the June 1st Prefontaine Classic.

           Cain obliterated the High School Record in the 1500m last weekend at the USATF Oxy High Performance meet in southern California.  Her time of 4:04.62 took more than 6 seconds off her own HSR of 4:10.77 set earlier this spring.  She is now the fastest prep in history by almost 10 seconds over the next closest athlete, Jordan Hasay at 4:14.50.

           Coached by Oregon legend Alberto Salazar, Cain has the potential to not only improve upon her 800 personal best (2:03.34), but to take down the High School and American Junior record of 2:00.07 set by Kim Gallagher in 1982.  The World Junior record is 1:54.01 by Pamela Jelimo of Kenya, who also happens to be in the IDL 800m race.













        Eugene, Oregon – Tirunesh Dibaba, the greatest women’s long distance runner ever, will return to Eugene headlining a loaded women’s 5000-meter field at the Prefontaine Classic on June 1 at historic Hayward Field.  The 39th Pre Classic, a member of the elite IAAF Diamond League, presents talent from around the globe in front of America’s best fans.

        Dibaba, 27, is from Ethiopia, home to a long list of distance running legends.  Owner of the 5k world record at 14:11.15, she is also the reigning 2-time Olympic gold medalist at 10k and has collected 5 major gold medals in the 5k or 10k.  Only one other woman has earned even 3 in those events, and Dibaba’s Beijing 5k/10k Olympic gold-medal double is the only one in history.  She has never lost at Hayward Field, twice setting meet records in winning the 2010 Pre 5k and last year’s incredible 10k in 30:24.39, the 2nd fastest ever in the U.S.

        The Pre Classic has assembled an accompanying field worthy of Dibaba.  It includes 7 of the world’s top 10 ranked by either Track & Field News or All-Athletics.com.  The field glows with talent from distance-rich Ethiopia and Kenya, and is fortunately not limited to 3 per country, as are the Olympics and World Championships.

            Kenya’s Viola Kibiwott and Mercy Cherono lead an impressive list of challengers.  Kibiwott was a London finalist, finishing 6th, but she also lowered her 1500-meter best last summer to 3:59.25, making her one of two sub-4 runners in this field.  She won the 2002 World Junior Championships gold at that distance, and was ranked No. 5 in the world at 5k last year by T&FN.  Cherono has 2 World Junior golds (2008 and 2010 at 3k), plus a World Youth gold (2007 at 3k).  She was a finalist at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, finishing 5th, and is currently ranked No. 3 in world by All-Athletics.com.

            Gelete Burka from Ethiopia is the fastest 1500 runner in the field at 3:58.79.  She has a unique pair of gold medals: 1500 at the 2008 World Indoor Championships and the 2006 4k World Cross Country Championships.  Burka is a 4-time Pre Classic winner in the 1500 (including the meet record 3:59.89 in 2009) and in the 5k is the 2nd-fastest in the field with a best of 14:31.20.  She was ranked No. 6 in the world last year by T&FN.

           Another Ethiopian could possibly steal the show.  Buze Diriba won the World Junior gold last year.  Though not (yet?) as fast as Dibaba, who owns the World Junior Record of 14:30.88, she is still eligible for Junior status.  At age 18, she was ranked No. 9 in the world last year for runners of any age by T&FN.

            Two more world-ranked Kenyans grace the field. Sylvia Kibet is a 2-time World Championships silver medalist, and 23-year-old Veronica Nyaruai won the 2006 World Junior and 2005 World Youth 3k gold medals.  They were ranked No. 8 and 10 last year in the world, respectively, by T&FN.

           The U.S. has four world-class entrants in Shannon Rowbury, Lisa Uhl, Kim Conley, and Neely Spence.   Rowbury is a 2-time Olympic finalist at 1500 meters and won the silver medal at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu.  Uhl is the fastest American in the field at 14:55.74, and the 4-time NCAA champ from Iowa State set her 3k PR last year at Pre (8:52.95).  Conley ran an unforgettable last lap at the Olympic Trials to make the team to London and was the highest ranked American last year. Spence is a 3-time NCAA Division II champion from Shippensburg State and was the highest-finishing American at this year’s World Cross Country Championships. Her father, Steve, was the marathon bronze medalist in the 1991 World Championships.

        Great Britain will be represented by a double Olympic finalist making her first appearance in Eugene.  Julia Bleasdale, currently ranked No. 10 in the world by All-Athletics.com, finished 8th in the Olympic 5k and 10k.

        More young international talent adds to the field’s allure.  Steeplechase specialist Hiwot Ayalew of Ethiopia finished 5th in her specialty at London, but also owns a  14:57.62 PR at 5k.  Shitaye Eshete of Bahrain was a finalist in the London 5k and 10k, finishing 6th in the longer distance.  Ruti Aga of Ethiopia was the silver medalist behind country-mate Diriba at last year’s World Junior Championships, and she also is eligible for Junior status this year.  Azemra Gebru of Ethiopia won the 2011 African Junior Championships gold at 3k.  Kenyan Irene Cheptai has a best of 14:50.99.

        Taken all together, the Prefontaine Classic IAAF Diamond League 5000 Meters will have a deeper field than will the World Championships final in Moscow this summer



        Eugene, Oregon – Aries Merritt sure knows how to flip a switch.  After winning last year’s U.S. Olympic Trials in the 110-meter hurdles in a personal-best 12.93, he finished the summer clearly unbeatable, claiming the London gold medal in 12.92 and smashing the World Record in 12.80 at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels, Belgium. Overall, he became the first ever to break the 13-second barrier 10 times in one year.

        Merritt headlines a stellar field at the 39th Prefontaine Classic to be held June 1 at historic Hayward Field, site of Merritt’s Olympic Trials race.  Winner of the Diamond League title last year, Merritt will be joined at the Pre Classic by a formidable field that includes all the London medalists, the reigning world champion, a former Diamond League winner and the holder of the Pre Classic and Hayward Field records.

            Jason Richardson was runner-up to Merritt a number of times last year, notably at the Olympic Trials, London Olympics and Diamond League final.  He earned a “wild card” free pass to this year’s World Championships in Moscow by virtue of winning gold at the Daegu World Championships in 2011.  Merritt and Richardson are both 27 years old; Merritt owns a 17-9 all-time head-to-head record, which dates back to their collegiate days (Merritt at Tennessee, Richardson at South Carolina).  Richardson was ranked No. 2 in the world last year behind Merritt by Track & Field News.

         No one has run faster in Eugene - or anywhere in the U.S. - than David Oliver, who won the 2010 Pre Classic in 12.90, best ever in the U.S.  The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Oliver lowered his best to 12.89 as he captured the T&FN No. 1 world ranking and Diamond League title in 2010.  A 2-time winner of the Pre Classic (2010 and 2011), he was ranked No. 3 in the world by T&FN last year as well as in 2011.

            Hansle Parchment, only 22, set a Jamaican record of 13.12 when he earned the Olympic bronze medal in London.  It was the first medal of any color in the event for a Jamaican man.  Parchment was ranked No. 4 in the world last year by T&FN.  Another Jamaican made history last year.  Andrew Riley, as a senior at Illinois, became the first man to win the NCAA 100 and 110 hurdles in the same year.

        American Jeff Porter was the final member of the powerful U.S. men’s high hurdles London Olympic team.  While not an Olympic finalist, his campaign was strong enough to rank him No. 7 in the world last year by T&FN.  He is yet another former NCAA champion in the field, having won the indoor 60-meter hurdles in 2007 for Michigan.  He joins Merritt (2006), Richardson (2008) and Riley (2010, 2011, and 2012) as NCAA winners.

         Two more young athletes complete the field.  European champion Sergey Shubenkov of Russia is 22 and Cuba’s Orlando Ortega is 21.  Ortega was a finalist in the London Olympics, finishing 6th.  Shubenkova was ranked No. 6 in the world last year by T&FN, while Ortega was No. 9.  Both own PRs of 13.09.       

        In the All-Athletics.com rankings, which combines past performances with this year's marks, the Pre Classic field boasts the Nos. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 performers in the world.


        Eugene, Oregon – The best 5k field in the world this year will be in Eugene, featuring American record holders Bernard Lagat and Galen Rupp at the Prefontaine Classic to be held June 1 at historic Hayward Field.  The Pre Classic is a member of the elite IAAF Diamond League.

                   Rupp and Lagat are familiar with the history of Pre, as well as Hayward Field. Rupp, a native Oregonian, finished his collegiate career at Oregon with a 5k/10k NCAA championship for the Ducks in 2009.  Training near hometown Portland under the tutelage of Oregon legend Alberto Salazar, Rupp is the American record holder in the 10k (26:48.00) and earned the silver medal at that distance in London.

           Lagat lives in Pacific-12 country.  A 1999 graduate of Washington State, he trains in Tucson, Arizona, and has been a U.S. citizen since 2004.  Since that time he has re-written American distance history, now holding no fewer than 7 American Records: 1500, 3000 and 5000 meters outdoors, plus 1500, mile, 3k, and 2-Miles indoors.  Lagat won the gold medal at both 1500 and 5000 meters in the 2007 World Championships, as well as silver in the 5k in 2009 and 2011.  He has an Olympic silver (2004) and bronze (2000) in the 1500.  Lagat is also a 2-time winner of the Bowerman Mile (2003 and 2006).

        The Pre Classic offers much more, led by Thomas Longosiwa, the London bronze medalist, and fellow Kenyan Isiah Koech, a 19-year-old who was ranked No. 3 in the world last year by Track & Field New after finishing 5th in London and 4th in the 2011 World Championships at age 17.  Koech has the fastest PR in the field at 12:48.64, the second-fastest ever by a Junior-aged runner.

                Two more sub-12:50 runners headline a loaded field, and both know the energy that Hayward Field fans provide, having run at last year’s Pre Classic.  Kenya’s John Kipkoech was ranked No. 8 in the world last year by T&FN.  Ethiopia’s Yenew Alamirewwas an Olympic finalist last year.

         The Pre Classic field is far from done. Edwin Soi of Kenya has an Olympic bronze medal from the 2008 Beijing Games and owns speed enough to gather a bronze in the 3k at the 2012 World Indoor Championships. Add Hayle Ibrahimov of Azerbaijan to the mix. He was a London finalist in his first major international test, finishing 9th.

        Last year’s 5k/10k NCAA champion Cam Levins, a Canadian who also trains under Salazar, made the London Olympic final and has committed to the Pre Classic 5k.  So has Collis Birmingham of Australia, who has twice run at the Pre Classic and returned home with PRs.

        More Americans are clearly a part of the picture. Reigning national cross country champ Chris Derrick just missed making the London team in the 10k, but he knows the power of Hayward Field, having won the Pac-12 5k title for Stanford last year.

        The field includes two more runners known for being part of last year’s magical Kenyan Olympic Trials 10k at Hayward Field.  Emmanuel Bett finished in the unfortunate 4th spot, and was 5th in Kenya’s 5k trials.  Mark Kiptoo, though 8th in last year’s 10k Kenyan OT, earned No. 10 in the T&FN world rankings in the 5k.

        The talented field includes 18-year-old Albert Rop of Kenya, Olympic finalist,Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico, and 2012 World Junior 10k bronze medalist Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya.  Rop ran an incredible 7:35.66 3k as a 16-year-old in 2011.

        The 5k race at the 39th Pre Classic is the signature event of the meet’s namesake, Steve Prefontaine, who was known to run fast and fearless.  It was won last year by eventual double London Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah in 12:56.98, the fastest ever in the U.S. That mark could be in jeopardy. And what of Mr. Farah?  In an intriguing development, Mo will decide the week of the meet between the 10k on Friday and the 5k on Saturday. Rupp and Lagat and Farah? Oh My!         


        Eugene, Oregon – Another classic battle in the ongoing USA vs. Jamaica turf battle for sprint dominance will play itself out in the women's 100 Meters at the 39th Pre Classic on June 1st  at Hayward Field. Since the 2007 World Championships, there have been a total of 15 Olympic or World Championships medals awarded in the women's 100:  9 have been won by Jamaicans and 5 by Americans, with the island nation holding a commanding 4-1 lead in gold medals.

           The Pre Classic, a member of the prestigious IAAF Diamond League, has prepared a treat for sprint fans everywhere, as the women’s 100 is the latest event whose field is scheduled to include all the 2012 Olympic medalists. The overall collection of hardware is staggering, as every 100 gold medalist since 2007—as well as every 200 gold medalist since 2004—will be in the field.  Five complete medal sweeps are represented, highlighted by the London 100 and 200.

           Jamaica’s trio of talents will be led by 2-time Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who won the century in London and Beijing. She also owns a pair of gold medals from the 2009 World Championships, giving her four major golds - an accomplishment that can be matched by three others who will face her.  She was the fastest in the world last year with a PR 10.70 and was ranked No. 1 in the world by Track & Field News.  Fraser-Pryce earned three medals in London - a gold and a pair of silvers.

        America’s top-ranked 100-meter sprinter is London silver medalist Carmelita Jeter.  Ranked No. 1 in the world for three straight years by T&FN (2009-11), she missed gold last year by just 0.03 seconds - 10.78 behind Fraser-Pryce’s 10.75.  She rebounded to anchor the USA’s smashing of the 4x100-meter relay world record in 40.82, breaking a mark set 29 years earlier.  She also owns four major golds, and collected a trio of medals in London - one of each color. Jeter and SAFP have met 23 times in the 100 since ’08 with the American holding a 13-10 lead.

        Jamaica counters with bronze medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown, who trains in Florida.  She is a former World Champion at this distance, but is better known in the 200 meters, having won three of her four major golds there - including a pair at the Olympics in 2008 and 2004.  Campbell-Brown was part of the exciting race in London, finishing just 0.03 seconds behind Jeter for the bronze (10.81). VCB and Jeter have met no fewer than 27 times since ’06, with the Jamaican having a 17 -10 edge, although in their last 10 meetings the tally is  7-3 for Jeter.

        America adds the most decorated athlete in the field, Allyson Felix, a Californian who started shining as a teenager.  Owner of 12 major gold medals, she is best known for her dominance in the 200 meters (winning the London Olympics as well as three World Championships titles).  Then again, she has become perhaps the most dependable women’s relay runner in U.S. history, joining greats such as Evelyn Ashford and Florence Griffith-Joyner.  Her second-leg efforts on the 4x100 and 4x400 in London were so decisive that the U.S. only had to worry about handoffs.  In the 100, Felix can claim a 5th from London last year.

        The 2005 World Champion in the long jump, Tianna Bartoletta (formerly Madison) stormed the world last year in the 100, ending up just 0.04 seconds out of the medals in London.  Known for a blistering start, she was a natural to lead off the USA 4x100 team, giving the Americans a lead that would never vanish.

        Jamaica’s next entrant is Kerron Stewart, another strong starter but who actually anchored their silver-medal 4x100 team in London.  Stewart, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist, didn’t make the London final, but the former NCAA champion at Auburn was ranked No. 10 in the world last year by T&FN.

        Two lanes remain, and they are claimed by Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria and Murielle Ahoureof the Ivory Coast.  Both were London finalists.  Okagbare was bronze medalist in the 2008 Olympic long jump.  She won a 100/long jump double at the 2010 NCAA Championships at Hayward Field while competing for UTEP.  Ahoure, a former national indoor 200-meter champ at Miami, won silver at last year’s World Indoor Championships in the 60 meters.

        Taken all together, this is the strongest women's 100-Meter field ever hosted at Historic Hayward Field.


           Eugene, Oregon – Robert Harting knows how to win. The German discus star’s last loss dates back all the way to early August of 2010, and his winning streak has grown to an daunting 33 meets, including gold medals at the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympic Games.

           A colorful character who likes to celebrate his big golds by ripping off his jersey and throwing it to the crowd, the 28-year-old  has also compiled one of history’s best stretches in the event - last year’s No. 1 world ranking by Track & Field News was his fourth consecutive.  No one has ever won five in a row.

           One thing Harting has not done is win a Diamond League title, and defending his Pre Classic title will be no easy feat. The field is stunning—so complete that every medalist from the Olympics and World Championships since 2008 is included, plus every No. 1-ranked athlete by T&FN since 2003.  Every previous Diamond League winner is confirmed, and the seven-man field is comprised of the Top 7 from last year’s T&FN world rankings.  Each was a finalist in London.

        Harting has not yet won a Diamond League title, but Gerd Kanter of Estonia, Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania, and Piotr Malachowski of Poland have.  They are members of their own club, the only Diamond League winners in the event.

           Kanter, who will be 34 by Pre Classic meet time, was ranked No. 2 in the world last year byT&FN.  The 2008 Olympic gold medalist, he has ranked among the top three in the world for the last eight years.

           Alekna is 41 but still looking for more glory.  Winner of a pair a of Olympic golds in 2000 and 2004, he is part of a select group - led by legendary 4-time winner Al Oerter - to win at least two.  He also owns gold from the 2003 and 2005 World Championships and has been ranked among the Top 5 in the world by T&FN for 16 of the last 17 years.

           Malachowski, relatively young at 29 in men’s discus years, has earned silver medals at the Olympics and World Championships.  He has been ranked among the Top 5 in the world by T&FN in each of the last 6 years.

        London silver medalist Ehsan Hadadi of Iran will make his first-ever appearance in Eugene.  The bronze medalist at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Hadadi was ranked No. 3 in the world last year by T&FN.  Also confirmed and in the Pre Classic for the first time are Germany’s 25-year-oldMartin Wierig and Spain’s Frank Casanas, 35.  The pair finished 6th and 7th in the London Olympics.

        This field is without question the best ever assembled on American soil since the 1996 Olympic Games.

       The women’s javelin throw on Friday evening, May 31st, will be led by reigning world champion Mariya Abakamova. The Russian star, the second longest thrower in history, will get stiff competition from Germany’s Christina Obergfoll and South Africa’s Sunette Viljoen.

        Obergfoll - the London silver medalist and reigning Pre Classic champion  – was ranked No. 1 in the world in 2011 by T&FN.  Viljoen was ranked No. 2, and took bronze in the 2011 World Championships.

        Also throwing will be a pair of Olympic finalists and national record holders in Martina Ratejof Slovenia and Madara Palameika of Latvia.  Add to that group Ukraine record holder Vira Rebryk,Kimberley Mickle of Australia, and 2-time NCAA champion Brittany Borman, formerly of Oklahoma, who won the Olympic Trials at Hayward Field last year.

        The Pre Classic, like all meets around the world, is without one of the event’s best ever, as WR holder/Olympic gold medalist Barbora Spotakova is on maternity leave. The Czech Republic star is due to deliver this summer and plans to return to action in 2014.


        Eugene, Oregon – Mariya Savinova,  the Olympic gold medalist in the 800 meters will return to the Prefontaine Classic with a world-class field of challengers led by previous Olympic gold medalist Pamela Jelimo, who narrowly followed Savinova in last year’s world rankings.

        The women’s 800 meters is the eighth straight event announced by the Pre Classic to include the reigning Olympic gold medalist.  The 39th edition, to be held June 1 at historic Hayward Field, annually provides America’s best fans with the world’s best talent and is a member of the prestigious IAAF Diamond League.

           Savinova is one of the event's best ever. Not only did she win the Olympic gold medal in London, she also claimed the same color in Daegu for the 2011 World Championships.  The 800-meter race at Pre will begin the build-up to defending her World title, this time in her home country of Russia. In her previous visit to the Pre Classic in 2010, Savinova set a then-meet record of 1:57.56.

       The 27-year-old joined an exclusive club last year by ranking No. 1 in the world for three straight years by Track & Field News.  Only two legends matched that feat - Jarmila Kratochvilova (still world record holder at 1:53.28 from 1983) and Maria Mutola (6-time Olympian, owner of a record 7 World Indoor gold medals, and the all-time Pre Classic title winner at 16).

       Kenya’s Jelimo won the 2012 IAAF Diamond League title.  The Olympic gold medalist in 2008 at age 19, Jelimo was “barely” beaten for the No. 1 spot in the highly respected T&FN world rankings last year.  Savinova owns a career 4-3 edge head-to-head record over Jelimo.

        Four more London Olympic finalists grace a very talented field: bronze medalist Yekaterina Poistogova of Russia; Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, ranked No. 3 by T&FN; evergreen Janeth Jepkosgei of Kenya, who has a complete set of World Championships medals as well as the Olympic silver from 2008; and front-running American Alysia Montano, who placed 5th at the Games. Niyonsaba was one of the great relevations of the 2012 season, starting the year as she did with no known performances, then running 1:56.59 and finishing 7th in the Olympic final as a 19-year-old. Montano won last year’s Pre race with a wire-to-wire effort, eclipsing Savinova’s  meet record with a time of 1:57.37.


        Eugene, Oregon – The two best steeplechasers of the modern era are of course from Kenya, home of every Olympic gold medalist for the past 28 years.  One is king of the Diamond League, having won all three previous titles, while the other has claimed the lion’s share of major gold medals in recent memory.  Paul Koech and Ezekiel Kemboi headline a stellar field at the Prefontaine Classic.

               This year’s men’s steeplechase field will include all three Olympic medalists from London, as well as an incredible nine of the top 10 ranked runners in the world as rated by Track & Field News.

        Koech and Kemboi have dramatically different world-class resumes.  Koech is the only steeplechase Diamond League winner. Yet Koech owns only one major medal, the bronze from the 2004 Olympics.  Meanwhile, Kemboi has seven major medals, including golds from the 2004 and 2012 Olympics as well as the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.  The two have battled a stunning 48 previous times in the steeple, with Kemboi owning a 28-20 edge.  The two oldest athletes in last year’s T&FN steeple world rankings, Koech (No. 1) and Kemboi (No. 3) will be 31 when they race again at the Pre Classic.

        The youngest world-ranked steepler last year is also from Kenya, 18-year-old Conseslus Kipruto.  Kipruto won the 2012 World Junior Championships after taking gold at the 2011 World Youth Championships.  His best of 8:03.49 is the fastest ever by an 18-year-old, and he ranked No. 4 in the world last year by T&FN.

        Two more London medalists are in the loaded Pre Classic field.  Silver medalist Mahiedine Benabbad of France and bronze medalist Abel Mutai of Kenya are set to make first-time appearances in the U.S.  Benabbad was also the Olympic silver medalist in 2008.  Mutai was ranked No. 5 in the world last year by T&FN, while Benabbad was No. 7.

        American record holder Evan Jager is an obvious bright spot for U.S. fans.  The Wisconsin graduate made his first commitment to running the event last year and shattered a 6-year-old U.S. record in only his fourth final ever.  Another American, Princeton grad Donn Cabral, won the NCAA title last year.  He was runner-up at the Olympic Trials at Hayward Field.  Former national champDan Huling also helps to bolster the American presence, having a best of 8:13.29.

        An experienced Ethiopian and yet more world-class Kenyans are  also confirmed in the Pre Classic field.  The Ethiopian is 31-year-old Roba Gari, who finished 4th in the  Olympics last year, moving up from a 5th in the 2011 World Championships.  He was runner-up at the 2009 Pre Classic.

        The remaining Kenyans are a great mix of talent.  Jairus Birech, just 20, was ranked No. 6 in the world last year.  Hillary Yego, now 21, was the 2009 World Youth Championships gold medalist.  Bernard Nganga is 28 and has a best 8:05.77. Even the pacesetter, Haron Lagat, a former collegian at Texas Tech, has run 8:15.80!


        Eugene, Oregon – A  preview of the World Championships in August?  The women’s 400-meter hurdles at the Prefontaine Classic will provide just that, as the reigning Olympic and World Championships gold medalists meet the woman ranked No. 1 in the world.

        Three stars headline a power-packed field at the 39th Prefontaine Classic to be held at historic Hayward Field on June 1.  The Pre Classic is a member of the prestigious IAAF Diamond League, comprised of 14 elite meets around the globe.

        Russia’s Natalya Antyukh won the London Olympics by just 0.07 seconds over American Lashinda Demus, who brought home gold at the 2011 World Championships.  But it was Jamaican Kaliese Spencer who earned the Track & Field News No. 1 world ranking in 2012.  The trio is amazing in that each has broken the 53-second barrier, making the world record of 52.34 within reasonable reach as each prepares for the World Championships in Moscow this August.

           Spencer is the youngest headliner at 26.  She has won world-class races in her young career at London, Rome, and Zurich.  Still, she is in search of her first championships medal, having finished 4th at the 2012 Olympics as well as at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.  Spencer has twice been runner-up at the Pre Classic (2011, 2010).

        American record holder Demus was ranked No. 2 in the world last year by T&FN and owns three previous No. 1 world rankings (2011, 2010, and 2006).  Now 28, she has a glittering collection of major medals: gold from the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, along with silvers from the London Olympics and 2005 and 2009 World Championships. Demus is the Pre Classic and Hayward Field record holder at 53.03 from 2010.

           Antyukh, ranked No. 4 in the world last year by T&FN, is the oldest of the leading headliners at 31.  She is also the quickest, having transformed from the flat 400  (2004 Olympic bronze medalist with a PR of 49.85 from ‘04).  Antyukh was a hurdle star early in her career, but didn't run over the barriers for almost a decade before switching back in 2009, making the World Championships final.  She first dipped under 53 seconds in 2010, earned the bronze at the 2011 World Championships, then PRed at 52.70 to win gold at the London Olympics.  This will be Antyukh’s first appearance in Eugene.

        The Pre Classic's incredible display of talent seems to have no end.

        Three stellar internationalists are confirmed in Zuzana Hejnova, bronze medalist at the London Olympics and ranked No. 3 in the world by T&FN; Perri Shakes-Drayton, ranked No. 5 in the world by T&FN; and London finalist Denisa Rosolova, ranked No. 9 in world by T&FN.

        Perhaps more impressive to American fans are a pair of fast-rising talents, Georganne Moline and T’erea Brown.  Both are Olympians.  Moline, still a blossoming collegiate star at Arizona, was 5th in the London Olympics, while Brown - an NCAA champion while at Miami and an accomplished sub-13 talent in the 100-meter hurdles - finished sixth in London.  They were ranked No. 7 and 8 in the world last year by Track & Field News, giving this race the Nos. 1-2-3-4-5-7-8-9 athletes in the world, and all-three medalists from the London Olympics Games.


        Eugene, Oregon – Racing fans, be prepared.  World record holder David Rudisha is eager to lead a world-class 800-meter field at the Prefontaine Classic.

        Rudisha, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, is no stranger to racing the best in the world, having shattered the 1:41 barrier in his London victory against them.  But competing at the 39th Prefontaine Classic on June 1 will be his first chance to display his incredible talent at historic Hayward Field.  The Kenyan superstar recognizes the significance of the event.

        “I’ve heard about the great crowd at Eugene.  Bernard Lagat tells me it’s where they have a special interest in middle distances,” says the 24-year-old Rudisha.  “So I’m excited to go and run there for the first time.  I hope to run well and give the crowd something to enjoy.”

        When Rudisha runs, crowds enjoy.  His talent in the 800 meters is at historical levels, as he now owns 6 of the 8 fastest times in history, including his world record 1:40.91 set while winning the Olympic gold in London. For his stellar 2012 season, Rudisha was named men's Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News magazine.

        Rudisha’s confirmation makes for a phenomenal Pre Classic field, as every 2012 Olympic finalist is confirmed.  This also makes the men’s 800 meters the 5th of 5 events announced by the Pre Classic that will include every medalist from the London Olympics.

        The silver and bronze medalists from London may still only be teenagers but they are already record setters in their own right.  Silver medalist Nijel Amos of Botswana is one of only 5 men to run under 1:42, and the World Junior champion and record holder (1:41.73) is the fastest of any 18-year-old ever.  His PR equals that of legendary Sebastian Coe, whose 1981 world record was set more than a decade before Amos was born.  Bronze medalist Timothy Kitum of Kenya extends the youth movement, as his best of 1:42.53 is the fastest ever by a 17-year-old.  Amos and Kitum were ranked No. 3 and 5 in the world last year by T&FN.

        Only one man has defeated Rudisha in the last 3 years, and he has done it twice.  Amazingly, that person is still only 19 years old, Mohammed Aman of Ethiopia.  Aman, the 2012 World Indoor champion, has spoiled undefeated seasons for Rudisha in 2011 and 2012.  A finalist in both the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympics, his aim is on this summer’s World Championships in Moscow.  Aman was ranked No. 2 in the world last year by T&FN.

        Two more world-class teenagers grace the Pre Classic field in Leonard  Kosencha and Abraham Rotich, both of Kenya, ranked No. 4 and 6 in the world last year by T&FN.  Kosencha won the 2011 World Youth Championships over Aman, Kitum, and Amos.  While still 19, Rotich is the only teenager in the field not eligible for Junior records this year, as he will turn 20 before the end of the year.           

        Can any American compete with Rudisha and the speedy young threats?  The Pre Classic includes the two best in Duane Solomon and Oregon TC favorite Nick Symmonds.  Just out of reach of the Olympic medals in London (4th and 5th, respectively), each ran lifetime bests in that epic Olympic final.  Both are using the Pre Classic to continue improvement, as they are the Nos. 2 and 3 fastest Americans ever.

Since 2007, no one in the world has a better record against Rudisha than Abubaker Kaki of Sudan, who defeated Aman in a thrilling race to win last year’s Pre Classic.  A 2-time World Indoor gold medalist, Kaki was World Championships silver medalist behind Rudisha in 2011.  A year younger than Rudisha, Kaki was 5-1 head-to-head with Rudisha through the 2009 season. It wasn’t until the end of the 2011 season that Rudisha pulled ahead (Rudisha now leads 8-5).  Kaki has had great success at the Pre Classic, having won the 1K in 2010 as well as the 800 in 2011 and 2012.  His 2011 victory in 1:43.68 is still the Meet and Hayward Field Record.  Kaki was also the World Junior record holder from 2008 (1:42.69) until Amos’ run at London.

        Three more sub-1:44 runners complete the field.  Andrew Osagie of Great Britain is a London finalist who won bronze at the 2012 World Indoor Championships.  Adam Kszczcot of Poland is holder of the bronze from the 2010 World Indoors.  Job Kinyor is a steadily rising Kenyan anxious for a return to Eugene, having started his best season at the Pre Classic last year. Taken all together, this is a field as good as any seen in any invitational meet ever, anywhere.


        Eugene—The Ethiopian Athletic Federation has designated the men's and women's 10,000-meter events at the Prefontaine Classic as Ethiopia's selection races for this summer's World Championships.

        Dube Jillo, the Federation's Sport Development & Competition Director, announced that “the 2013 Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene Oregon [will] host the Ethiopian National 10,000m trials for both the Men and Women, on the 31st May 2013. The race will host the best of our Ethiopian 10,000m athletes and will serve as the platform for all selection for our 10,000m teams for the IAAF World Championships held in Moscow, Russia in August 2013.”

        This is the second year running that the Prefontaine Classic has been accorded the honor of staging another country's trials race. Last year's thrilling 10k for men selected Kenya's team to the London Olympic Games. This year's “Distance Night In Eugene” on Friday, May 31st, will feature 10k races for men and women, and will also be open to athletes from nations other than Ethiopia.

        With the World Championships limiting entrants to 3 per country, and with the depth of talent from Ethiopia, Kenya, and the United States among others, both trials races at this year's Eugene Samsung Diamond League meet will be the deepest in quality of the year. The events on Friday night, including the trials races, will again be free of charge to the public thanks to title sponsor Nike.

        In the coming weeks, the Ethiopian Federation will designate those athletes eligible to compete for their World Championships 10k teams in Eugene, and the names of entrants from other countries will be released by the meet.


        Eugene, Oregon – Can it get any better?  2012 Woman Athlete of the Year Valerie Adams headlines the latest from the Prefontaine Classic, which now boasts  a clean sweep of the 2012 Olympic medalists in the first four events that have been announced.

                Adams leads the women’s shot put, an event the 28-year-old from New Zealand has dominated since 2006, having been ranked No. 1 in the world in six of the last seven years by Track & Field News.

       Already owner of the 2008 Olympic gold, Adams added London as part of an undefeated 2012 campaign that saw her end the season more than two feet better than her nearest competitor.  It was more than enough for the international panel at T&FN to vote her as Woman Athlete of the Year, the first shot putter to win it in more than three decades.

       In 2013, the international target for track & field is Moscow in August for the World Championships.  Adams has had plenty of success at the Worlds – winning gold in 2007, ’09, and ’11 – and the Pre Classic lineup will offer a preview of the challengers she will face in Moscow.

       Leading the charge are London silver and bronze medalists Yevgeniya Kolodko of Russia and Lijiao Gong of China, respectively.  Add the American duo of Jill Camarena-Williams and Michelle Carter, who are two of the three longest Americans in history, with Camarena-Williams co-holder of the American record.  That gives the Pre Classic the Top 5 world-ranked putters from 2012.

       Two more Olympic finalists are confirmed in Xiangrong Liu of China and Irina Tarasova of Russia, who ranked Nos. 9 and 10 last year by T&FN.

 The women’s hammer throw actually has more than a sweep of Olympic medals from London – it can add the complete set from the 2008 Beijing Games as well.  The Pre Classic women’s hammer will be part of the IAAF Hammer Challenge, an international grand-prix series of competitions around the world exclusively for the hammer throw.  This is the first time that a meet in the U.S. will be part of the IAAF Hammer Challenge.

       The six hammer throwers with Olympic medals represent six of the top seven athletes in the T&FN rankings, and the last three women to hold the world record.  Befitting a close competition, the order of London medalists is different from their world rankings last year.  Tatyana Lysenko of Russia won gold in London, but was ranked No. 3 in the world last year by T&FN.  Betty Heidler of Germany earned the No. 1 world ranking, though taking the bronze in London.  The silver medalist at London, Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland, was ranked No. 2 in the world.  Heidler is the world record holder at 260-7 (79.42), while Wlodarczyk and Lysenko are not only former world record setters but also winners of the last two World Champs gold medals.

       The Beijing trio of medalists are Oksana Menkova of Belarus, Yipsi Moreno of Cuba, and Wenxiu Zhang of China.  They will be joined by Jessica Cosby and Amber Campbell of the U.S.  Both are 2-time Olympians, and Cosby set the American record at last year’s Pre Classic.


        Eugene, Oregon – Another clean sweep of Olympic medalists will grace the Prefontaine Classic this year.  This time it’s the men’s high jump, led by Russia’s Ivan Ukhov, the gold medalist from London who is aiming for similar results at this summer’s World Championships in Moscow.

        Ukhov, who will turn 27 on March 29, is the latest of many Russians to lead the world in the men’s high jump.  He returns to the Pre Classic on June 1st ,  heading the strongest high jump field in the meet's 39-year history. Ukhov was ranked No. 1 in the world by Track & Field News in 2012 and 2010, and he has a best of 7-10 ½  (2.40), a height bettered by only 4 other men in history.

        The field will be familiar to Ukhov in many ways.  For one, the reigning World Champion, American Jesse Williams, 29, owns the Hayward Field Record with his best of 7-9 ¼ (2.37) set in winning the USATF title in 2011.  That same year, Williams became the first American to rank No. 1 in the world since American record holder Charles Austin in 1996.

        Ukhov will be familiar with competitors who stood with him on the same podium in London.  Count collegians Erik Kynard, 22,  an American at Kansas State, and Derek Drouin, 23, a Canadian attending Indiana, as part of that group.  Both are intending to prep for the NCAA Championships on the same apron a week before the NCAA Championships.  Kynard (a 2-time NCAA champion) earned a silver in London, while Drouin (a 4-time NCAA champ) a bronze.  Drouin and Kynard ended the collegiate indoor season with a titanic battle at the NCAA Championships, Drouin emerging as the winner.

        Two more bronze medalists from London are confirmed for the field, Moutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Robbie Grabarz of Great Britain.  Essa, just 21 years old, is 2013’s highest jumper with an Asian Record 7-10 (2.39). Grabarz was the 2012 European Champion.

        Russia’s heritage in the event will be represented with other stars, led by 2008 Olympic gold medalist Andrey Silnov, 28, a former Pre Classic champ in 2008.  Joining the Russian camp, but attending Eugene for the first time, are Aleksey Dmitrik, 28, the 2011 World Indoor silver medalist, and Sergey Mudrov, 22, the recent European Indoor Champion.

        Add to the field emerging star 21-year-old Guowei Zhang of China, 4th in the 2012 World Indoor Championships.

In the All-Athletics.com rankings, which combine 2012 accomplishments with 2013 marks, the Pre Classic field boasts the Nos.1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 ranked eligible athletes in the world. Eight of the competitors in the Pre high jump have equaled or surpassed the Meet Record of 7-8½ (2.35) set by Charles Clinger way back in 2002.


           Eugene, Oregon – Get ready to fly.  Olympic pole vault gold medalist Renaud Lavillenie is ready to take the Prefontaine Classic to new heights.

        Lavillenie, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, will make his first-ever trip to Hayward Field to compete in the 39th annual Prefontaine Classic on June 1st. Joining him will be silver medalist Bjorn Otto and bronze medalist Raphael Holzdeppe, giving the Eugene Samsung Diamond League meet a clean sweep of the London medal winners.

           Lavillenie is the dominant vaulter on the planet.  He owns a best of 19-9.5 (6.03) and has been ranked No. 1 in the world the last three years by Track & Field News, a streak last recorded by the legendary world record holder Sergey Bubka, who did it seven times (1991-97).  At only 26 years of age, Lavillenie expects his best years are still to come, and vault experts consider him the best bet to join Bubka as the only men to clear 20-feet in the event.

           Otto is another member of the 6-meter club (19-8.25 / 6.01).  At 35 years old, the German is the oldest vaulter in the Pre field. Countryman Raphael Holzdeppe, just 23, was a 2008 Olympian at age 19 and has a best of 19-4.75 (5.91).  For Lavillienie, Otto, and Holzdeppe, this will be their first visit to historic Hayward Field.

        The only Pre Classic entrant familiar with the Eugene facility is American record holder Brad Walker, a 2-time Olympian.  Three of Walker’s most memorable jumps came at Hayward Field, including his victories at the 2012 U.S Olympic Trials and 2009 U.S. national championships.  But Walker still relishes his clearance of 19-9.75 (6.04) at the 2008 Pre Classic, the American record that still stands.  It also still stands as the Pre Classic and Hayward Field records, as well as the highest that anyone has ever vaulted in the U.S.

        Three additional world-ranked Olympians are confirmed for the Pre Classic field -- Malte Mohr of Germany, Steve Lewis of Great Britain, and Konstantinos Filippidis of Greece   Mohr was ranked No. 3 in the world by Track & Field News for 2012, while Lewis was ranked No. 4, and Filippidis No. 6.  In the All-Athletics.com rankings, which include 2013 marks, the Pre Classic field boasts the Nos. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 ranked athletes in the world.