The 2013 Prefontaine Classic is in the books. The record books that is. Sunny Oregon skies, warm temperatures, no wind and plenty of elite competition from around the world came together to produce one of the most memorable Pre Meets in history. World bests, meet records, a national high school record/ junior record and multiple personal bests were the order of the day for day two. Plenty of Olympic medalists were strewn across Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon. Athletes from Qatar, Russia, China, Jamaica, France, Britain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Czech Republic, Poland, Djibouti, Iran, Germany, Morocco, Cuba, Australia Brazil, Slovakia, Ukraine, Bahamas, Belgium and yes the United States of America all competed. We were hoping for world performances and we were not disappointed.
Who would have ever thought a 19’6 ½” inch pole vault was possible this early in the year? A 7’ 10 ½” high jump and the highest mark ever on US soil? 5 women under 2:00 in the 800 with the winning time of 1:56.72 – the fastest ever run in the US? All 15 Men’s Bowerman Mile finishers under 4:00 with the top three under 3:50? Wow.
Five Prefontaine Meet Records were set; Men’s High Jump, Men’s Steeplechase, Women’s 800, Women’s 1500, Women’s Javelin. Eleven new 2013 World Leading Marks were set; Men’s – Mile, 5,000, 10,000, 110 Hurdles, Long Jump, Pole Vault, Discus. Women’s – 800, 5,000, 400 Hurdles, Triple Jump.
One of the most impressive records to fall was the US Junior and High School Girls 800, where we were treated to a 1:59.51 – by New Yorker and current high school student; Mary Cain who finished 4th in a star studded field.
The atmosphere surrounding Hayward Field was nothing short of electric. Much like an orchestra that follows the lead of a conductor this meet flowed with precision. Mix in a sold out crowd in excess of 12,000 and the place can go crazy. These track fans know who rabbit is, what pace to watch for, who is in the lead, where the bar is at, how many attempts a jumper/thrower has and how to clap for jumpers and pacers. Day two went fast and was complete in just a little over two hours.
World class athletes, world class performances, a world class meet. Have you made the trek to Track Town? If you have any interest in track and field you owe it to yourself to attend at least one big time meet in your lifetime.
Until next time – enjoy the run!