Pre Classic to Hold World’s Best Talent

Isaac Gibson FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

The Prefontaine Classic is one of the most anticipated and prestigious track and field meets in America. Bringing some of the greatest international runners in the world to America, the Prefontaine Classic has seen some of the greatest achievements in track history on American soil.

No other meet in the United States has given us as many sub-four minute mile performances as the Pre Classic Mile. The year 1954 was the first time in history a man was recorded running a mile in under four minutes. Since 1975 when the meet was first established, there have been 323 sub-four performances run at the Pre Classic.

This year the meet will be held May 29-30 and already some of the event rosters have been published. The men’s steeplechase will feature the gold, silver and bronze medalists from the previous Olympic Games, as well as the greatest steeplechaser America has ever produced, Evan Jager. Jairus Birech is the man to beat; at 7:58.41, he was the fastest man in the world last year by over five seconds. Jager is coming off of a breakout year as well. He broke the American record five times and set it again last year at 8:04.71.

The women’s long jump will feature all eight of the top long jumpers in the world.

Brittney Reese (USA) 23-9.5 (7.25)
Darya Klishina (Russia) 23-1.75 (7.05)
Tianna Bartoletta (USA) 23-.5 (7.02)
Christabel Nettey (Canada) 22-11.25 (6.99)
Funmi Jimoh (USA) 22-10 (6.96)
Shara Proctor (Great Britain) 22-9.75 (6.95)
Eloyse Lesueur (France) 22-8.5 (6.92)
Ivana Spanovic (Serbia) 22-8.5 (6.92)


The men’s shot put will feature every single gold medalist from the Olympics and World Championships since 2006. Reese Hoffa won the 2006-2007 world indoor and outdoor championships as well as two diamond league trophies. Ryan Whiting won two gold medals in the world indoor championships in 2012 and 2014. Two time world champ David Storl will also join the fray, making his first ever Pre Classic appearance, along with Tomasz Majewski, two time Olympic gold medalist and the only European to defend an Olympic shot title. Christian Cantwell has stood the test of time; Cantwell won four world titles — the 2004, 2008, and 2012 world indoor championship and the 2009 World championship. A list of each of their personal bests is included below.

Christian Cantwell (USA) 73-11.5 (22.54)
Reese Hoffa (USA) 73-7.25 (22.43)
Ryan Whiting (USA) 73-1.25 (22.28)
Joe Kovacs (USA) 72-3.5 (22.03)
David Storl (Germany) 72-1 (21.97)
Tomasz Majewski (Poland) 72-.25 (21.95)
O’Dayne Richards (Jamaica) 70-10.75 (21.61)
Tom Walsh (New Zealand) 69-9 (21.26)


Steve Prefontaine, the namesake of the meet.

Steve Prefontaine, the namesake of the meet

And we cannot forget that last year everyone who finished in the mile ran a sub-four performance.

It’s going to be an exciting meet with these four events alone, but every event should be stacked with the world’s best talent.

The meet is held every year at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon. Don’t miss it – May 29-30, tickets are on sale now.

Top photo by

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