The Prefontaine Classic is one of the biggest track and field events of the year. The field annually contains past Olympians and athletes hoping to make the Olympic cut in the future, which makes for an elite level of competition.
Named after track star Steve Prefontaine, a runner who starred at Oregon and held multiple national records, the event is now a featured part of the IAAF Diamond League. It takes place at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.
The two-day showcase includes 26 individual events, including the always popular 100 meters for both men and women. Here's a look at all the key information for the track and field spectacle, followed by a complete schedule and a preview of top races.
Where: Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
When: Friday, May 31 – Saturday, June 1
Watch: NBC and NBC Sports Network (Saturday)
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra (Saturday)
Entry Info: Updated List (via PreClassic.com)
|Start Time (ET)||Event|
|9 p.m.||Women's Hammer Throw|
|10:15 p.m.||Women's Shot Put|
|10:19 p.m.||Men's Long Jump|
|10:23 p.m.||Women's Javelin Throw|
|10:25 p.m.||Men's National 1,500 meters|
|10:34 p.m.||Women's National 800 meters|
|10:41 p.m.||Men's International Mile|
|10:50 p.m.||Men's 10,000 meters|
|Start Time (ET)||Event|
|3:22 p.m.||Women's Triple Jump|
|3:24 p.m.||Women's 400 meters|
|3:27 p.m.||Men's Pole Vault|
|3:34 p.m.||Men's 5,000 meters|
|3:58 p.m.||Men's High Jump|
|4:03 p.m.||Women's 400-meter Hurdles|
|4:11 p.m.||Men's 3,000-meter Steeplechase|
|4:24 p.m.||Women's 1,500 meters|
|4:33 p.m.||Women's 100 meters|
|4:39 p.m.||Men's Discus|
|4:42 p.m.||Men's 100 meters|
|4:49 p.m.||Men's 400 meters|
|4:55 p.m.||Women's 800 meters|
|5:05 p.m||Men's 110-meter Hurdles|
|5:13 p.m.||Men's 200 meters|
|5:20 p.m.||Women's 5,000 meters|
|5:40 p.m.||Men's 800 meters|
|5:47 p.m.||Bowerman Mile|
All schedule information courtesy of the IAAF Diamond League.
Events to Watch
Men's 100 Meters
The field for the men's 100 meters is strong even without the incomparable Usain Bolt. The event's defending champion, Justin Gatlin, returns in hopes of securing back-to-back Prefontaine Classic victories. He won bronze in the event at the London Olympics last year.
One of the biggest threats to Gatlin is fellow American Ryan Bailey. The 24-year-old rising star finished fifth, less than a 10th of a second behind Gatlin, in London. He hopes this race can amount to his breakthrough event on the national stage.
As for international competitors, the top names to watch are Jamaica's Nesta Carter and Trinidad's Richard Thompson. Carter will be looking for redemption after a poor finish last year. Thompson made the Olympic final, but finished seventh.
Women's 100 Meters
Four of the top five finishers in last year's Olympic final, including all three medalists, highlight the women's 100-meter field. Leading the way is Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, who won gold in London with a time of 10.75 seconds.
American Carmelita Jeter earned the silver, but holds the Prefontaine Classic record in the event at 10.70 seconds. Beating Fraser-Pryce on Saturday would amount to a small measure of revenge for the Olympic defeat.
The other top contenders include bronze medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown and Allyson Felix, who ran a personal best in London, but it was only good for fifth place. She will need an even better showing to capture a spot on the podium here.
Men's 5,000 Meters
Of all the talented fields scheduled for the Prefontaine Classic, the men's 5,000 meters might be the deepest. The American duo of Galen Rupp and Bernard Lagat should both be in contention. Lagat is the American record holder.
They will face plenty of competition from international runners. Thomas Longosiwa of Kenya won bronze in London. His countryman Isaiah Koech finished fifth in that race, but at just 19 is just starting to come into his own.
The only thing that could have made the race better is if British superstar Mo Farah was taking part. He opted for the 10,000 meters instead (won Olympic gold in both events). It doesn't take away from what should still be a very competitive race, however.