News - 30.05.2013

Eugene: Gatlin, Dix Lead Men's Sprint Field Pre Classic

Americans Justin Gatlin and Walter Dix have plenty of fond memories of Hayward Field and return on Saturday to lead the men’s 100-meter and 200-meter fields at the 39th Prefontaine Classic.

A member of the IAAF Diamond League of elite international track & field meets, the Pre Classic will be held May 31 and June 1 at historic Hayward Field.  Both men’s sprints are included among a power-packed Saturday schedule that begins at 12:00 noon.

Gatlin is a two-time Olympic medalist in the 100, earning gold in 2004.  He also won the bronze in London after winning the Olympic Trials at Hayward Field.  He was the fastest American in the world last year at 9.79 seconds.

Dix is merely the Pre Classic and Hayward Field record holder in the 200 at 19.72.  He won two World Championships silver medals in 2011 (100 and 200) as well as two Olympic bronze medals in 2008 (100 and 200).
The 100 field also marks the return of former Oregon prep star Ryan Bailey, who in 2007 set state meet records at Hayward Field in both the 100 and 200 for McKay High School in Salem.  Another American in the field is Mike Rodgers, best known for winning the 60-meter silver medal in the 2010 World Indoor Championships.

Four from the Caribbean complete the 100 lineup – Jamaican Nesta Carter (2012 60-meter silver medalist at the World Indoor Championships), Trinidadians Richard Thompson (2008 Olympic silver medalist),  Keston Bledman (2005 World Youth bronze medalist), and Bahamian Derrick Atkins (2007 World Championships silver medalist).

In the 200, Dix will be challenged by Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade, who was ranked No. 3 in the world last year by Track & Field News, and Jason Young, who followed at No. 4.  Also challenging will be Churandy Martina of the Netherlands, who won last year’s European Championships.

Three more Americans complete the field – Maurice Mitchell, Calesio Newman, and Jeremy Dodson.  Mitchell and Newman were ranked No. 9 and 10 in the world last years by T&FN.

Men’s 100 Meters Personal Best
Nesta Carter (Jamaica) 9.78
Justin Gatlin (USA) 9.79
Mike Rodgers (USA) 9.85
Richard Thompson (Trinidad) 9.85
Keston Bledman (Trinidad) 9.86
Ryan Bailey (USA) 9.88
Derrick Atkins (Bahamas) 
Kemar Bailey Cole (Jamaica) 9.97


Men’s 200 Meters Personal Best
Walter Dix (USA) 19.72  
Nickel Ashmeade (Jamaica) 19.85  
Churandy Martina (Netherlands) 19.85   
Jason Young (Jamaica) 19.86 
Jaysuma Saidy Ndure (Norway) 19.89
Maurice Mitchell (USA) 20.13
Calesio Newman (USA) 20.28
Jeremy Dodson (USA) 20.33     

Fans can follow the event lineups as all announced fields are posted  The direct link to current start/entry lists is HERE and includes updates to previously announced fields.

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 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.

Steve Prefontaine is a legend in the sport of track & field and is perhaps the most inspirational distance runner in American history.  Many call him the greatest ever.  He set a national high school 2-mile record (8:41.5) while at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, Oregon, that is the fastest ever in a National Federation-sanctioned race.  While competing for the University of Oregon, he won national cross country championships (3) and outdoor track 3-Mile/5000-meter championships (4) every time he competed, and never lost a collegiate race at any distance.  As a collegiate junior, he made the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team and nearly won an Olympic medal, finishing 4th in the 5K at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at age 22.  After finishing college in 1973 and preparing for a return to the Olympics in 1976, he continued to improve, setting many American records.  His life ended tragically on May 30, 1975, the result of an auto accident, at age 24.  The Pre Classic began soon after and has been held every year since.

Prefontaine Classic