Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nike Prefontaine Classic set to roll Friday and Saturday in TrackTown USA...

EUGENE--The world's best track and field athletes make their annual visit to Hayward Field for the annual Nike Prefontaine Classic that gets underway Friday night at Hayward Field with the meet's main portion on Saturday afternoon.

Three IAAF Diamond League events will be contested Frida night--the women's discus, the women's long jump, and the men's shot put, while 14 events are on the docket for Saturday's extravaganza that starts just after noon and ends before 3 pm.

Friday night's action will be streamed on USATF.tv starting at 7:15pm, and Saturday's portion will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports.

All three of Friday night's Diamond League events features at least one reigning world or Olympic champion--Tomasz Majewski in the shot put, Brittney Reese in the long jump, and Sandra Perkovic in the discus.

On the track, Friday's "Distance Night in Eugene" features an international section of the men's 800, and two heats of the USATF high performance women's 800, of which Seattle's Phoebe Wright is entered.  

Friday's session finishes with the men's 10000 featuring Olympic silver medalist and Oregon alum Galen Rupp (above/photo by Paul Merca), who is one of six sub-27 minute runners in the field, with Moscow world championship silver medalist Paul Tanui of Kenya, and compatriot Bedan Karoki, who was fifth in the London Olympics at this distance.

Every event in Saturday's main session is stacked with world and Olympic medalists, making the Nike Prefontaine Classic by far the best track meet to watch in the country.

Washington State alum Bernard Lagat is entered in the men's 5000, where he'll go against Moscow  world championship silver medalist Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia, countryman and Shanghai Diamond League winner Yenew Alamirew, along with defending Pre Classic champ Edwin Soi of Kenya.

American record holder and UW alum Brad Walker is back in the men's pole vault, where he'll face world and Olympic champ Renaud Lavillenie of France, Germany's Raphael Holzdeppe and Malte Mohr, and Greece's Konstantinos Filippidis.

In the women's steeplechase, Jamie Cheever of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts will face reigning world champ Milcah Chemos of Kenya, 2013 world cross country silver medalist Hiwot Ayalew of Ethiopia, and US Olympians Emma Coburn and Bridget Franek.

Tacoma's Brie Felnagle will run in the women's 2 mile against Olympic medalists Maryam Jamal of Bahrain and Sally Kipyego of Kenya, along with fellow Americans Jordan Hasay and Shannon Rowbury.

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