Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Nike Prefontaine Classic gets rolling Friday night with hot men's 5000 and 10000...

EUGENE—The cream of the world’s top professional track & field athletes will gather Friday and Saturday at Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon for the annual Nike Prefontaine Classic.

In recent years, the meet has grown to the point that several marquee events are contested on Friday night, the day before the main meet, and this year is no exception.

For those who want to make the drive to see the action at Hayward Field, Friday night’s (8 pm) competition is free to the public, thanks to Nike’s generosity.  And if you think that you’re only getting scraps, think again, as three IAAF Diamond League events will be contested—the men’s discus, women’s long jump, and the men’s shot put.

And oh, by the way, a hot field in the men’s 5000 featuring Washington State alum Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Oregon alum Galen Rupp, and a loaded men’s 10000 featuring reigning world and Olympic champion Mo Farah of Great Britain and the Nike Oregon Project.

Seattle resident Phoebe Wright and Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker are both entered in the women’s national 800.

Action resumes at noon Saturday in front of what will most likely be a sold out Hayward Field with the first two field events, the women’s triple jump with defending world champion Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia and the men’s pole vault featuring France’s Renaud Lavillenie, the reigning world and Olympic champion.

The men’s international mile is the first track event, with Garrett Heath and Mark Wieczorek of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts among the entries.

Vancouver native and two-time US Olympian Kara Winger is entered in the Diamond League javelin against a field that includes Olympic champ Barbora Spotakova, Mariya Abakumova, Linda Stahl, and Sunette Viljoen.

In the meet’s penultimate running event, Camas’ Alexa Efraimson and Washington alum Katie Mackey are entered in the women’s 1500, along with Seattle’s Phoebe Wright, who will be the pace setter.

The Nike Prefontaine Classic will be webcast on Friday night, while Saturday’s meet will be televised on NBCSN from 12:30p-130p (Comcast 626 in Seattle area) before it moves over to NBC from 1:30-3 pm.

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