Prefontaine Classic Breaks Records

Eugene's Hayward Field is the location for the annual Prefontaine Classic. Photo:

Five meet records and 11 world-leading performances were the reason.

(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Statistics website announced this week that this year’s Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., was the No. 1-ranked meeting of the year in terms of quality marks, topping a list of 650 invitationals across the world. Indeed, the fourth stop of this year’s IAAF Diamond League series scored the highest ranking of any invitational meeting in the last 12 years with 95,034 points.

Thanks to five meet records, 11 world leading performances, and an American junior record of 1:59.51 in the 800m by Mary Cain, the two-day meet beat out Zürich’s Weltklasse and Brussels’s Memorial Van Damme contests. The Prefontaine Classic was held over two days, May 31 and June 1.

In addition to the marks listed above, two national records — Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment’s 13.05 seconds in the 110m hurdles and Canada’s Derek Drouin’s 2.36 meter high jump — helped raise the meet to the top spot.

Among the notable distance marks were wins by eventual world champion Mohamed Aman in the 800m (1:44.42), Silas Kiplagat (3:49.48) leading 15 men under four-minutes in the Bowerman Mile, and Edwin Soi upsetting double Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah over 5000m, setting a world lead of 13:04.75 in the process. Kenenisa Bekele set a world lead in the 10,000m, while Conseslus Kipruto broke the previous meet record in the 3000m steeplechase.

In the international mile held on the first day of competition, an additional six men broke 4:00 for the mile, bringing the two-day total to 21 sub-four minute milers.

For the women, Francine Niyonsaba led eventual world championships bronze medalist Brenda Martinez across the line in the 800m, Hellen Obiri broke 4:00 for 1500m, and Tirunesh Dibaba set a world lead over 5000m, timing 14:42.01. also reported that 55 of the competing athletes who ran, jumped, or threw at historic Hayward Field won 65 medals at the IAAF World Championships in August.

The Weltklasse in Zürich scored 94,677 points, while the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels tallied 94,259 to finish second and third, respectively. The 2014 Prefontaine Classic will be held on May 30-31 in Eugene, the third stop of next year’s Diamond League.

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