Month: May 2015

Lananna: Hayward Remodel Will be Completed by 2020

A remodeled Hayward Field will “absolutely” be ready by the 2020 Olympic trials, Tracktown USA president Vin Lananna told the media Saturday afternoon before the Prefontaine Classic.

The new facility is being built to accommodate the massive infrastructure and crowd needs of the 2021 IAAF Outdoor World Championships, which are being held for the first time in the United States at Hayward Field.

While no details have been made available about the new Hayward Field, Lananna said that the planners know what the expectations are.

“We know we have to host 30,000, and we have to do the right thing for the university and the sport,” Lananna said. “We don’t want to have this white elephant of a stadium that isn’t filled. We have to be able to create events in this country that allow us to build up the interest in the sport.” (more…)

Women’s Discus: Obergfoll wins in second meet back from pregnancy

If you were to rank the top eight names on the start list for the Prefontaine Classic’s women’s javelin by career personal bests, the top three would share a common denominator: They’re all mothers.

“I think it’s cool that we have three mommies now,” said Christina Obergfoll of Germany, who won the event with a season-best throw of 206 feet, 11 inches (63.07 meters). “Just to see how they manage and how they throw. We talk to each other a lot.”

Obergfoll, who was competing in just her second competition since giving birth in October 2014, finished less than a foot ahead of American Kara Winger and Latvian Madara Palameika, whose best throws were the same distance of 206-2 (62.85 meters).

“I can’t feel a physical difference,” said Obergfoll. “I’m almost as strong and as fast as before. The throwing is just a little bit different. It’s not as explosive, not yet. But on the whole I’m really satisfied. I just need a few more competitions to get used to competition situations again.” (more…)

Men’s 400: James continues ascension to stardom

The men’s 400 meters at this year’s Prefontaine Classic had the potential to provide another epic battle in the storied history between sprinters Kirani James and LaShawn Merritt.

But on Saturday afternoon at Hayward Field, James blew away his competition, crossing first in a time of 43.95 seconds. That shaved .02 off of his winning time from last year in Eugene, when he edged Merritt.

The result was less about time and more of an indication of where the field is at behind James, the defending Olympic gold medalist.

The result: They weren’t all that close. Not even Merritt, the 2008 gold medalist and James’ biggest rival. (more…)

Women’s 100: Fraser-Pryce gets narrow victory

When Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica and Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast crossed the finish line of the IAAF Diamond League 100 meters at the Prefontaine Classic, it was impossible to tell who had won.

Both women were credited with a time of 10.81 seconds, the fastest in the world this season.

But Fraser-Pryce just out-leaned Ahoure for the win.

“I felt like I had it, but then you know I could feel the people coming,” Ahoure said. “I just tried to keep pushing and put my arm through the line. So, I feel like with a little bit more races I’ll be sharper.”

The time was Fraser-Pryce’s fastest since she won at the 2013 Pre Classic with a time of 10.71.

“The time is good,” she said. “But, it’s still early in the season.”


Men’s pole vault: Lavillenie dominates the field

Renaud Lavillenie broke the Hayward Field record by a half-inch in the men’s pole vault with 19 feet, 10 1/4 inches (6.05 meters) in the 41st Prefontaine Classic on Saturday. The jump is also an outdoor personal best, the same height as his indoor world record.

He attempted the outdoor world record at 20-2 1/2 (6.16 meters), but failed in all three attempts.

“It’s just the beginning of the season,” he said. “I have a lot of work to do.” (more…)

Men’s 400 hurdles: Dutch out-leans Jackson

Johnny Dutch was 16 years old when Bershawn Jackson set the Prefontaine Classic record in the 400-meter hurdles in 2005.

Ten years later, the two are now training and competing together.

Saturday’s finish to the 400-meter hurdle race was an example of their training. In a photo finish, Dutch out-leaned Jackson to finish in 48.20; Jackson’s official second-place time was 48.22.

“Oh man, it’s so intense,” said Dutch on working with Jackson. “It actually makes racing easier.”

“There’s no animosity — we’re at it to help each other,” said Jackson. “It’s a great situation.”

At 32 years old, six years Dutch’s senior, Jackson has faced injuries ranging from hamstring pulls to groin strains that have limited his ability to compete in the past four years. But after a first-place finish in Doha earlier this month and the results at the Pre, Jackson is confident in his future on the track.

“As long as my legs are moving well, I’m training at a high intensity, and I’m competing,” Jackson said. “Who knows how many years I might be running. I might be like Bernard Lagat.”

Women’s 5,000: Genzebe Dibaba sets multiple records in runaway win

In the weeks leading up to this year’s Prefontaine Classic, rumors swirled around the possibility of Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba setting a world record in the 5,000 meters at Hayward Field.

While Dibaba fell eight seconds short of her sister Tirunesh Dibaba’s world-record time on Saturday, she made a huge impact on the 5,000-meter record book.

Her runaway victory of 14 minutes, 19.72 seconds was a personal, meet and Hayward Field record.


Women’s 800: Eunice Sum wins in successful sprint to the finish

Eunice Jepkoech Sum of Kenya outsprinted American Anjee Wilson in the final straightaway to win the 800 meters at the Prefontaine Classic Saturday afternoon.

She finished in 1 minute, 57.82 seconds, with Wilson coming in at 1:57.87.

Sum is the only two-time IAAF Diamond trophy winner in this event, as well as the reigning world champion. The 27-year-old won four straight Diamond League races in 2014, the most in one year for any competitor. (more…)

Bowerman Mile: Streak of sub-3:50 miles ends at Pre Classic

As a former NCAA champion for the Oregon Ducks, Matthew Centrowitz Jr. is comfortable in front of the crowd at Hayward Field, and he knows how to feed off of its energy. So he was comfortably near the front of the pack as it approached the final 200 meters in the Bowerman Mile at the Prefontaine Classic.

Sitting in second place with 200 meters to go, Centrowitz heard the growing roar of the crowd and decided it was time to make his move on defending champion Ayanleh Souleiman, who had been just a step ahead of him the whole race. (more…)

Gatlin cruises to win in 200 meters in 19.68 seconds; Young finishes fourth

American sprinter Justin Gatlin was asked on Friday, in the lead-up to his appearance at the Prefontaine Classic, how he’s still able, at 33, to post world-leading marks. Gatlin was quick to respond: “Because I have teammates like Isiah Young.”

Young and the rest of the field pushed Gatlin to a victory in the 200 meters with a time of 19.68 seconds, matching his personal best.

“I just wanted to be able to dominate coming off the turn and hold my form coming home,” Gatlin said.


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