Sunday, June 10, 2007

2007 Prefontaine Classic

Today was my favorite sports day of the year in Eugene. I enjoy today more than any fall Saturday and that is likely because there are at least 6 football games. There is only one Prefontaine Classic every year. Going to Hayward Field to watch the world's fastest and strongest humans can't be beat. As always, it was a sellout and thankfully the rain held off for all but the last lap of the final race, the Bowerman Mile. Here are some of my highlights from today:

1. The best race of the day was the Men's 800. Nick Symmonds of Eugene, via Boise, came from behind and defeated 2004 Olympic gold medalist Yuriy Borzakovskiy of Russia in 1:44.54. Symmonds went to D-III Willamette University and has recently come onto the scene by winning the 2007 U.S. Indoor Championships. He came from 4th place with 100m to go to win the race. As he did his victory lap the crowd was going crazy and you could tell he really appreciated it.

2. Maria Mutola of Mozambique won the Women's 800 for the 15th year in a row. She apparently went to high school in nearby Springfield so has the crowd behind her for obvious reasons. This was my 5th Pre Classic and it seems as though she has won the race the exact same way every time. Coming from 2nd or 3rd place in the final 100m to eek out a win.

3. Liu Xiang of China won the Men's 110 Hurdles by .01 over Anwar Moore of the U.S. After the race it looked as though a tornado had come through the competition. It seemed nearly half the hurdles were knocked over and strewn all over the track. Replays showed the runner next to Xiang nearly taking Xiang out due to difficulty clearing the hurdles, staying in his lane and maintaining his balance.

4. Alan Webb of the U.S. who became a legend at the first Pre Classic I attended in 2001 by breaking Jim Ryun's U.S. boy's high school mile record had a tough day. He finished 9th in the 2-mile and had his U.S. record in the event beaten by Matt Tegenkamp. On a positive note, Webb seems to have added a full head of hair in the last year. There was no evidence of balding, which certainly could not have been said last year.

5. Irving Saladino of Panama won the Men's Long Jump. This was not necessarily the 5th most exciting event for me but it did provide my best picture from today. His winning jump was 27'10.25" which is a distance I cannot relate to.

1 comment:

shmobin yo momma said...

Joel how can you leave out the 200 meter? The field was STACKED and didn't disappoint.