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May 26, 2018

Prefontaine’s short-form Friday program excites

As many have noted, this will be the final Prefontaine Classic at the current Hayward Field facility, before renovations begin for the 2021 World Championships. Announced ahead of the meet at the press conference, meet director Tom Jordan noted that the 2019 meeting will be held June 28-29 and that meet management hopes to keep it “in the region.” They will announce the location when the contract is finalized with the venue. Does “region” imply pacific northwest? Or perhaps just the west coast? There aren’t a ton of facilities in the immediate area that can host ~15,000+ fans, so it is possible that they will get creative with an existing large facility (e.g. Seattle’s Safeco Field or Portland’s Providence Park). Who knows. I’m wildly speculating here.

The men’s javelin was poppin’. The German trio of Thomas Rohler, Johannes Vetter, and Andres Hoffman really got the crowd going with some big throws as they went 1-2-3. Rohler and Vetter traded off the facility record and that was pretty cool. They both also made World top-10 throws. Big bucks. This picture was also taken, which was a real treat. Absolute units:

In the men’s pole vault, we had some very nice athletes in American Sam Perkins, Swedish young buck Armond Duplantis, Olympic Champion Thiago Braz (Brazil) and current world record holder Renaud Lavillenie. Guess what?! Braz no-heighted, Lavillenie had an off-day at 5.56m for 5th place and Perkins/Duplantis came in 1-2.

Women’s 800! This was the national field – the Diamond League field tomorrow (Saturday) is absolutely outrageous. Regardless, we got some exciting action. Natoya Goule of Jamaica got the W in 2:00.84. Stephanie Brown was right behind in 2:01.84.

The women’s 1,500 was flush with American women. They went through 800m in around 2:12.xx and bunched up a bit after the pacer dropped off. There was a bit of a tussle with 400m to go and Emily Lipari hit the mondo. Dani Jones sailed to victory in a new PB of 4:07.74. Here is a photo that Ryan Sterner took:

On to the men’s 800m. We had one American in the field with Erik Sowinski, with fellow American Harun Abda on pacing duty. Abda came through in 49.8 and the next fastest through 400m was Emmanual Korir in 51.9. Korir would go on to win, with Nigel Amos in 2nd (1:45.51). He trains in Eugene. Hometown boy. Nice.

Lastly, we’ve got the men’s 2-mile. Also, lots of great Americans in this field. Chelimo, Jenkins, Hill, True, Bor, Mead, Kipchirchir. You get the picture. Again, we had a bit of a disconnect with the pacing as Lopez Lomong was through one mile in around 4:11, with the pack 4 seconds back. The crew was bunched up with 800m to go and we had ourselves a dang foot race:

 Selemon Barega goes on to close over the last 400m in 54.x, with Paul Chelimo in 2nd.

We look forward to seeing you all online tomorrow.

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