By Maddie Lang
Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Yared Nuguse gave the fans an exciting show in the Bowerman Mile to cap off the first day of The Prefontaine Classic on Saturday afternoon.
Ingebrigtsen smashed his own meet record with a time of 3:43.73—the fastest mile in the last 24 years to win the Diamond League championship. He is now No. 3 on the list of fastest miles in history and creeping up on the world record of 3:43.13, set by Hicham El Guerrouj in 1999. “It’s a very good race, a very good time, but there’s definitely some things that can still possibly improve,” Ingebrigtsen said.
Nuguse set an American record with his time of 3:43.97. Alan Webb’s record, setin 2007, stood for 16 years.
“I came in thinking 3:45 would be a really good race for me, and I was really excited to go out and get that,” Nuguse said. “Then I ran like 3:43, a second from the world record. I’m just like, ‘How the hell did I do that?’”
Ingebrigtsen led the entirety of the race with Nuguse right on his shoulder. Going into the final lap, Nuguse was just one stride behind Ingebrigtsen.
“Coming into that last 200, I was like, ‘I know I have a little more because I always do, and I’ve just gotta keep pushing it,’” Nuguse said.
In the final 50 meters, Nuguse gave his final push to try and overtake the Olympic champion. Ingebrigtsen held his ground and won by .24.
While Ingebrigtsen set the pace a tenth of a second faster than Guerrouj’s world record time, he said that his pace had nothing to do with breaking the record.
“I knew that I could run fast, but the main objective of the race was to test myself and to see what I can do,” he said.
The race was run at 1:50 p.m., during the sun’s peak in Eugene. Ingebrigtsen said that the light from the sun made it difficult to see the pacer lights on the inside of the track, making it harder to track his pace once the pacers were gone.
“It was somewhat difficult and a little stressful to not have 100% control,” he said. “If you have the light, it’s important that it’s there. If not, it can only stress you with trying to watch something that’s not as visible as it usually is.”
Three other runners set national records: Mario Garcia of Spain ran 3:47.69, Azeddine Habz of France ran 3:48.64 and Niels Laros of the Netherlands ran 3:48.93