April 29, 2015
For Immediate Release
Stars Take Center Stage for Pre Classic Women’s 400
(The 41st Pre Classic, a member of the IAAF Diamond League of elite international
track & field meets, will be held May 29-30 at historic Hayward Field.)
Eugene, Oregon – Sanya Richards-Ross and Allyson Felix. The two iconic superstars of the long-sprints will race each other as well as a field intent upon moving the spotlight onto themselves.
Sanya Richards-Ross is the American record holder and only American woman with two major gold medals in this event (2012 Olympics, 2009 Worlds). She has won twice as many U.S. outdoor titles (6) as any other woman and has been ranked No. 1 in the world five times by Track & Field News – no other American has more than one. Richards-Ross has won this event five times at the Pre Classic, the only athlete with more than two.
Allyson Felix owns four major gold medals – all at 200, including the London Olympics. She ranked No. 1 in the world last year at 200 meters by T&FN – her seventh, equaling the most in history in that event. Yet Felix’s career shows incredible versatility, earning silver at the 2011 World Championships in the 400 – the best by an American this decade – and also making the 2012 London Olympic 100-meter final (5thin a PR 10.89). Felix owns the distinction of being the only IAAF Diamond League winner in two events (400 in 2010, 200 in 2010 & 2014).
Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills is not only the current IAAF Diamond Trophy winner, she is also the first from Jamaica to rank No. 1 in the world since 1970. Williams-Mills is a warrior in another sense, having battled breast cancer in 2012. She has won eight of the last nine Jamaican national titles and is the reigning Pre Classic champion.
America’s Francena McCorory was ranked No. 2 in the world last year by T&FN, the highest by an American since 2012. She won the World Indoor title last year and became the first to combine that with a sweep of U.S. indoor and outdoor crowns since Richards-Ross in 2012. McCorory took the baton from Felix and handed it to Richards-Ross at the London Olympics in the 4x400 for gold. She won her first national title at Hayward Field for Hampton in the 2010 NCAA Championships.
Natasha Hastings is a consummate American relay runner, with only Richards-Ross and Felix having earned more than her four major medals. But she is clearly legitimate in the solo race, too, coming in as the top American in the 2013 T&FN world rankings at No. 4. Hastings is now a three-time U.S. champ, including the recent indoor 300-meter title in Boston. She is a former World Junior and World Youth champion.
Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann McPherson, last year’s Commonwealth Games champion, was ranked No. 4 in the world by T&FN. She was Jamaica’s best at the 2013 World Championships, taking 4th at 49.99 as the highest finisher for Jamaica.
Libania Grenot is the 2014 European champion. She has won multiple national titles for two countries, her current Italy (3) and former Cuba (2).
Phyllis Francis is a two-time NCAA champ for Oregon. The collegiate indoor holder, her most memorable moment yet came with a torching anchor to give Oregon victory in the 2014 NCAA Indoor 4x400.
|Women’s 400 Meters||Personal Best|
|Sanya Richards-Ross (USA)||48.70|
|Francena McCorory (USA)||49.48|
|Allyson Felix (USA)||49.59|
|Novlene Williams-Mills (Jamaica)||49.63|
|Natasha Hastings (USA)||49.84|
|Stephenie Ann McPherson (Jamaica)||49.92|
|Libania Grenot (Italy)||50.30|
|Phyllis Francis (USA)||50.46|
Fans can follow the event lineups as all announced fields are posted atPreClassic.com. The direct link to current start/entry lists is HERE and will include updates to all announced fields.
Tickets for the 41st annual edition of the Prefontaine Classic, to be held May 29-30 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., are available now from goducks.com and from 1-800-WEBFOOT. Sponsored by NIKE continuously since 1984, the Prefontaine Classic will be shown live to an international audience and by NBC Sports from 1:30 till 3:00 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 30.
The Prefontaine Classic is the longest-running outdoor invitational track & field meet in America and is part of the elite IAAF Diamond League of meets held worldwide annually. The Pre Classic’s results score has rated No. 1 or No. 2 in the world in each of the last four years by All-Athletics.com, the official data partner of the IAAF Diamond League.
Steve Prefontaine is a legend in the sport of track & field and is the most inspirational distance runner in American history. He set a national high school 2-mile record (8:41.5) while at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, Oregon, that is the fastest ever in a National Federation-sanctioned race. While competing for the University of Oregon, he won national cross country championships (3) and outdoor track 3-Mile/5000-meter championships (4), and never lost a collegiate track race at any distance. As a collegiate junior, he made the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team and nearly won an Olympic medal, finishing 4th in the 5K at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at age 22. After finishing college in 1973 and preparing for a return to the Olympics in 1976, he continued to improve, setting many American records. His life ended tragically on May 30, 1975, the result of an auto accident, at age 24. The Pre Classic began that year and has been held every year since.