23 May, 2016

Pre Classic Men's 110 Hurdles Ready to Cook Again

  • Pascal Martinot-Lagarde - photorun.net

The men’s 110-meter hurdle field gives the Prefontaine Classic all the ingredients needed for another thrilling race as the heat is turning up in preparation for the Rio Olympics.

May 23, 2016
For Immediate Release 

Pre Classic Men's 110 Hurdles Ready to Cook Again 

(The 42nd Prefontaine Classic, a member of the IAAF Diamond League of elite international track & field meets, will be held May 27-28 at historic Hayward Field.)

            Eugene, Oregon – The men’s 110-meter hurdle field gives the Prefontaine Classic all the ingredients needed for another thrilling race as the heat is turning up in preparation for the Rio Olympics.

            The world record holder, reigning Olympic gold medalist, and five of the six IAAF Diamond League winners are included, and a newcomer adds a dash of excitement sure to spice things up.
            Omar McLeod, 22, of Jamaica is the hottest men’s hurdler on the planet.  He won his first gold medal at the World Indoor Championships in March, then opened up his outdoor campaign with a 9.99 100-meter win – the first known race of his career at the distance, making him history's only man under both the 10-second and 13-second barriers.  The former Arkansas star has won all of his three starts this outdoor season – Drake Relays and the Diamond League meets at Doha and Shanghai, the latter just a tick from his 12.97 PR.

            The amazing Aries Merritt, 30, is returning from a kidney transplant surgery just days after winning a bronze medal at last year’s World Championships in Beijing.  In 2012, he ended a 16-year U.S. Olympic gold medal drought by winning the London Olympics, and a month later became the first American since Roger Kingdom in 1989 to claim the world record, clocking 12.80 to win the IAAF Diamond League title.

            France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, 24, has won the last two Pre Classic titles in this event.  He was the toast of the world in 2014, winning the Diamond League title at age 22.  Martinot-Lagarde’s 12.95 in 2014 made France just the second nation with more than one sub-13 high hurdler.  Martinot-Lagarde finished just out of the medals in last year’s Beijing World Championships.

            American David Oliver, 34, is a three-time winner of the Diamond League – 2010, 2013, and 2015.  He was ranked No. 2 in the world last year by T&FN, his 11th straight year in the top 10.  Oliver is a two-time Pre Classic winner, and his 2010 victory in 12.90 is still the meet record.

            Hansle Parchment, 25, is the Jamaican record holder and the first from his nation to run sub-13.  He was second to Martinot-Lagarde in 2014 after posting a stunning 2013 Pre Classic victory.  He was 22 when he earned the Olympic bronze medal in 2012, the first Olympic medal for Jamaica in this event.

            American Jarret Eaton, 26, is in the midst of his best year ever.  A former NCAA Indoor champion while at Syracuse, Eaton won his first U.S. title indoors in Portland in March, then missed a medal by 0.02 seconds at the World Indoor Championships, also in Portland.  Last week he lowered his PR to 13.25, scoring victory at the Golden Spikes meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

            Jeff Porter, 30, runnerup to Eaton in the Ostrava race, has proven to be one of the most consistent American hurdlers, ranking in the U.S. top 10 by Track & Field News the past 5 years. A 2012 Olympian, Porter hopes to catch lightning in a bottle once again for Rio.

            Johnathan Cabral, 23, is well known in Eugene, runner-up for Oregon in the NCAA last year in a wind-aided 13.22.  He ran a legal best 13.37 in the semis at at the World Championships in Beijing last summer, nearly making the final.  This year he improved to 13.35 with a win at the Mt. SAC Relays in April.

Men’s 110-Meter HurdlesPersonal Best
Aries Merritt (USA)12.80 
David Oliver (USA)12.89 
Hansle Parchment (Jamaica)12.94 
Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (France)12.95 
Omar McLeod (Jamaica)12.97 
Jeff Porter (USA)13.08 
Jarret Eaton (USA)13.25 
Johnathan Cabral (Canada)13.35 

            Fans can follow the event lineups on eugene.diamondleague.com.  The direct link to current start/entry lists is posted HERE and will include updates to all announced fields.  Additional news, photos, and videos may be found on PreClassic.com, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
            Tickets for the 42nd annual edition of the Prefontaine Classic, to be held May 27-28 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., are available now at www.GoDucks.com as well as from 1-800-WEBFOOT.

            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 five years by All-Athletics.com, the official data partner of the Diamond League.  Sponsored by NIKE continuously since 1984, the Prefontaine Classic will be shown live to an international audience and by NBC and NBC Sports Network.

            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 21.  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.