09 March, 2015

World’s Best Women Long Jumpers on Board for Pre Classic

Reigning Olympic and World Champion gold medalist Brittney Reese will be challenged by an incredible long jump field when she returns to the Prefontaine Classic.

March 9, 2015
For Immediate Release 

World’s Best Women Long Jumpers on Board for Pre Classic 

            Eugene, Oregon – Reigning Olympic and World Champion gold medalist Brittney Reese will be challenged by an incredible long jump field when she returns to the Prefontaine Classic.

            The 41st Pre Classic, a member of the IAAF Diamond League of elite international track & field meets, will be held May 29-30 at the historic Hayward Field.  The Pre Classic is the iconic American outdoor invitational. 
            How incredible is the field?  The top 8 available long jumpers in the world as ranked by All-Athletics.com – official data partner of the Diamond League – are in the  field.

            American Brittney Reese  has won every outdoor gold medal since 2009.  That includes Olympic gold in 2012 as well as golds in the last three World Championships – the only woman with as many.  Add a pair of World Indoor titles (2010 and ’12) and her 6 major golds in this event are the most ever.  She is also the only woman with two overall Diamond Trophies in this event.

            Eloyse Lesueuer of France rarely competes on U.S. soil, but in 2012 she was runner-up at the Pre Classic.  Her competitions elsewhere include last year’s World Indoor title and were enough to be rated No. 1 in the world by Track & Field News.  That No. 1 ranking broke a string of five straight by Reese.  Lesueuer is the two-time reigning European champion.

            American Tianna Bartoletta is currently ranked No. 1 by All-Athletics.com, and she is looking for her first individual gold since she won the 2005 World Championships.  Last year, she broke the 23-foot barrier as part of a season ranking her No. 3 in the world by T&FN and winning the Diamond Trophy.  Bartoletta is also an impressive sprinter – she led off USA’s world-record smashing 4x100 team in the 2012 London Olympics and finished 4th in the 100.

            Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic rated a notch ahead of Bartoletta in last year’s T&FNworld rankings at No. 2.  She won last year’s Pre Classic with a Serbian outdoor record and in 2008 earned gold at the World Junior Championships.  A year earlier, Spanovic was silver medalist behind Darya Klishina of Russia in the World Youth Championships.  Klishina, who trains in Florida along with Bartoletta, is a two-time European Indoor gold medalist who has rated as high as No. 2 in T&FN’s world rankings (2011).  Spanovic and Klishina are all of 24 years old.

            Canadian Christabel Nettey is on fire with the best season of her young career.  Only 23, the two-time Pac-12 champ for Arizona State has raised the Canadian national record to just a tick below 7 meters.  She was bronze medalist in last year’s Commonwealth Games.

            Shara Proctor of Great Britain is not only British record holder, but she also has a combination of achievements no one else in the field can claim – she has a Diamond Trophy (2013) and a Pre Classic title (2012).

            American Funmi Jimoh, a four-time major national championship team member, won her first national title last week in Boston.  She rates among the All-Athletics.com best, and also has a Pre Classic title (2009).

Women’s Long Jump Personal Best
Brittney Reese (USA) 23-9½ (7.25)
Darya Klishina (Russia) 23-1¾ (7.05)
Tianna Bartoletta (USA) 23-½ (7.02)
Christabel Nettey (Canada) 22-11¼ (6.99)
Funmi Jimoh (USA) 22-10 (6.96)
Shara Proctor (Great Britain) 22-9¾ (6.95)
Eloyse Lesueur (France) 22-8½ (6.92)
Ivana Spanovic (Serbia) 22-8½ (6.92)

            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.