Nike Prefontaine Classic

Gold medalists roll into Nike Prefontaine Classic


INDIANAPOLIS - Considered the most prestigious outdoor invitational track meet in the United States, Saturday’s 2004 Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, lives up to that reputation with fields that are laden with Olympic and world champions. America’s biggest stars, including Maurice Greene, Marion Jones, Gail Devers, Allen Johnson, Christian Cantwell, Adam Nelson, Stacy Dragila and Alan Webb fine-tune for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, while international superstars such as Maria Mutola, Kelly Holmes, Perdita Felicien and Laban Rotich continue their Olympic preparations.

The fourth and final stop on USA Track & Field’s Outdoor Golden Spike Tour prior to the Olympic Trials July 9-18 in Sacramento, the Nike Prefontaine Classic will be broadcast from 9:30-11 p.m. Eastern Time, Saturday, June 20, on ESPN2. The meet will be rebroadcast Saturday, July 31, from 4-5:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Maurice Greene returns to the Nike Prefontaine Classic for the first time since 2001, and in 2004 he is enjoying his finest season since then. Greene owns two of the three fastest wind-legal times and the two fastest wind-aided times in the world this year, but the Verizon men’s 100 at “Pre” could be his stiffest challenge yet. The race promises to be an Olympic Trials preview: 2003 world indoor champion Justin Gatlin, World record holder Tim Montgomery, 2003 #1 world ranked John Capel, defending U.S. champion Bernard Williams, and 2004 world indoor runner-up Shawn Crawford are among the entrants.

As she did at the Home Depot Invitational May 22 to kick off the Golden Spike tour, two-time world 100m champion and defending Olympic 100 and 200 gold medalist Marion Jones will compete in the Nike women’s 100 meters as well as the Nike women’s long jump. She will face new competition in the sprint, however, as two-time Olympic gold medalist Gail Devers runs in her first 100-meter dash of the outdoor season. The 37-year-old showed her speed is still sharp when she won the 2004 world indoor title at 60 meters last March.

Four-time world champion and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Allen Johnson has his eyes on Olympic gold once again, and he owns three of the top four times in the world this year (13.08 American leader). But Larry Wade is right behind him with a 2004 best of 13.13. The defending Nike Prefontaine champion, Wade has been on a winning streak this summer and will be tough to beat.

Twelve consecutive wins, including the 2004 world indoor title, have made Christian Cantwell the man to beat in the shot put. The 2004 world leader with a throw of 22.54m/73-11.5 at the adidas Oregon Track Classic June 5, Cantwell will have to surpass Olympic silver medalist and two-time world outdoor runner-up Adam Nelson, as well as 2004 world indoor silver medalist Reese Hoffa, in Eugene.

Alan Webb became one of the most recognizable faces in track & field at the 2001 Nike Prefontaine Classic when he ran 3:53.42 to place fifth in the Bowerman Mile, as a high school senior, and break Jim Ryun’s national prep record. Fresh off a world-leading time and impressive 1,500m victory June 8 in Ostrava, Czech Republic (3:32.73), Webb is once again the toast of the middle-distance community. He returns to the scene of his 2001 success in the Bowerman Mile, where his competition includes Olympic fifth-place finisher Kevin Sullivan of Canada and 1998 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Laban Rotich of Kenya. With a personal best of 3:31.91, 2003 world indoor 800m gold medalist David Krummenacker moves back up to the 1,500m distance after concentrating on the 800 for the last two seasons.

Maria Mutola, the virtually unbeatable runner from Mozambique, is a former Eugene resident and makes her annual return for Prefontaine. Already the winningest athlete in meet history, the world and Olympic champion will compete in the Sunny D Intense Sport Drink Women’s 800m at Pre for a record 13th time, and will be going for her 12th victory. Mutola was undefeated in 2003 and leads the world this year with a time of 1:57.72, but she will face the best that a resurgent U.S. delegation has to offer. Jen Toomey, the 2004 U.S. indoor champion and American indoor record holder at 1,000m, makes her first run of the outdoor season. 2002 U.S. indoor and outdoor champion Nicole Teter owns the U.S. indoor record and is the fastest American this year with her 1:58.83 win at the adidas Oregon Track Classic. Also in the field are Olympic Trials champion Hazel Clark and Canadian star Diane Cummins.

Other top stars on the Nike Prefontaine Classic start lists are 2003 world outdoor and 2004 world indoor champion Perdita Felicien, world outdoor medalist Miesha McKelvy-Jones, and 2001 world champion Anjanette Kirkland in the women’s 110m hurdles; Olympic gold medalist and all-time world outdoor leader Stacy Dragila in the Visa women’s pole vault; Olympic finalist Marla Runyan and Olympic 800m silver medalist Kelly Holmes of Great Britain, who owns a 1,500m personal best of 3:58.07, in the women’s 1,500m; and world leader (6.00m/19-8.25) Toby Stevenson and American record holder Jeff Hartwig (6.04m/19-9.25 in 2000) in the men’s pole vault.

A group of top Americans, including Olympians Michael Stember, Adam Goucher and Gabe Jennings, go after the Olympic “A” standard in the Chevrolet men’s 1,500m; and American record holder Bob Kennedy is in the field of the men’s 5,000m.

For more information on the USATF Golden Spike tour, visit

2004 Nike Prefontaine Classic event schedule
All times Pacific (local)

12:00 Hammer Throw (M)
1:00 National Anthem
1:04 Pole Vault (W)
1:08 Visa Women’s Pole Vault (M)
1:12 400 Hurdles (M)
1:20 Chevrolet Men’s 1500 Meters
1:26 Shot Put (M)
1:30 Nike Women’s 100 Meters (W)
1:40 100 Meters High Hurdles (W)
1:47 110 Meters High Hurdles (M)
1:49 High Jump (M)
1:53 1500 Meters (W)
2:05 Verizon Men’s100 Meters(M)
2:10 Nike Women’s Long Jump (W)
2:13 Sunny D Intense Sport 800 Meters (W)
2:20 5000 Meters (M)
2:46 Bowerman Mile (M)

Tim Montgomery
John Capel
Justin Gatlin
Marcus Brunson
Bernard Williams
Shawn Crawford
Maurice Greene
Mickey Grimes

Jason Lunn
Nate Brannen (Canada)
Gabe Jennings
Charlie Gruber
Brian Berryhill
Michael Stember
Adam Goucher
Chris Lukezic
Brayce Forsha-pace
Seneca Lassiter
Joseph Mwai (Kenya)-pace
Jorge Torres
Jeremy Huffman
Rob Myers
Said Ahmed
Nathan Robison
Luke Watson

Alan Webb
Laban Rotich (Kenya)
David Krummenacker
Jonathan Riley
Aaron Lanzel
Nick Willis (New Zealand)
Joel Atwater
Mike Miller
Elkanah Angwenyi (Kenya)
Kevin Sullivan (Canada)
Julius Achon
Simon Kimata (Kenya)-pace
Paul McMullen
Ray Hughes
Steve Slattery
Nick Symmonds

Luke Kipkosgei (Kenya)
Teodoro Vega (Mexico)
James Getanda (Kenya)-pace
Bob Kennedy
Abdi Abdirahman
Daniel Lincoln
Martin Keino (Kenya)
Nick Rogers
Michael Aish (New Zealand)
Joseph Koskei (Kenya)
Chad Johnson
Mike Donnelly
Shadrack Kosgei (Kenya)
Matt Lane
Dan Browne

Allen Johnson
Dudley Dorival (Haiti)
Arend Watkins
Duane Ross
Ron Bramlett
Eric Mitchum
Micah Harris
Larry Wade

Matt Hemingway
Mark Boswell (Canada)
Jamie Nieto
Charles Clinger
Nathan Leeper
Charles Austin
Adam Shunk

Jeff Hartwig
Toby Stevenson
Tim Mack
Derek Miles
Piotr Buciarski (Denmark)
Nick Hysong
Tommy Skipper
Dmitri Markov (Australia)
Brad Walker

Adam Nelson
Brad Snyder (Canada)
Reese Hoffa
Christian Cantwell
Tonyo Sylvester
Jamie Beyer
Vince Mosca

Koji Murofushi (Japan)
Stuart Rendell (Australia)
Vadim Khersontsev (Russia)
James Parker
Adam Kriz
Scott Boothby
Kevin McMahon
Michael Mai

Gail Devers
Marion Jones
Chryste Gaines
LaTasha Colander
Inger Miller
LaKeisha Backus
Crystal Cox
Natasha Mayers (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)

Maria Mutola (Mozambique)
Diane Cummins (Canada)
Marian Burnett (Guyana)
Brigita Langerholc (Slovenia)
Nicole Teter
Chantee Earl
Jen Toomey
Hazel Clark
Francis Santin

Marla Runyan
Mary Jane Harrelson
Courtney Babcock (Canada)
Mardrea Hyman (Jamaica)
Carmen Douma (Canada)
Sarah Schwald
Suzy Walsham (Australia)
Yelena Zadorzhnaya (Russia)
Malindi Elmore (Canada)
Shayne Culpepper
Shalane Flanagan
Kelly Holmes (Great Britain)
Katie Vermuelen (Canada)
Janet Trujillo
Eri Macdonald-pace
Jenelle Deatherage
Kara Goucher
Emily McMahon-pace

Perdita Felicien (Canada)
Jenny Adams
Bisa Grant
Miesha McKelvy-Jones
Donica Merriman
Anjanette Kirkland
Angela Whyte (Canada)
Danielle Carruthers

Stacy Dragila
Kellie Suttle
Mary Sauer
Jillian Schwartz
Becky Holliday
Andrea Dutoit
Nikki McEwan
Tracy O’Hara
Kate Soma

Marion Jones
Grace Upshaw
Tameisha King
Anju George (India)
Alice Falaiye (Canada)