At the 42nd Pre Classic, the women stole the show, by Lindsay Rossmiller


Coburn_EmmaFV-PreC16.jpGEmma Coburn, 9:10.76 AR, photo by

Gardner_English-Pre16.JPGEnglish Gardner, photo bh

By: Lindsay Rossmiller

EUGENE, Ore. - The women stole the show during the 42nd Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field.

On Saturday, the over 13,000 fans in attendance witnessed meet and Hayward Field records fall, athletes set new PRs and begin to assert themselves in anticipation of the Rio Olympics.

In the women's 100 hurdles, Keni (Kendra) Harrison set a new American record as she won in 12.24 seconds. The time also took down the meet and field record.

Ruth Jebet of Bahrain became just the second woman to dip under nine minutes ever in the women's steeplechase with 8:59.97. She managed to improve her PR by nearly 15 seconds as she held off Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng at the line as both set new bests. Kiyeng dropped her PR for the second time in as many meets after setting the world-lead a few weeks prior at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai.

The women's steeplechase saw another American record fall. Third-place Emma Coburn ran 9:10.76 to break the 2009 record of her friend and former college teammate, Jenny (Barringer) Simpson.

Canada's Genevieve Lalonde also set a new Canadian record in 9:32.17 with her tenth-place finish.

In the women's 200 meters, the United State's Torie Bowie defeated Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands as she set a new PR of 21.99 seconds with a wind legal 1.9 m/s.

Faith Chepngeti Kipyegon set a new Kenyan, Hayward Field and meet record in the women's 1500 with 3:56.41. Dawit Seyaum from Ethiopia also dropped under four minutes as both Kipyegon and Seyaum have done so twice this season already.

Six women in the field set new bests. Notably, Australia's Linden Hall set her second PR in the span of a month in 4:01.78, which equaled a drop of almost three seconds. Hall finished fifth.

In the women's 5000 held on Friday night, Kenya's Hellen Obiri made her return after taking the 2015 season off. Obiri won in 14:32.02 after Genzebe Dibaba dropped out earlier in the week with a toe injury. After, Obiri said she decided to run the 5000 for endurance during this meet because she plans to race the 1500 at the Olympics.

On the men's side, the field events provided the big performances.

Christian Taylor battled his U.S.A. and college teammate Will Claye as it came down to the final jumps. With his last jump, Taylor leapt 17.76 meters to overtake Claye and break Claye's previous meet and Hayward field record set in 2014.

In the javelin, Egypt's Ihab Abdelrahman threw 87.37 to claim the meet and field records set in 2012 and 2001 respectively.

Great Britain's Charlie Grice briefly held the world leading time in the men's mile with his PR of 3:52.64 in the International Mile. Just hours later, Kenya's Asbel Kiprop overtook the lead with his 3:51.54 in the Bowerman Mile, the final race of the day.

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