One of the most exciting events at the Nike Pre Classic are the 110m hurdles. The 110m hurdles is a race that requires focus, balance and the management of speed. It is a sadists’ delight. The first hurdle (42 inches or 1.067 meters high), is placed 13.72 meters (45 feet) from the start. Each hurdle is then placed 9.14 meters (30 feet) from each other. The distance from hurdle ten to the finish is 14.02 meters or 46 feet. The skill set required elicits agile, fit, speedsters, with some self confidence. This writer loves to watch the hurdlers build themselves up before the race. Anyone who does not think that the 110m hurdles is all about psychological warfare is sadly mistaken. The athlete who wins, is, as 1968 Olympic decathlete Bill Toomey once told me, the athlete who covets the win the most. This race is all about who wants it.
How does one run the hurdles? Former WR holder, first man under 13 seconds, and 110m hurdle great, now respected athletic manager, Renaldo Nehemiah told this writer the hurdles is about the management of speed.
Hit a hurdle? You will slow down. The quality of the field is so high in Pre, that you could loose. The race combines the speed of the 100m and the agility needed in hurdling.
The field for the Pre is stunning. Do not miss it!
Stars Lining Up for Pre Classic 110 Hurdles
Stanford, California – The best in the world are confirmed for a stellar men’s high hurdles at the Prefontaine Classic.
While the lanes are graced with reigning gold medalists and No. 1 world rankers, one lane remains open, reserved for the competitor performing the best in the coming weeks. Whoever that is will be in rare company.
Sergey Shubenkov, 28, became the event’s first repeat IAAF Diamond League winner last year. He also returned to No. 1 in the Track & Field News world rankings for the first time since 2015, the year he won gold at the Beijing World Championships.
His 12.92 last summer was just .01 off the European record and one of his four sub-13 clockings, the most in one year since world record holder Aries Merritt in 2012.
Devon Allen, 24, was the top-ranked American last year after winning his third U.S. title by the thinnest of margins – .002. His other titles also had significance – in 2014 as a 19-year-old Oregon frosh, his NCAA/USATF sweep became the first such since Renaldo Nehemiah in 1979. Allen repeated the double again in 2016 and his 13.03 to win the U.S. Trials remains the fastest by an American on U.S. soil since 2014.
This year Allen went undefeated indoors, sweeping the Millrose Games and U.S. Indoor.
After two dominant years as the world’s No. 1, Omar McLeod found an opponent he couldn’t beat – injury. The 25-year-old won his third-straight Pre Classic last year before curtailing his season in early July, but the injury ended the Jamaican’s streak of three straight seasons with a sub-13 clocking – only Allen Johnson can also claim such a streak.
McLeod is the youngest ever to own both the Olympic and World Championships gold medals in the 110-meter hurdles – he was 23 when he followed up Rio gold with winning the 2017 London Worlds. He is also the only one to break the 10-second (100 at 9.99) and 13-second (110 hurdles at 12.90) barriers.
Ronald Levy, 25, rose to No. 3 in the T&FN world rankings last year, winning his first Jamaican title after a Commonwealth Games gold. Jamaica’s 3rd-fastest ever at 13.05, he was runner-up in the 2017 Pre Classic in his first year on the Diamond League circuit.
Hansle Parchment, who will turn 29 on June 17, was the first Jamaican to break 13 seconds at 12.94 in 2014. He was also the first Jamaican male high hurdler to medal at the Olympics (bronze in 2012) and outdoor Worlds (silver in 2015). Parchment, who was ranked No. 5 in the world last year by T&FN, won the 2013 Pre Classic (first Jamaican to do that as well).
France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, 27, ranked No. 4 in the world last year, his highest since a No. 1 in 2014 mirrored his Diamond League title at age 22. The two-time Pre Classic winner (2014, ’15) is the last man to defeat Shubenkov with a same-time 13.17 in last summer’s European Championships. He also owns two World Indoor Championships silver medals over the 60 hurdles.
Xie Wenjun, 28, won his second Asian Championship last week with a PR and meet record 13.21. In 2018 he won his second Asian Games. He is the fastest Chinese hurdler since Liu Xiang last broke 13 at the 2012 Pre Classic with a wind-aided 12.87, which remains the fastest ever run in the U.S. under any conditions.
|Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles||Personal Best|
|Omar McLeod (Jamaica)||12.90|
|Sergey Shubenkov (ANA)||12.92|
|Hansle Parchment (Jamaica)||12.94|
|Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (France)||12.95|
|Devon Allen (USA)||13.03|
|Ronald Levy (Jamaica)||13.05|
|Xie Wenjun (China)||13.21|
Tickets for the 45th annual edition of the Prefontaine Classic, to be held June 30 at Cobb Track & Angell Field in Stanford, Calif., are available now by clicking here or at gostanford.com/tickets.
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 eight years. Sponsored by NIKE continuously since 1984, the Pre Classic will be shown live to an international audience by NBC.
Stanford University has a proud track & field tradition that dates back to 1893. In addition to its 922 All-America honors, 64 Olympians, and four NCAA team titles, Stanford has played host to important meets throughout its history, including the 1941 NCAA Championships, 1932 and 1960 U.S. Olympic Trials, and the epic 1962 USA-USSR dual that has been described as “the greatest track meet of all time.” After the facility was renovated in 1996, Cobb Track & Angell Field has been the site of the 2002 and ’03 U.S. Championships and is annually home to the Payton Jordan Invitational, the nation’s premier distance running carnival.
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.