Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, Florence 2021, photo by Diamond League AG
Yaroslava Mahuchikh, 2022 World Indoor Championships, photo by Getty Images for World Athletics
The Nike Prefontaine Classic is one of the most essential track meets in North America. It is the only Diamond League meeting in North America at this time, which is most unfortunate.
Nike has supported the meet since 1985, I believe. Before that, it was the Hayward Field Restoration meeting. Each year, the fortunate fans get to see three hours of the finest track & field in the world. It is the litmus test many in the media and sport see as Nike’s continued interest in the sport.
Hurdle Trailblazers and High Jump Headliners make up women’s high jump and women’s 100m hurdles fields at The Prefontaine Classic
Eugene, Ore. – With less than 100 days until the World Athletics Championships, Oregon22, excitement continues to grow in the track and field world, and The Prefontaine Classic is looking more and more like a championship preview.
Tickets along the home stretch for the Pre Classic are selling fast, and the women’s 100m hurdles is going to feature some of the best in the world at navigating the ten barriers, including a match-up between the world record-holder and the Olympic gold medalist.
The fastest to ever run the event, Keni Harrison, is set to return to the Pre Classic for the first time since her victory in 2016. After winning the Olympic Trials at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon last summer, Harrison went on to finish second in Tokyo, adding Olympic silver to her World Indoor 60m hurdle gold and World Outdoor silver medals.
Much like the Tokyo final last year, Harrison will line up against the Olympic gold medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn. The 2018 NCAA 100m hurdles champion had the start of her professional career slowed by the Covid-19 pandemic, but she truly established herself in 2021, going undefeated over the distance.
The matchup between Harrison and Camacho-Quinn will be one to watch, especially if you’re a Kentucky Wildcats fan. Though they did not overlap in their tenure, both women competed collegiately at the University of Kentucky.
Anna Cockrell will be making her Pre Classic debut on Saturday, May 28. The USC standout, now competing professionally for Nike, is coming off a historic season. At the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field, Cockrell took the crown in both the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles, joining Queen Harrison as only the second woman to ever achieve the feat. At the Olympic Trials she finished fourth in the 100m hurdles, but made her Olympic dreams come true in the 400m hurdles, finishing third and breaking her own USC school record in the process. She would go on to make the finals in Tokyo.
The Pre Classic 100m hurdles will also feature several medalists and Olympic finalists. World Championship gold medalist and Rio Olympic silver medalist Nia Ali is returning to competition this season after taking a year off following the birth of her second child. Rounding out the field is World Indoor 60m hurdle bronze medalist and Olympic finalists Gabbi Cunningham, Olympic finalist Oluwatobiloba Amusan, and World Championship bronze medalist Danielle Williams.
If you’re a fan of the vertical jumps, this year’s Prefontaine Classic will be quite the show. The women’s high jump will join the men’s pole vault on Saturday, May 28, and the field features five high flying women who competed in the Olympic final last year.
The World Indoor gold medalist from Belgrade, Yaroslava Mahuchikh, highlights the field.
The Ukrainian has firmly established herself as one of the world’s top jumpers since breaking onto the professional scene in 2019. Mahuchikh has been on quite an impressive run, medaling in every single championship meet she has competed in. She brought home silver in her first World Athletics Championships, clearing 2.04m (6-8.25) to break the world U20 record in Doha, and secured bronze at the Tokyo Games last year.
Following her breakout 2021 season, Australia’s Nicola McDermott is set to return to Hayward Field at the University of Oregon for the first time since competing at the World Junior Championships in 2014. Last season she set the Australian and Oceanian records three times and ultimately jumped 2.02m (6-7.5) to take silver at the Tokyo Games.
The American Vashti Cunningham is also featured in the field. After stealing the hearts of American track and field fans with her gold medal performance at the World Indoor Championships in Portland in 2016, Cunningham has dominated the event in the United States. She has won 11 U.S. titles, including the last ten contested, and brought home bronze at the World Athletic Championships in Doha. She finished sixth in the Olympic final last year.
Rounding out the field is Ukraine’s Iryna Gerashchenko, the 2021 Prefontaine Classic winner and fourth place finisher from Tokyo, and Yuliya Levchenko, a 2020 Tokyo Olympic finalist. They will join their compatriot Mahuchikh on the high jump apron. Switzerland’s Salome Lang is also featured in the competition.
The women’s high jump is a Diamond Discipline within the 2022 Wanda Diamond League circuit and will take place on Saturday, May 28. Tickets are available online at PreClassic.com.
About The Prefontaine Classic
The Prefontaine Classic is the premier track and field meet in the United States. Since its inception in 1975, the meet has been a fixture in the global track and field calendar, earning a reputation for bringing the world’s best athletes to Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. The meet is named after Steve Prefontaine and serves as a “living memorial to Pre” (Bill Bowerman, June 1, 1975). The Pre Classic is a member of the Wanda Diamond League circuit and has been sponsored by Nike since 1978.