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Facts About Prefontaine Classic

28 May 2006

The Prefontaine Classic is the premiere track & field meet in the United States. Since 1996, it has been ranked first among all annual track & field meets in the U.S. by the IAAF, the international governing body for the sport.

Athletes must be ranked in the Top 50 in the world in their events to be eligible to compete in this elite track & field showcase.

The meet is named for the legendary Steve Prefontaine, America’s greatest distance runner at the time of his death in 1975 at age 24. Pre’s remarkable life was the subject of two major motion pictures, “Prefontaine”, released by Disney in January 1997 (two “thumbs up” from Siskel & Ebert), and “Without Limits”, released by Warner Bros. in September 1998 (and picked in the Top 10 films of 1998 by Time magazine and the New York Times).

The 2005 meet on Saturday, June 4th, was the 31st annual Prefontaine Classic, with NIKE providing title sponsorship since 1978.

Each year, the meet has featured some of the greatest athletes in the world.

Attendance at the meet, held each year at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, has traditionally been the largest in the United States. Nine of the past ten years have seen standing-room-only sell-out crowds.

The Prefontaine Classic has been carried on television the past nine years. This year’s telecast was aired on NBC June 5th.

The 2005 Prefontaine Classic was again part of the international Grand Prix series, featuring the twelve best track & field meets in the world. The Prefontaine Classic was the highest-rated meet in the world outside of Europe in 1998, 2000-2004.

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