Weighing in on everything from avocados to Zimbabwe

Weighing in on everything from avocados to Zimbabwe

2016 Pre Classic


posted by Leila Z. on

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I so wanted to attend the US Olympic Trials for track and field happening the first week in July, but we have (awesome!) family commitments in Eastern Washington, so it was not in the cards this time around. I unilaterally declared that we should still have some hot track action in 2016 as a consolation prize, so we headed down to Eugene over Memorial Day weekend to attend the Prefontaine Classic.

Greg in front of historic Hayward Field
Traffic out of Seattle Friday afternoon was extra horrible (2.5 hours from Seattle to Olympia), and we were lucky to make it to Hayward Field in time. First up Friday night were three tasty races (plus some field events): a W 800m race composed of all US studs, and a Diamond League W 5K and M 10K. They were all amazing in their own way. In the 800m, Oiselle athlete Kate Grace (2:01.16) came in second behind Alysia Montaño (2:00.78), aka "the Flying Flower"... two of my favorite athletes, so I was delighted! Next up, Molly Huddle ran 14:49.14 in the 5K and came within a few seconds of her own American record.
Kate Grace gets ready to roar.
Women's 5K flying with Lauren Wallace out front rabbiting.
The final event Friday night was the men's 10K. Although it's a lot of laps around the track, I found it thrilling to watch the race gradually unfold, building to a fantastic finish of Mo Farah and Williams Malel Sitonik sprinting neck and neck the final 200m. Mo Farah eked out the victory in 26:53.71, extending his 10K winning streak that extends back to 2011(!!!). I've heard it talked about endlessly, but it was incredible to hear an entire stadium of true track fans urging the athletes on in full voice... Hayward Field -- respect. 
Mo Farah gets ready to go!
Saturday was no less amazing (except in that Friday was FREE, y'all!! And Saturday we had to pay), but for me the standout race in a day of standouts was the women's 3K steeplechase. We stood near the water barrier and it was so inspiring to see the grit, speed, and grace with which the athletes leaped over it. Ruth Jebet ran 8:59.97 (holy guacamole!!) for the win and Emma Coburn ran a new American record of 9:10.76. Chills, y'all.
My favorite event, the steeplechase (Shalaya Kipp rabbiting)
Two other extremely cool things about spectating at Pre was that 1) we got to meet up with fellow Oiselle Volee members Liz Anjos and Sarah Matsumoto (thanks, Twitter!) and 2) we spent the day spectating just a few feet from a bunch of profesh runners including Will Leer and Alan Webb (American record holder in the mile). As you do. And you know what? They were cheering just as hard as anyone.
Cheer squad!

Eugene, I'll be back. :) 

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