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World Will Tune In To Eugene For Prefontaine Classic

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Millions of people around the world will be watching Eugene this weekend. This year’s Prefontaine Classic track and field meet takes place Friday and Saturday at Hayward Field.

Friday night’s free program includes the men’s 5,000 and 10,000 meter races. Local favorite Galen Rupp will run the 5K and Olympic champion Mo Farah is entered in the 10K. Prefontaine spokesman Jeff Oliver says the entire meet will be outstanding:

Oliver: “The Pre is almost like a mini-Olympics. We have over 250 athletes from around the world who are looking to kick off their summer track season here in Eugene. With the World Championships ending in Beijing later in August.”

Oliver says some of the events here will be better than the Olympics, because countries can enter more than three competitors.

Saturday’s Diamond League entries include 100-meter champion Justin Gatlin in a rare 200 and an impressive field in the Bowerman Mile, eight of whom have run under 3:50.

Saturday is the anniversary of Steve Prefontaine’s death, 40 years ago on May 30, 1975.

High school races are featured Friday for the first time at Pre. Local prep standout Jackson Mestler will join a fast field in the mile.

Friday’s events begin just before 8:00. Saturday’s start at noon.

Karen Richards has been a KLCC reporter since the fall of 2012.
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