Fast is Back in the Pre Classic Women’s 100 Meters

Fast is Back in the Pre Classic Women’s 100 Meters

The world’s fastest women from each of the last four years will meet in this year’s Prefontaine Classic 100 meters. This group features versatile performers who have won a total of seven IAAF Diamond Trophies across three events.

May 26, 2015

(The 41st Pre Classic, a member of the IAAF Diamond League of elite international track & field meets, will be held May 29-30 at historic Hayward Field.)

Eugene, Oregon – The world’s fastest women from each of the last four years will meet in this year’s Prefontaine Classic 100 meters.  This group features versatile performers who have won a total of seven IAAF Diamond Trophies across three events.

Shelley Ann Fraser Pryce (photo courtesy of SAFP facebook page)

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the last two Olympics, joining Gail Devers and Wyomia Tyus in a select group of such Olympic repeat champions.  The Jamaican superstar is also the reigning World Championships gold medalist, adding to the gold she won in 2009.  She also won the most recent Pre Classic in a wind-aided 10.71 in 2013 – the fastest time in the world under any conditions since Fraser-Pryce clocked her Jamaican record 10.70 in 2012.  Fraser-Pryce won IAAF Diamond Trophies in 2012 and 2013, as well as another in the 200 in 2013.

Blessing Okagbare is the African record holder at 10.79.  She was 2nd behind Fraser-Pryce in the 2013 Pre Classic at 10.75w.  A multi-event threat, in 2013, she won World Championships medals in the long jump (silver) and 200 (bronze).  Okagbare was also Olympic bronze medalist in 2008 long jump.  She has set personal best-ever marks in the last three Pre Classics.  She won the Shanghai 100 meters earlier this month, giving her the early IAAF Diamond League lead.

Tianna Bartoletta, Doha 2015

USA’s Tianna Bartoletta has two major gold medals – one in the long jump (2005 World Championships) and one in the 4×100 (2012 Olympics).  She was 4th in 2012 Olympics 100.  After an attempt at winter bobsledding, Bartoletta has regrouped as a long jumper and sprinter.  She is scheduled to compete in the long jump Friday night before Saturday’s 100.  She already has the early Diamond League lead in the long jump, winning at Doha with a world-leading 22-11¼ (6.99).  Bartoletta is the reigning IAAF Diamond Trophy winner in the long jump.

The world’s fastest last year was American Tori Bowie, who ran 10.80.  She shocked the world with a world-leading 22.18 to win last year’s Pre Classic 200 out of lane 1.  Bowie is also a former NCAA indoor and outdoor long jump champion from Southern Mississippi.  She had the second-longest jump in the world last year behind Bartoletta.

Carmelita Jeter of the U.S. is the world’s second-fastest ever at 10.64.  She was ranked No. 1 in the world three straight years (2009-11), the only athlete to do so this century. Jeter is the 2011 World Championships gold medalist and also won silver at the 2012 Olympics.  She anchored the USA world-record 4×100 team that won gold in London.  Jeter won the first two IAAF Diamond Trophies in 2010 and 2011, adding another in the 200 in 2011.

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson claimed the early 2015 world lead with a personal record 10.92 in April.  She backed that up a month later with another victory (10.97) over Okagbare and Allyson Felix in the Jamaica Invitational.  Her only previous races in the U.S. have been at the Penn Relays, where she helped her team to two Championship of Americas titles (2014 sprint medley, 2015 4×200).

Murielle Ahoure of Cote d’Ivoire was the 2013 World Championships silver medalist in both the 100 and 200.  She is a two-time silver medalist in the 60 meters at the World Indoor Championships (2012 & 2014).  Ahoure was last year’s African Championships gold medalist at 200 meters, and she won the NCAA indoor 200 meters while at Miami in 2009.

Michelle-Lee Ahye, 23, was a 2012 Olympic semi-finalist.  A 10.85 sprinter, she ran 10.97 to win the Florida Relays into a headwind.  She is the two-time national champion of Trinidad.

The event thus features three IAAF Diamond Trophy winners with a combined total of seven across three events – Fraser-Pryce (2012 & 2013 in the 100, 2013 in the 200), Jeter (2010 & 2011 in the 100, 2011 in the 200), and Bartoletta (2014 in the long jump).

Women’s 100 Meters (Diamond League) Personal Best
Carmelita Jeter (USA) 10.64
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) 10.70
Blessing Okagbare (Nigeria) 10.79
Tori Bowie (USA) 10.80
Tianna Bartoletta (USA) 10.85
Michelle-Lee Ahye (Trinidad) 10.85
Murielle Ahoure (Cote d’Ivoire) 10.91
Elaine Thompson (Jamaica) 10.92

An additional women’s 100-meter race is included for first in Pre Classic history.  It is called the International 100 and will feature even more world-class talent.

It will be a homecoming for English Gardner, a two-time NCAA champion while at Oregon (2012 & 2013).  The 2013 U.S. champ was 4th in the 2013 World Championships.  She owns the American Junior record of 11.03.

Kaylin Whitney, just turned 17 but already a pro, set a pair of World Youth records at last year’s U.S. Junior championships at Hayward Field.  In the 100, she clocked 11.10 and added a 22.49 in the 200.  She went on to win the World Junior gold in the 200 and 4×100, also at Hayward Field.  Whitney is eligible for two more years for Junior records.

Barbara Pierre of the U.S. has ranked among the world’s top 10 by Track & Field News the last two years.  She has a best of 10.85 and won six NCAA Division II titles while at St. Augustine’s.

America’s Jeneba Tarmoh has ranked among the T&FN top 10 in the 100 and/or 200 every year since 2011.  She won the U.S. title at 200 last year and in 2008 was World Junior gold medalist in the 100.  She was a member of three NCAA championship relay teams while at Texas A&M, and has an Olympic gold medal for her work in the London 4×1 heats.

Kimberlyn Duncan has an award few have received – The Bowerman, for being voted the top collegiate athlete, thanks to a 2013 season at LSU where she won a third-straight NCAA 200-meter title as well as third-straight top-3 finish in the 100.  She won the U.S. title in the 200 in 2013 and has ranked among the world’s top 10 by T&FNevery year since 2012.

Trinidad’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste won bronze at the 2011 World Championships.  She is a former NCAA 100 champion for LSU.

Two of Brazil’s best are included.  Recent national record setter Ana Claudia Lemos now holds South American records in the 100 (11.01) and 200 (22.48). Rosangela Cristina Oliveira Santos is the most recent Brazilian champion and ran a PR 11.08 earlier this year.

Women’s 100 Meters (International) Personal Best
Kelly-Ann Baptiste (Trinidad) 10.84
English Gardner (USA) 10.85
Barbara Pierre (USA) 10.85
Jeneba Tarmoh (USA) 10.93
Kimberlyn Duncan (USA) 10.96
Ana Claudia Lemos (Brazil) 11.01
Rosangela Cristina Oliveira Santos (Brazil) 11.08
Kaylin Whitney (USA) 11.10

Fans can follow the event lineups as all announced fields are posted at  PreClassic.com.  The direct link to current start/entry lists is HERE and will include updates to all announced fields.

Tickets for the 41st annual edition of the Prefontaine Classic, to be held May 29-30 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., are available now from goducks.com and from 1-800-WEBFOOT.  Sponsored by NIKE continuously since 1984, the Prefontaine Classic will be shown live to an international audience and by NBC Sports from 1:30 till 3:00 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 30.

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 four years by All-Athletics.com, the official data partner of the IAAF Diamond League.

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.

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