NewsValarie Allman

Four Americans Win During Star-Studded Weekend At Prefontaine Classic

by Chrös McDougall

Trayvon Bromell of United States wins the 100 meter during the Wanda Diamond League Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field on May 28, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon.


Two months before track and field’s biggest stars head to Hayward Field for the world championships, some of the top U.S. athletes shined on the same Eugene, Oregon, track this weekend at the Prefontaine Classic.
Americans won four events and reached the podium 15 times in the prestigious meet, which is the lone U.S. stop on the Diamond League circuit this season.
Like a fireworks show, the highlight-heavy competition reached a crescendo for Team USA in the final event Saturday.
In a men’s 100-meter field loaded with Olympic and world championships medalists, Trayvon Bromell led a 1-2-3-4 American finish. The fastest man in the world by time last year, Bromell crossed the line in 9.93 seconds, holding off Tokyo silver medalist Fred Kerley, who finished in 9.98. Bromell might have run even faster, but comfortably in the lead he raised his arms in celebration before crossing the finish line.
Defending 100-meter world champion Christian Coleman was third in 10.04, followed by defending 200-meter world champion Noah Lyles in 10.05.
Another U.S. Olympian, 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton, was sixth, and Kenny Bednarek, the 200-meter silver medalist at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, was seventh. Canada’s Andre De Grasse, who won the 100 and was third in the 200 in Tokyo, took ninth.
Valarie Allman got things started on Friday night with another dominant win in the women’s discus. The reigning Olympic champion and current American record holder won with a throw of 68.35 meters. Sandra Perkovic of Serbia, who won the previous two Olympic gold medals in the event, was second with a best throw of 65.50 meters.
“Competing here on home soil definitely felt different,” Allman said. “My motivation kicked in as soon as the competition started. I was happy with the result, the win in my first Pre Classic. It felt really good.”
Michael Norman posted one of the most dominant performances on Saturday. Following a disappointing performance in Tokyo, where he the favorite in the men’s 400-meter but ended in fifth, Norman charged to victory in a world-leading 43.60 seconds, which also set a new meet record. Grenada’s Kirani James, a medalist in the event at each of the last three Olympics, was .42 behind Norman in second.

Ryan Crouser of United States waves to the fans after winning the Men's shot putt during the Wanda Diamond League Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field on May 28, 2022 in Eugene, Oregon


In the men’s shot put, Ryan Crouser extended his nascent winning streak to three with another dominant performance amidst a loaded field. The two-time defending Olympic champion, Crouser saw a 27-competition winning streak snapped when he finished second at the indoor world championships in March. With a world-leading throw of 23.02 meters Saturday, he held off fellow American Joe Kovacs (22.49 meters) and New Zealand’s Tomas Walsh (21.96 meters). Kovacs and Walsh joined Crouser on the Olympic podium in both 2016 and 2020. 
Americans Khallifah Rosser and Quincy Hall got things started Saturday by finishing 2-3 in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, both in personal best times. Tokyo bronze medalist Alison dos Santos of Brazil won in a world-leading time of 47.23 seconds, followed by Rosser and Hall in matching 48.10s.
Also going 2-3 were Americans Ajee Wilson and Raevyn Rogers in the women’s 800. 
Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson, the reigning Olympic silver medalist, won with a world-leading time of 1:57.72. Wilson crossed in 1:58.06 and Rogers, the Tokyo bronze medalist, in 1:58.44. Both were season-best times.
On Saturday, Sha’Carri Richardson went up against some of the world’s best sprinters, including five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica. It was the veteran Thompson-Herah who came out first, winning handily in 10.79 seconds, but Richardson and Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson, the reigning Olympic bronze medalist in the event, weren’t far behind, both crossing the line in 10.92. Richardson was credited with finishing second.
Rounding out the U.S. podium finishers Saturday was Tara Davis, who took third in the women’s long jump with a season-best jump of 6.73 meters.
Two other Americans earned podium finishes in field events Friday night.
Olympic silver medalist Christopher Nilsen finished second to Tokyo gold medalist Mondo Duplantis of Sweden in the men’s pole vault, with a final height of 5.81 meters. Duplantis, the current world record holder, cleared 5.91 meters.
Two-time Olympian Vashti Cunningham was second in the women’s high jump, clearing 1.93 meters. Reigning Olympic bronze medalist Yaroslava Mahuchikh of Ukraine won with a world-leading height of 2.00 meters.
The Diamond League resumes June 5 in Rabat, Morocco. The USATF Outdoor Championships will be June 23-26 and the world championships July 15-24, both back at Hayward Field.

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic and Paralympic Movement for since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
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