Track Town USA: Eugene, OR

Steve Prefontaine went to high school in Coos Bay, OR. He decided to attend college at the University of Oregon where he went on to become one of the most popular athletes that Oregon has ever seen. 

Fans wore shirts that said “LEGEND”, and other schools made shirts saying “Stop Pre”.  He seemed unbeatable.  In his entire college career he only lost two races, both times the mile.  Prefontaine once held the United States record in seven different distance events; in 1972 he competed in the Summer Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.  He was training for the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal when tragedy struck and he died in an auto accident on May 30th, 1975.

In 1975 the Hayword Field Restoration Race was renamed to the Prefontaine Classic after Steve Prefontaine’s tragic death. Nike has sponsored the event since 1978. The Prefontaine Classic is part of the IAAF Diamond League, which is a series of track and field events beginning in early May throughout September.  The Prefontaine Classic is one of two events in the United States.  Four world records have been broken at the Prefontaine Classic. The event annually hosts world-class athletes.

Valley River Inn is honored to continue our tradition of hosting the premier athletes and spectators for the 40th annual Prefontaine Classic. 



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