Jakob at the 2017 Prefontaine Classic - Photo Run



Two youngsters debuting in the Bowerman Mile- Samuel Tefera and Jakob Ingebrigsten-will certainly attract attention. Tefera, just 18, will be running his first race in the U.S. In March, he became the youngest gold medalist at the World Indoor Championships 1500 in England. In last year’s Pre Classic International Mile, Ingebrigsten became the youngest-ever sub-4 miler at age 16.


Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera, 18, ran his first indoor race in January and set an indoor world Junior (U20) 1500 best of 3:36.05. In March he earned his first medal of any kind, gold at the World Indoor Championships in England. He has never run the mile distance, but clocked 3:33.78 at 1500 last summer as a 17-year-old before making the heats of the London World Championships. Last month he ran 3:36.1 in the high altitude of Addis Ababa, winning his first national title by over two seconds.


Tefera at the 2018 World Indoor Championships - Photo Run

Even younger is 17-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway. He was 16 when he smashed the 4-minute barrier for the first time in last year’s International Mile, joining older brothers Henrik and Filip as sub-4 milers on the same day for the first time. He went on to win a special U20 Dream Mile at the Bislett Games in Oslo in 3:56.29, his current PR, and the European Junior 5k gold. Showing his versatility, Ingebrigsten also competed in the heats of the steeplechase at the London World Championships. Last week he won the Jordan Invitational 1500 at Stanford in a PR 3:39.06.


The Bowerman Mile is named for Bill Bowerman, a legendary figure in track & field history who co-founded Nike while coaching national championship teams four times at the University of Oregon (1962-70). Among his famous pupils was Steve Prefontaine, whom he recruited and guided to the Olympics. Bowerman passed away at age 88 on December 24, 1999, and the Pre Classic mile has been known as the Bowerman Mile ever since. A compilation of all Pre Classic sub-4 miles and other related statistics is available at PreClassicMiles. Since 2009, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association has named its highest award, The Bowerman, to the top male and female track & field athlete.

Men’s Bowerman Mile

Personal Best


Ayanleh Souleiman (Djibouti)


Silas Kiplagat (Kenya)


Aman Wote (Ethiopia)


Elijah Manangoi (Kenya)


Timothy Cheruiyot (Kenya)


Bethwell Birgen (Kenya)


Matthew Centrowitz (USA)


Vincent Kibet (Kenya)


Clayton Murphy (USA)


Thiago Do Rosario André (Brazil)


Ben Blankenship (USA)


Craig Engels (USA)


Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Norway)


Sadik Mikhou (Bahrain)

None (3:31.34 1500)

Samuel Tefera (Ethiopia)

None (3:33.78 1500)

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 44th annual edition of the Prefontaine Classic, to be held May 25-26 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., are available now at www.GoDucks.com as well as from 1-800-WEBFOOT. Sponsored by NIKE continuously since 1984, the Prefontaine Classic will be shown live to an international audience by NBC.

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 seven years by All-Athletics.com, the official data partner of the 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 18 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.