Recent Collegians Star At 2019 Prefontaine Classic
Stop us if you heard this before: Collegians, primed by years of competing against some of the best in the world, shine against the best in the world on the big stage.
Sounds familiar, right?
Well, that’s what happened at the 2019 Prefontaine Classic on Sunday.
There were some remarkable performances at Cobb and Angell Field from collegians that recently progressed through the NCAA system since the last Summer Olympics, including some marks that ended up on the All-Dates Collegiate List.
Let’s take a look at those top performers. Events are listed in the order that they are found on the live results, not in order of importance.
Men’s Pole Vault
Mondo Duplantis didn’t wait long to make his splash as a professional on the IAAF Diamond League circuit.
Duplantis, who vaulted for LSU this past outdoor season, won the event title when he cleared 5.93m (19-5½). The finalist for The Bowerman in 2019 put together a clean sheet through the first four bars he attempted, passed after one miss at 5.88m (19-3½) and got over 5.93m (19-5½) on his second attempt at the height.
South Dakota’s Chris Nilsen finished fourth with a clearance of 5.71m (18-8¾).
Women’s Shot Put
2017 NCAA outdoor champ Danniel Thomas-Dodd finished second to Lijiao Gong with a heave of 19.26m (63-2¼). Thomas-Dodd (nee Thomas) competed for Kent State from 2012-2017.
Maggie Ewen, who was a finalist for The Bowerman in 2017 and 2018, finished seventh.
Men’s 400 Meter Hurdles
Rai Benjamin put his name on the map at the 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships when he matched the third best performance in world history in the 400 Meter Hurdles with his time of 47.02.
Benjamin, who was a finalist for The Bowerman last year, added another all-time mark to his ledger today when he won the event title in 47.16. That is the ninth fastest mark in history, making him just the second man with multiple top-10 efforts.
Recent collegians finished fourth (David Kendziera), fifth (TJ Holmes), sixth (Khallifah Rosser) and seventh (Amere Lattin) behind Benjamin.
Allie Ostrander continued her string of strong performances in the steeplechase.
The Boise State star, who became the only woman in NCAA DI history to win three consecutive event titles earlier this month, bettered her PR to 9:31.44 and is now the seventh best performer on the All-Dates Collegiate List.
Women’s 100 Meters
The past two NCAA champions went head to head on the professional circuit as 2019 The Bowerman finalist Sha’Carri Richardson squared off with Aleia Hobbs. They are also two of only three women in collegiate history who went sub-10.90 during a collegiate season.
Ultimately, it was Hobbs who won that matchup by .11 seconds as Richardson made her professional debut. Hobbs finished second to Marie-Josee Ta Lou in 11.04 (Ta Lou broke the tape in 11.02). Richardson was fourth in 11.15, right behind former Texas star Teahna Daniels (11.13).
Women’s 800 Meters
2017 The Bowerman winner Raevyn Rogers finished third behind Caster Semenya and Ajee Wilson in 1:58.65. That was a season best for the former Oregon star.
Hanna Green, who last competed for Virginia Tech in 2017, finished fourth in a personal best of 1:58.75. Green was the NCAA runner-up on three different occasions in her collegiate career.
Men’s 400 Meters
Athletes who went through the NCAA system dominated this event.
2018 The Bowerman winner Michael Norman won in 44.62 and once he looked behind him, the former Southern California star saw a quartet of recent collegians streaming across the finish line.
2019 NCAA outdoor champion Kahmari Montgomery (Houston) finished second in 45.12. Former collegiate outdoor record holder Fred Kerley (Texas A&M) was third in 45.33. Jonathan Jones (Texas) finished fourth in 45.46. Wil London III (Baylor) took fifth in 45.57. Michael Cherry (LSU) was seventh in 45.92.
Women’s 200 Meters
2010 The Bowerman finalist Blessing Okabare sprinted to the event title in a season best and facility record time of 22.05.
2015 The Bowerman winner Jenna Prandini finished fifth in 22.53.
Women’s 1500 Meters
Jessica Hull had the race of her life on Sunday.
Hull, who recently finished runner-up at the NCAA Outdoor Championships as a member of the Oregon Ducks, bettered her PR by nearly four seconds and became the second fastest performer with the second fastest performance on the All-Dates Collegiate List. She crossed the finish line in 4:02.62, which is the fastest mark turned in by a recent collegian in the past 10 years (Jenny Simpson holds the No. 1 spot with her collegiate record of 3:59.90, run at the Pre Classic in 2009).
Dani Jones (Colorado) finished 12th in 4:07.28 for a PR of her own.
Men’s 100 Meters
2017 The Bowerman winner Christian Coleman seems to be hitting his stride.
The former Tennessee star won the event title in a world-leading 9.81, which was a season best and broke a 17-year-old facility record by 18 tenths of a second.
Cravon Gillespie (Oregon) finished fourth in 10.05, while Cameron Burrell (Houston) was eighth in 10.21.