The 2021 Prefontaine Classic Returns to Oregon

Hayward Field will serve as the home of the 2021 Nike Prefontaine Classic. Photo courtesy of Jake Willard.

EUGENE, OR.- Eugene, Oregon, known as “TrackTown USA”, is the frequent host to star-studded track events from the Olympic Trials to the NCAA Championships. Next year, Eugene will even host the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 for the first time in the U.S. But, there is one legendary annual track meet that personifies this “Running Capital of the U.S.” best: the Prefontaine Classic.

Considered one of the best track and field meets in the world, the 2021 Nike Prefontaine Classic returns to Hayward Field after a two-year hiatus from Eugene. This was a fleeting pause on what has become the longest running outdoor invitational track and field meet in the nation. Now the “Pre Classic” will be back bigger, bolder and brighter at the fantastically re-imagined Hayward Field. And it will be an incredible competition and the not-to-be-missed event this summer!

When the guns go off August 20-21, 2021; marking the 46th annual Prefontaine Classic, fans will witness some of today’s most watched track stars compete. While the bulk of events take place Saturday, distance events are held the day before at twilight when the temperatures are cooler. The Pre-Classic “Women’s Distance Night” will be held Friday night, and for the first time, your Saturday meet ticket will also include a reserved seat at the sought-after distance events. Setting the tone for Women’s Distance Night will be in-stadium commentary conducted by Katharine Merry, herself a former Olympic medalist in the 400 meter. And to make it all the more special, Hayward Field’s dedication and opening ceremony will take place.

Watch for 19-year-old Athing Mu in the 800-meter field. She achieved the world’s fastest time this year at last month’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials, making her the second-fastest American ever in the 800-meter field.

You will also see Sha’carri Richardson, one of the biggest personalities and fastest women in the sport, running both the 100 and 200. These highly anticipated races will be Richardson’s first since serving a one-month suspension that caused her to just miss competing in Tokyo.

Additional highlights to note include the Pre Classic 800 which all three members of the newly-formed U.S. Olympic team will run. And pay attention to the “Pre Classic Mile”, also now known as the Bowerman Mile, which is considered the greatest race in the U.S. racking up more times under four minutes than any other American meet.