Thursday, November 21, 2019

Prefontaine Classic and Bowerman Mile Named World Athletics Legends

Millrose Games, Wanamaker Mile Honored As Well
by Mark Cullen
Copyright 2019. All Rights Reserved.

The Prefontaine Classic and the Bill Bowerman Mile were named World Athletics (IAAF) Heritage Legends in a ceremony honoring the greatest milers, miles, and meets in Monaco Thursday night.

The iconic United States single-day track meet was originally the Hayward Field Restoration Meet, held in 1973 and 1974. It was scheduled to be renamed the Bowerman Classic in 1975 in honor of '72 US Olympic Head Coach Bill Bowerman, but only two days after the tragic loss of distance legend Steve Prefontaine and with Bowerman's approval, the Oregon Track Club renamed the meet the Prefontaine Classic.

Steve Prefontaine and Bill Bowerman
after Pre's first sub-4:00 mile
photo credit: Milesplit.com
The Bowerman Mile is the concluding event of the Prefontaine Classic every year, and its all-time lists are dazzling. The meet itself is usually ranked by World Athletics as the #1 or #2 best single-day meet of the year (the Diamond Monaco Herculis meet is the other).

The Prefontaine Classic and the Bowerman Mile are in good company: among the others named "Legend of the Sport" were Roger Bannister and Diane Leather Charles, respectively the first man under 4:00 for the mile and the first woman under 5:00.

In addition, three other meets were accorded Legend status: The Ivo Van Damme Memorial (Brussels), the Oslo Bislett Games, and New York City's Millrose Games. Oslo's Dream Mile, Millrose's Wanamaker Mile, and the UK's Emsley Carr Mile were honored with Legend plaques as well.

Germany's Indoor Karlsruhe Meeting, site of Genzebe Dibaba's world indoor 1500m record, was honored with a Legend plaque.

Here is the complete announcement from World Athletics:
https://worldathletics.org/news/press-releases/bannister-charles-honoured-heritage-mile-nigh


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