The stars come out to Stanford
The Pre Classic is not like other Diamond League meets; it has its own energy, its own hype.
Held this year @ Stanford (while Hayward Field gets rebuilt), it's the first race of the season for a lot of the top Nike athletes such as Matthew Centrowitz, Shelby Houlihan, Colleen Quigley, and others. We also see new pros make their debut, as well as stacked fields in every race. Caster Semenya was lining up, so too the Ingebrigtsen's, it really is a who's-who of track.
TEMPO had our man Jason Suarez (who you might know as @notafraid2fail) trackside capturing all the action for us.
Christian Coleman took the WL in the men's 100m with a 9.81 over Justin Gatlin, which was the first time he's beaten Gatlin. Shoutout Justin Gatlin for running a 9.87 at the age of 37.
Caster Semenya was back in the 800m after a tumultous couple of months (courtesy of the IAAF, the CAS, and a Swiss Tribunal), for what may or may not have been her final Diamond League 800m race.
Semenya won in dominant fashion, stopping the clock in 1:55.70 for her 31st win in a row over 800m.
The women's 3000m was one of the hottest races of the day, with the first 5 across the line all setting PR's, as the race was won by Nike Oregon Project's Sifan Hassan (8:18.49) from teammate Konstanze Klosterhalfen (8:20.07). Genzebe Dibaba was pushing the pace right to the end and faded for 4th, while 1st year pro Karissa Schweizer also notched a PR.
The focus of the day on the men's side was undoubtedly the Bowerman Mile. It's always stacked, and this year was no different, with the likes of Yomif Kejelcha, Samuel Tefera, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Matthew Centrowitz, and more all lining up at Stanford. Ultimately though, and somewhat predictably, it was Kenya's Timothy Cheruiyot who stormed home for the win in 3:50.49. In other results, fan favourite (and one of our favourites) Craig Engels lowered his PR to 3:51.60.
We won't spend too much time on the men's 2 mile, because quite frankly it's a weird distance, but we had to get the finishing shot of Joshua Cheptegei and Paul Chelimo in this article somehow. Shoutout Stewy McSweyn for finishing 6th.
The women's steeple attracted a lot of attention due to a strong field and it being the season opener for a number of stars. Plus, I'm interested anytime Emma Coburn lines up against WR holder Beatrice Chepkoech, after Coburn's comments last year. Chepkoech won in 8:55.58, a full 11 seconds slower than her WR, but still 9 seconds faster than Coburn who finished second in 9:04.90. Read that sentence again. American fans would have been buoyed by the respectable season openers for Bowerman athletes Courtney Frerichs and Colleen Quigley.