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Arguably the best american distance runner ever and a great inspiration for any runner!
PICS, PRE'S DEATH , PRE'S QUOTES
(other interesting information below)
Before College: Coached by Walter McClure, a former Oregon track star, at Marshfield High School. He went undefeated in cross-country and track as a junior and senior. As a senior, he also broke the previous American record for two miles with a time of 8:41.5. Bill Dellinger, then an Oregon assistant track and cross coach, first saw him run as a junior at the state cross country meet in November 1967, and he signed with Oregon on April 29, 1969.
College: Entering the University of Oregon in the fall of 1969 and graduating in the summer of 1973. He won seven NCAA titles; three in cross country (1970, '71, '73), and four in the three-mile in track (?70 (13:22.0), ?71 (13:20.2), ?72 (14:01.4-5K) and ?73 (12:53.4). The first collegian to accomplish the feat in track and the second ever in cross-country. In his first outdoor track race, he won the 2-mile (8:40.40.0) at a triangular against Fresno State and Stanford at Fresno, Calif., on March 21, 1970. Later in that first track season, he clocked 3:57.4 for the mile at the Oregon Twilight (6/5/70), finishing second and setting an Oregon freshman record and a then-personal best. Adding to those victories' drama, Pre's first NCAA 3-mile track title came with a dozen stitches in his foot after a diving board accident days before. The final cross country win came after making up a 100-yard deficit on Western Kentucky's English distance star Nick Rose. At the close of his collegiate career, he had set nine collegiate track records. Pre's first-year notoriety earned him Sports Illustrated cover honors (6/15/70), showing him running on a ridge near Bowerman's house. Altogether, he never lost a race more than a mile in length as a Duck.
Records: He owned every (8) American record between 2,000 and 10,000 meters and between two miles and six miles. He also held eight collegiate records while at Oregon, with his three-mile (12:53.4) and six-mile (27:09.4) still standing. During his career, he broke his own or other American records 14 different times, broke the four-minute barrier nine times, ran 25 two-mile races under 8:40 and 10 5K races faster than 13:30.
Olympics: He competed at one Olympiad, the 1972 Summer Games in Munich, when he was 21 years old (two years younger than anyone else in the 5,000-meter field). He took the lead with a mile to go, and holding it until less than 600 meters remaining. He ultimately finished fourth (13:28.25) behind Lasse Viren of Finland (first, 13:26.42), Mohamed Gammoudi of Tunisia (second, 13:27.33) and Ian Stewart of Great Britain (third, 13:27.61). Stewart passed Prefontaine less than 10 meters from the finish line for the final medal.
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