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Yared Nuguse Shatters American Mile Record At Prefontaine Classic

Yared Nuguse shattered the American record in the Bowerman Mile, finishing second to Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen in 3:43.97 at the Prefontaine Classic.EUGENE -- Yared Nuguse shattered the American record in the Bowerman Mile, finishing second to Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen in 3:43.97 at the Diamond League Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field.

Nuguse lowered the previous American mark of 3:46.91 set by Alan Webb in Belgium in 2007. His time now ranks fourth on the all-time world list.

“I feel like a 3:44, 45 felt reasonable, but 43 is the same second as the world record which is absolutely insane that we were able to do that today, but still (have) a great race,” Nuguse said.

Ingebrigtsen won the race in the third-fastest time in history 3:43.73, establishing new Diamond League, Pre Classic and European records while pulling the entire field to extraordinary performances. Everyone in the race clocked sub-3:54 and established either a new season best or personal best. There were also there national record and world U20 mark established.“I think he pushes all of us to be better, and that’s really huge," Nuguse said of Ingebrigtsen. "To have someone like this at the time same time that I’ve come to my peak is just really big, to make me catch things that I didn’t think were possible, like running 3:43.”

As expected, from the early going, this shaped up to be a two-man race between Ingebrigtsen and Nuguse. In the pre-meet press conference Nuguse stated that he wanted the American record. Ingebrigtsen playful told Nuguse to hang with him as long as he could and he just might get it.

And he was right.

Pacer extraordinaire Eric Sowinski kept the two runners on world-record pace, taking them through 800m in 1:51.67. When he stepped off slightly before 1200m, Ingebrigtsen had covered the next quarter in 56.06 with Nuguse right on his heels. The duo hit the bell in 2:47 and the race against the clock and each other was very much on.

“He does a very good race," Ingebrigtsen said of Nuguse. "Obviously he’s in a good enough shape to run what he does, but at the same time today I wanted to race where I could challenge myself to really set out at a decent pace, somewhat conservative, and then I go as hard as I could the last two laps to try to run as fast as I could. So it was very good.”As the two hit the back straight, it was apparent from the green LED pacing lights on the rail that they had fallen about two strides behind world-record pace but the intrigue was far from over. 

They remained tight rounding the next to last curve when Ingebrigtsen turned the screw with 150 to go and began to open slight daylight. Nuguse covered the move and pulled right back onto the heels of the leader.

Coming down the stretch, Nuguse grimaced as he tried to keep up with Ingebrigtsen, moving wide to lane two to try and get passed but he was unable to close the gap.

“This is gonna be my last chance for a while to beat him, I might as well just pour my whole heart into it," Nuguse said of his mindset late in the race. "It was the perfect race because I just felt very unbothered the entire time, so it was all just really gritting it out and seeing who could run faster. But you know, definitely tough competitor but still felt really good about it.”

Nuguse credited the passionate crowd at Hayward Field -- there were 12,634 ticketed spectators in attendance -- with providing him with the home-cooking spark he needed late in the race.

"“Definitely that third lap, I feel like having that crowd just going nuts was really huge," he said. "I could just feel they’re all cheering for me for once, when I feel like in Europe they’re mostly cheering for him. It was still just a really amazing crowd, I always love hearing a big roar, especially here in Eugene.”While Nuguse can kick back into the offseason and start recharging for the Olympic year -- he said, his plans are to “just have a ton of fun tonight, not think about running for a month” -- Ingebrigtsen has one more race to go in his season, and on a tight turnaround. The 5000m world champion is favored in tomorrow's men's 3000m.

"Obviously I was here to run the mile," Ingebrigtsen said of his focus. "I’m jumping in the 3k because I got the opportunity. But now it’s all about getting back home to the hotel, eat, sleep, try to prepare as good as I can and we’ll see tomorrow.”

After the meet ends, is  Ingebrigtsen's year done?

"Not quite," he said. "Hopefully getting married next weekend, so I think I have to prepare for that as well.”

(09/17/2023) Views: 497 ⚡AMP
by Joe Battaglia Flotrack
Prefontaine Classic

Prefontaine Classic

The Pre Classic, part of the Diamond League series of international meets featuring Olympic-level athletes, is scheduled to be held at the new Hayward Field in Eugene. The Prefontaine Classicis the longest-running outdoor invitational track & field meet in America and is part of the elite Wanda Diamond League of meets held worldwide annually. The Pre Classic’s results score has...


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