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Posted: June 8, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Athletics: Phillips, Barringer join all-time greats at 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic

EUGENE, Ore. - Two-time World Outdoor champion Dwight Phillips and U.S. women's 3,000m steeplechase record holder Jennifer Barringer posted landmark performances Sunday at the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic at historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene.

The Nike Prefontaine Classic is the fifth event of the USA Track & Field Outdoor Visa Championship Series, which will conclude at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, June 25-28.

Dwight is right!

2004 Olympic gold medalist Dwight Phillips leaped back on the world stage in posting the longest jump in the world since National Track & Field Hall of Famer Mike Powell set the world record in 1991.
Phillips easily won the event when he sailed to 8.74 meters/28 feet 8.25 inches, which ties him with Larry Myricks and Erick Walder for the eighth-best outdoor mark in history, and the trio are also tied as the #5 performers all time. For his effort, Phillips was named the Team USA Athlete of the Meet presented by Visa.

"Last week I knew I was jumping far and I was looking at the world record," said Phillips. "I knew I was capable of jumping this far. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. I'm hungry. I'm excited about the sport again."

With his performance, Phillips takes over the lead from Tyson Gay in the men's Visa Championship Series race with his total of 1,290 points. Gay's sits in second place with 1,285 points.

Barringer joins America's best at 1,500 meters

Ethiopia's Gelete Burka was in command throughout the Nike women's 1,500m until the final straightaway when U.S. women's steeplechase record holder Jenny Barringer put on a furious kick and the two were even at the finish line. Burka just barely defended her Pre Classic title from last year with her time of 3 minutes 59.89 seconds, as Barringer joined Mary Slaney and Suzy Favor as the third American in history to better the four-minute barrier with her time of 3:59.90.
Barringer's performance is the best by an American in seven years, the third-fastest women's 1,500m in the world this year and it betters the previous collegiate record of 4:05.75 by Lindsay Gallo set in 2005.

Merritt sets sea level world's best in 300m

2008 Olympic 400m and 4x400m relay gold medalist LaShawn Merritt was dominant in the men's 300 meters posting the #2 all-time mark and a sea level world best with his winning time of 31.30 seconds. 2006 NCAA 400m champion Xavier Carter was the runner-up in 31.93, with 2004 Olympian Wallace Spearmon finishing third in 32.14.

Richards posts world leader

It was no contest in the women's 400 meters as 2008 Olympic 400m bronze medalist and 4x400m relay gold medalist Sanya Richards showed no mercy to her competitors. Richards left the blocks in a hurry and was never challenged in winning the Nutrilite women's 400m in the fastest time in the world this year of 49.86 seconds.
Richards, who has been ranked #1 in the world at 400m the last four years, finished ahead of Olympic silver medalist Shericka Williams of Jamaica, who crossed the line as the runner-up in 50.72 seconds.

Symmonds pleases the home fans

2008 Olympian and Eugene area resident Nick Symmonds, who won one of the most memorable races in Hayward Field history with his unforgettable victory at last year's Olympic Trials, was victorious again today in the Nike men's 800m. Symmonds grabbed the lead off the final curve and held on for the win in 1:45.86. The runner-up was Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Alfred Yego of Kenya, who crossed the line in 1:46.36, and Oregon Track Club member Christian Smith, who joined Symmonds on the U.S. Beijing Olympic Team, finished third in 1:46.36.
Reigning men's 1,500m and 5,000m world champion Bernard Lagat passed Qatar's Saif Shaheen with 60 meters to go and won going away in the men's 3,000m in 7:35.92. Shaheen was the runner-up in 7:36.87, with Americans Chris Solinsky and Matt Tegenkamp finishing third and fourth respectively, with times of 7:37.05 and 7:37.32.

Perry & Cherry at the finish

Two-time World Outdoor champion Michelle Perry and 2008 Olympic Games fourth-place finisher Damu Cherry sailed across the finish line together in the women's 100m hurdles. Although both were clocked in 12.74, it was Perry who was named the victor with Cherry claiming the runner-up spot. Canada's Olympic bronze medalist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep was third, just one hundredth of a second behind the Americans.

"Batman" beats the world's best

The three Americans who swept the medals in the men's 400m hurdles at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing met again this morning in Eugene. Bershawn 'Batman' Jackson, who won the bronze medal in Beijing, got off to a quick start before clipping the second hurdle. Jackson, who also won last week at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York, recovered quickly and held the lead with 80 meters to go along with Beijing gold medalist Angelo Taylor, silver medalist Kerron Clement and

Jamaica's Isa Phillips. Jackson won the race to the finish line in posting the second-fastest time in the world this year of 43.38 seconds, which he shares with Clement. Phillips was second in 48.55, with Clement third in 48.73 and Taylor placing fourth in 48.79.

Rodgers sets world best in 100m

2008 USA Indoor 60m champion Michael Rodgers, who won last weekend at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York, was victorious again today in the men's 100m posting a new career best and the fastest time in the world this year of 9.94 seconds. Rodgers defeated former world record holder and Olympic relay gold medalist Asafa Powell of Jamaica, who finished second in 10.07 seconds. Two-time Olympic sprint medalist Walter Dix also ran 10.07 in finishing in third place, with
2008 Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Travis Padgett placing fourth in 10.08.

After winning last week at the Reebok Grand Prix, Carmelita Jeter continued her winning ways with her victory in the Visa women's 100m. With a +3.2 mps wind at her back, Jeter sailed across the finish line first in 10.85 seconds and remains undefeated this outdoor season. Jamaican Kerron Stewart, who captured the 100m silver medal and 200m bronze medal in Beijing, was the runner-up in 10.90 in suffering her first loss this outdoor season and Olympic Trials champion Muna Lee finished third in 11.02. Jeter holds on to the lead in the women's Visa Championship Series chase with 1,207 points, which is one point better than Sanya Richards.

13 competitors break 4-minutes in Bowerman Mile

2008 Olympic silver medalist Asbel Kiprop of Kenya won the classic Bowerman Mile in 3:48.50, which is the fastest time in the world this year, bettering the previous fastest time this season by nearly six seconds. Kiprop's countryman, Haron Keitany, who ended the 2008 season ranked #1 in the world, was the runner-up in 3:48.78. 2008 Olympian Lopez Lomong led the American contingent with his sixth-place finish in 3:53.47. 13 runners bettered the 4-minute barrier, which equals the Hayward Field record for a single race.

Hoffa leads throwers with world best

2007 World Outdoor champion Reese Hoffa won the Visa men's shot put in posting the farthest throw in the world this year on his final attempt that sailed 21.89 meters/71 feet 10 inches. 2008 Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Dan Taylor finished second with a toss of 21.29m/69-10.25 and reigning Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski of Poland finished third with a best of 21.26m/69-9.

Stephanie Brown Trafton, who won the 2008 Olympic gold medal in the women's discus on her first throw, did it again with a first attempt winning toss of 63.98m/209-11. 2008 Olympic Trials sixth-place finisher Summer Pierson was second with a toss of 60.53m/198-7.

2008 Olympian Funmi Jimoh, who finished at the Olympic Games in Beijing, won the women's long jump with a best of 6.69m/21-11.50.

In other events, Kenya's Paul Koech won the men's 3,000m steeplechase in 8:13.44, Germany's Betty Heidler won the women's hammer (72.81m/238-10), Ivan Ukhov of Russia won the men's high jump (2.34m/7-8) and Sweden's Alhaji Jeng won the men's pole vault with a best clearance of 5.51m/18-1.

For more information on the 2009 Nike Prefontaine Classic and the USATF Visa Championship Series, visit:

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States.

For more information on USATF, visit

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