The fastest woman in the world is poised to make her international debut at the Prefontaine Classic.
The stellar field also includes the world’s most decorated women’s sprinter, last year’s No. 1 in the world as ranked by Track & Field News as well as the reigning IAAF Diamond League winner. There’s even a young American who hasn’t lost to anyone from the U.S. in almost two years.
Sha’Carri Richardson, 19, scorched the NCAA Championships two weeks ago in 10.75 breaking the world U20 (Junior) record set 42 years earlier. The Dallas native later declared her intent to turn professional, leaving LSU after becoming the first female freshman sprinter to win the national title after an undefeated season among collegians.
Richardson’s 10.75 rates her tied for No. 9 all-time on the world list and No. 5 American, just ahead of legend Evelyn Ashford. Later that afternoon at the NCAA in Austin, Richardson clocked 22.17, breaking the ratified world U20 record set by Allyson Felix in 2004, when Richardson was just 4 years old.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 32, made Olympic history at Rio in 2016, earning a 100-meter bronze after two straight gold medals. She owns the most combined Olympic and World Championships women’s 100-meter golds with five. She took the 2017 season off with maternity leave and won her only Diamond League race last year in 10.98. She has run just one serious 100 this year, and her 10.88 is the season’s second fastest.
Fraser-Pryce owns three of her four Diamond League titles in the 100 and has the most wind-legal sub-10.80 times this century with 11. She has four No. 1 world rankings by T&FN– the most this century and equal to Jamaican legend Merlene Ottey.
A pair of sprinters from Cote d’Ivoire split last year’s T&FN world No. 1 ranking and the Diamond League crown.
Marie-JoséeTa Lou, 30, won last year’s Pre Classic 100 en route to a season rated best in the world by T&FN. Her 10.85 was a co-world leading fastest as she claimed the Doha Diamond League race, and this year she has the world’s fastest 60 indoors at 7.02. Ta Lou swept silvers at the London Worlds in the 100 and 200, plus last year in England at the World Indoor 60.
Murielle Ahouré, 31, claimed last year’s Diamond League 100 crown – the first by an African man or woman in the short sprints. She owns the African record at 10.78 and has been world ranked by T&FN every year since 2012. Ahouré was runner-up the last two years at the Pre Classic and won last year’s World Indoor 60 gold. She is a former NCAA indoor 60 champ while at Miami.
English Gardner, 27, has won two Pre Classic 100s, and her PR 10.74 to win the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials is that meet’s fastest besides Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988 and makes her the fourth-fastest American ever. She has missed a good amount of the last two years but claimed the Millrose Games indoor 60 this year in a PR 7.10.
Aleia Hobbs, 23, is the reigningU.S. champ and last year became the first NCAA/USA double winner in this event since Gardner in 2013. Hobbs is one of a record eight NCAA 100 champions to come from LSU, and she owns the only victory this year over Richardson. Hobbs – the world’s top-ranked American by T&FN last year at No. 5 – has not lost a 100 to anyone from the U.S. in two years.
After Richardson, youngest in the field is Kayla White, 22. She was runner-up in the recent NCAA Championships in a PR 10.95, just her second sub-11 mark. Until this year winter, she was known more as a hurdler (12.92 in the 100 hurdles last year) than an aspiring sprinter, but that changed in the March NCAA Indoor Championships as a senior for North Carolina A&T. She was runner-up in the 60 hurdles (PR 7.92) before winning the 200 in a world-leading 22.66. She hasn’t run a hurdles race since.
At 10.95, Mujinga Kambundji, 27, is Switzerland’s only sprinter to break 11 seconds. She also owns her national record in the 60 (7.02) and was world-ranked in last year’s top 10 by T&FN in both the 100 and 200, the first Swiss in either event.
Michelle-Lee Ahye, 27, won last year’s Commonwealth Games 100 and has made every Olympic or Worlds final since 2014. She owns Trinidad’s national records in the 100 (10.82), 200 (22.25) and 60 (7.09). She ran the backstretch leg on Trinidad’s 4×100 bronze medal team at the World Championships.
|Women’s 100 Meters||Personal Best|
|Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica)||10.70|
|English Gardner (USA)||10.74|
|Murielle Ahouré (Cote d’Ivoire)||10.78|
|Michelle-Lee Ahye (Trinidad & Tobago)||10.82|
|Aleia Hobbs (USA)||10.85|
|Marie-Joseé Ta Lou (Cote d’Ivoire)||10.85|
|Mujinga Kambundji (Switzerland)||10.95|
|Kayla White (USA)||10.95|
Tickets for the 45th annual edition of the Prefontaine Classic, to be held June 30 at Cobb Track & Angell Field in Stanford, Calif., are available now by clicking here or at gostanford.com/tickets. Customers may select their exact seats using the pick-your-own map. Tickets can also be ordered over the phone by calling 1-800-STANFORD.
The Prefontaine Classic is the longest-running outdoor invitational track & field meet in America and is part of the elite IAAF Diamond League of meets held worldwide annually. Sponsored by NIKE continuously since 1984, the Pre Classic will be shown live to an international audience by NBC.
Stanford University has a proud track & field tradition that dates back to 1893. In addition to its 922 All-America honors, 64 Olympians, and four NCAA team titles, Stanford has played host to important meets throughout its history, including the 1941 NCAA Championships, 1932 and 1960 U.S. Olympic Trials, and the epic 1962 USA-USSR dual that has been described as “the greatest track meet of all time.” After the facility was renovated in 1996, Cobb Track & Angell Field has been the site of the 2002 and ’03 U.S. Championships and is annually home to the Payton Jordan Invitational, the nation’s premier distance running carnival.
Steve Prefontaine is a legend in the sport of track & field and is the most inspirational distance runner in American history. He set a national high school 2-mile record (8:41.5) while at Marshfield High School in Coos Bay, Oregon, that is the fastest ever in a National Federation-sanctioned race. While competing for the University of Oregon, he won national cross country championships (3) and outdoor track 3-Mile/5000-meter championships (4), and never lost a collegiate track race at any distance. As a collegiate junior, he made the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team and nearly won an Olympic medal, finishing 4th in the 5K at the 1972 Munich Olympics, at age 21. After finishing college in 1973 and preparing for a return to the Olympics in 1976, he continued to improve, setting many American records. His life ended tragically on May 30, 1975, the result of an auto accident, at age 24. The Pre Classic began that year and has been held every year since.