They scheduled the best for last at “distance night” of the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene: the 10,000 meter race.
The crowd stayed until after 9 pm to cheer for Galen Rupp, a native of Oregon and former U of O star. Rupp reportedly asked for a fast 10K race.
The Nike Oregon Project runner hoped to break his own American record, set in 2011. As the laps ticked by, he remained in the lead group of four to six runners, holding a pace almost equal to his record time. But with two laps to go, he took the lead.
At the bell, the crowd went wild, and Rupp smashed the last quarter. He won the race in a new American record of 26:44:31. It was also the fastest time in the world this year.
Tomorrow’s races at the Prefontaine Classic begin at noon. A limited number of tickets is still available at the gate.