April 24, 2024

Yared Nuguse, Chase Ealey break American records at Pre Classic; mile world record nearly falls

Yared Nuguse ran the fastest mile by an American in history, breaking a 16-year-old national record at the Pre Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

Nuguse, a 24-year-old Tokyo Olympian, clocked 3 minutes, 43.97 seconds on Saturday. He lowered the record of 3:46.91 set by Alan Webb in 2007.

Nuguse finished second to Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who ran the third-fastest mile in history (3:43.73). The world record is 3:43.13 by Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj in 1999.

Nuguse’s best outdoor mile time coming into Saturday was 3:53.34 from last August. The mile is rarely contested on the top international level since the distance is not on the Olympic or world championships program.

Even before Saturday, Nuguse was having a historic year for an American distance runner.

In February, he ran the world’s second-fastest indoor mile in history. In June, he became the second-fastest U.S. 1500m runner in history. Then he placed fifth in the 1500m in his world championships debut last month.

This after injuries set him back in 2021 (withdrawing from the Olympics after warm-up) and 2022 (11th in the 1500m at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships).

Full Pre Classic results are here.

The meet finishes Sunday from 3-6 p.m. ET on CNBC (3-4), NBC (4-6), NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.

Also Saturday, two-time world champion Chase Ealey broke the American record in the women’s shot put by throwing 20.76 meters. Michelle Carter, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist, held the previous record of 20.63.

Christian Coleman held off world champion Noah Lyles to win the men’s 100m by two hundredths in 9.83, equaling the world’s best time this year.

Coleman (twice), Lyles and Brit Zharnel Hughes all ran 9.83 in 2023, crowding the field of gold-medal contenders for the 2024 Olympics.

Coleman was the world’s fastest man in the previous Olympic cycle but missed the Tokyo Games while suspended for missing (but not failing) drug tests. He placed fifth at worlds last month.

“It’s been a long year. It’s been a long few years,” Coleman told Lewis Johnson on NBC Sports. “This one means a lot. I feel like this is just a little appetizer. Next year we’ll be ready.”

Jamaican Shericka Jackson won the women’s 100m in 10.70 seconds. Jackson, who took silver at worlds behind Sha’Carri Richardson, was followed Saturday by Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou (10.75), Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah (10.79) and Richardson (10.80).

Jackson and Richardson share the world’s best time this year of 10.65. Jackson headlines Sunday’s 200m, where she could threaten Florence Griffith-Joyner’s world record of 21.34 from 1988.

American Rai Benjamin ran the fourth-fastest 400m hurdles time in history, prevailing in 46.39 seconds for the biggest international race victory of his career.

He passed Olympic and world champion and world record holder Karsten Warholm of Norway coming off the final hurdle to win by 14 hundredths.

“This was the race I was supposed to run two weeks ago,” said Benjamin, who took bronze at last month’s world championships in 47.56.

Kenyan Faith Kipyegon ran the fifth-fastest women’s 1500m in history — 3:50.72 — and distanced the field by 3.21 seconds.

Kipyegon, the Olympic and world champion, is undefeated at 1500m for more than two years and undefeated across all distances this year with world records at 1500m, the mile and 5000m.

World champion Winfred Yavi of Bahrain clocked the second-fastest women’s 3000m steeplechase in history, an 8:50.66. Only Kenyan Beatrice Chepkoech’s world record of 8:44.32 from 2018 is faster.

American Katie Moon won the pole vault in a tiebreaking jump-off with Slovenian Tina Sutej. Last month, Moon shared the world title with Australian Nina Kennedy after they tied and jointly decided not to have a jump-off.

Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela extended her win streak dating to the Tokyo Olympics by triple jumping 15.35 meters, best in the world this year.

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