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Nike Prefontaine Classic

Pre Classic Recap - Nearly Breaks American Record


Pre Classic Recap - Nearly Breaks American Record

A quick early pace in the men's 3,000m steeplechase led to fast times across the board and Evan held tough to finish fourth overall in 8:05.28, just off his American record. Saturday afternoon at the Nike Prefontaine Classic and sporting his new Bowerman Track Club uniform, Evan was plenty happy afterward, but focused ahead to USA Outdoors. 

8:01.71 - Ezekiel Kemboi (KEN)
8:01.83 - Jairus Birech (KEN)
8:05.20 - Conseslus Kipruto (KEN)
8:05.28 - Evan Jager (USA)
8:13.95 - Paul Koech (KEN)


First Blog Ever! - Park City, UT Altitude Camp


First Blog Ever! - Park City, UT Altitude Camp


Let me start this thing off by stating that this is my first blog post ever and that I am not claiming to be a good writer by any stretch of the imagination. I wanted to start blogging every once in awhile to 1) give those that I am close to, but don’t get to see very often, a way keep up with my life 2) give other runners a sneak peak into what a professional runner’s life is like (spoiler alert: it’s boring, sorry) and 3) give myself something productive to do every now and then now that I am FINALLY finishing up school.

After the Payton Jordan Invitational, myself and a large portion of the Bowerman Track Club flew to Salt Lake City, UT and made the drive up to Park City to begin our first altitude camp of the year.

I love altitude training camps for many reasons. First of all, an altitude camp usually comes at a time of the year when we start gearing up for our very important races and it’s a great way to really focus in on your training and what you want to achieve throughout the season. For me, our altitude camps have forced me to not enroll in classes for the term which gives me one less thing to worry about, making it easier for me to put 100% into my training. And finally, it’s really fun (most of the time) getting to spend extra time with the guys and girls on the team that I don’t live with back in Portland.

Anyways, the first week of altitude is in the books and everything has been going well. Our first four or five days were pretty busy with getting situated in our new homes for the next six weeks, grocery shopping and finding new places to run and workout and do core.

Logistics aside, the first week of altitude is always a balancing act of feeling really good or feeling extremely awful. Some days, when the sun is shining down on you, there is no wind and you’re exploring a new pristine dirt trail with spectacular views, you feel like you could run forever. Then there are other days, when it might be just a little cloudy and a little windy, that you look down at you watch only to find that you are only ten minutes into your run, you have 50 minutes to go and you haven’t broken eight minute/mile pace yet (we try to get down to at least 6:00-6:15 pace for most runs). Thankfully, I have had more of the first-example days as opposed to the second- example days, so far.

I am really excited to be up here in Park City training. I know I will be gaining fitness while I am up here as long as I continue to consistently put in the work and am able to stay healthy. My first steeple session of the year is coming next week. I am really looking forward to it because they help me to prepare for the grind of a really fast steeple race, which I happen to have planned for the end of the month.

I am going to be racing the steeple at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon on May 30th. I am especially excited for this race because it is on U.S. soil with eight of the top ten steeplechasers in the world from last year. I feel my fitness is in a place where I should be able to compete with all of those guys and being able to do that on U.S. soil is an opportunity I don’t get very often.

Hopefully all goes well over these next couple weeks, I have a good showing at Pre and have a good start to the rest of the year!

- Evan 



Evan Set to Race Loaded Steeple at Pre Classic

Pre Classic Full of Aces in Steeplechase 

Eugene, Oregon – Every fan loves a winning hand, and that's what the Prefontaine Classic is dealing in the men's Steeplechase--the best in the world in a field that includes the gold, silver, and bronze medalists from the most recent Olympics Games and World Championships. 

The 41st Pre Classic, a member of the IAAF Diamond League of elite international meets, will be held May 29-30 at the historic Hayward Field.

Jairus Birech of Kenya and American Evan Jager own the two top spots as rated by, the official data partner of the IAAF Diamond League, as well as the top 2 in the 2014 world rankings by Track & Field News. 

Birech, 22, has been on the fringe of making the dominant Kenya team for the Olympics and World Championships – if he competed for any other country, he would already have two such appearances.  Last year Birech finally broke through, dominating the IAAF Diamond League with a record six wins.  His 7:58.41 was fastest in the world by almost 5 seconds.

Jager is also coming off a breakout year.  He broke his own American record by running 8:04.71, and impressively finished the year No. 2 in the T&FN world rankings – highest by an American since 1985, going back to Hall of Famer Henry Marsh (a 7-time winner at the Pre Classic).  Jager owns the five fastest times ever by an American – all under 8:10 (the only American with more than one).  At last year’s Pre Classic, with this event not on the menu, Jager set a 3:53.33 mile PR.

With no shortage of talent, drama will surely make a return.  Ezekiel Kemboi is the reigning Olympic and World champion and owns five career major gold medals (2004 & ’12 Olympics and Worlds in ’09, 11 & ’13).  His attempt to win a second Pre Classic title in 2013 was a finish to remember...or perhaps forgotten.  Judges disqualified Kemboi for shoving, as Kenyan countrymate Conseslus Kipruto (then only 18 years old) set a meet record.

Two months later, that duo went 1-2 at Moscow’s World Championships, Kemboi with his last victory to date over Kipruto, who is now 6-3 career over Kemboi.  Kipruto’s fast finish at Moscow was 0.36 seconds short of completing a career World Youth/Junior/Senior sweep of golds, something he can still achieve later this summer at the Beijing World Championships.  Still, Kipruto finished the ’13 season with the Diamond Trophy and ranked No. 1 in the world by T&FN.

After Kemboi, France’s Mahiedine Mekhissi is the next most decorated runner in the field, with a pair of Olympic silver medals (2008 & ’12) and World bronzes (2011 & ’13).  He was famously DQed last summer after winning his third straight European title – for taking off his jersey in celebration before crossing the finish line.  He is the only non-Kenyan to have won an IAAF Diamond League race in this event in the circuit’s 5-year history.

Fastest in the field is Kenya’s Paul Koech at 7:54.31.  He has ranked in T&FN’s top 10 every year since 2002 – a streak shared with Kemboi.  Koech has the world’s most sub-8:00 races in history with nine and twice won the Pre Classic (2007 & ’09).  He was Olympic bronze medalist in 2004, and won the first 3 IAAF Diamond League titles in the event.

Abel Mutai of Kenya is another Olympic medalist in the field, owning bronze from London.  He is just one of several Kenyans in the field to have world age gold medals.  Mutai won the World Youth gold in 2005, as did Hillary Yego in ‘09.  Both Mutai and Yego have already been ranked four times in T&FN’s top 10 world rankings, including last year.

While Youths run the 2000-meter steeple, Juniors have progressed to the full 3000 meters.  Barnabas Kipyego of Kenya won last year’s World Junior gold at Hayward Field.  Jonathan Ndiku is also from Kenya – he is the only 2-time World Junior gold medalist in this event (2008 & ’10) and earned his first T&FN world ranking last year.

North Americans Dan Huling and Matt Hughes add talent to the field.  Huling is a 3-time member of USA’s World Championships team, while Canadian record holder Hughes – a 2-time NCAA champion while at Louisville – was 6th at the Moscow World Championships.

Noteworthy is that 9 out of 10 of the top steeplers in the world on the T&FN annual rankings list are set to compete at the Prefontaine Classic.

Men’s 3000-meter Steeplechase (T&FN '14 Ranking/Personal Best)

Jairus Birech (Kenya) World No. 1 7:58.41
Evan Jager (USA) World No. 2 8:04.71
Mahiedine Mekhissi (France) World No. 3 8:00.09
Conseslus Kipruto (Kenya) World No. 4 8:01.16
Jonathan Ndiku (Kenya) World No. 6 8:07.75
Hillary Yego (Kenya) World No. 7 8:03.57
Paul Koech (Kenya) World No. 8 7:54.31
Ezekiel Kemboi (Kenya) World No. 9 7:55.76
Abel Mutai (Kenya) World No. 10 8:01.67
Matt Hughes (Canada) Canadian No. 1 8:11.64
Dan Huling (USA) USA No. 2 8:13.29
Barnabas Kipyego (Kenya) World Jr Champ 8:17.03 

Fans can follow the event lineups as all announced fields are posted at  The direct link to current start/entry lists is HERE and will include updates to all announced fields.