Running - Steve Prefontaine
Steve Roland Prefontaine
Born on January 25, 1951 in Coos Bay, Oregon
Died on May 30, 1975
For those who do not know, Steve Prefontaine was an American distance runner. For those who do know, this is a great understatement.
Steve Prefontaine held every American record from 2000 to 10,000 meters. He won three NCAA cross-country titles and four NCAA 3 mile / 5000 meter titles. He was one of the greatest competitors to ever represent the United States. A runner, a human being like Steve Prefontaine only comes along once a generation. When he died in 1975 from a car crash, it was a tragedy for those who knew him, for the people of Oregon, and for running fans everywhere.
- January 25, 1951 - Born in Coos Bay, Oregon
- 1964-1965 - 8th Grade
- Running catches Pre's interest in phys. ed. class
- 1965-1966 - Freshman year at Marshfield High
- Fall, 1965 - Pre's competitive running career begins on the Marshfield High cross country team
- 1966-1967 - Sophomore year at Marshfield High
- Continues running and improving
- 1967-1968 - Junior year at Marshfield High
- Continues running and improving
- 1968-1969 - Senior year at Marshfield High
- June 14, 1969 - Last high school track race, Golden West Invitational (Sacramento) - 1st place Mile
- July 19, 1969 - First international competition, U.S. vs U.S.S.R. (Los Angeles) - 5th place 5000 meters
- 1969-1970 - Freshman year at the University of Oregon
- June 20, 1970 - NCAA Outdoor Track Championships (Des Moines) - 1st place 3 Mile
- 1970-1971 - Sophomore year at the University of Oregon
- November 23, 1970 - NCAA Cross Country Championships (Williamsburg) - 1st place
- June 19, 1971 - NCAA Outdoor Track Championships (Seattle) - 1st place 3 Mile
- 1971-1972 - Junior year at the University of Oregon
- November 22, 1971 - NCAA Cross Country Championships (Knoxville) - 1st place
- June 3, 1972 - NCAA Outdoor Track Championships (Eugene) - 1st place 5000 meters
- 1972-1973 - Senior year at the University of Oregon
- September 10, 1972 - Olympic Games (Munich) - 4th place 5000 meters
- Fall, 1972 - Sat out collegiate cross country season
- June 9, 1973 - NCAA Outdoor Track Championships (Baton Rouge) - 1st place 3 Mile
- November 19, 1973 - NCAA Cross Country Championships (Spokane) - 1st place
- Winter, 1973 - Graduated with a degree in Broadcast Communications
- 1974 - Oregon Track Club
- Hired by Nike as National Public Relations Manager
- 1975 - Oregon Track Club
- May 29, 1975 - Pre's last race, Hayward Field (Eugene) - 1st place 5000 meters
- May 30, 1975 - Died in a car accident
If you're looking for a timeline of Pre's best times, then refer to stevepre.com's Year-by-Year chart
He just had whatever that is - I don't know, actors have it.
Singers have it. Some people have it, some people don't.
Most people don't. He had a lot of it.
-Wendy Ray, Hayward Field announcer for all of Pre's races there
As other kids who were aspiring baseball players might hear of Babe Ruth,
that's how I would hear about Pre. His front-running example
reinforced in my mind that that was the way you showed what you were
made of - lead from the front, not just wait in the back.
-Alberto Salazar, former world record holder in the marathon (2:08:13)
Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints.
I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop
and say, "I've never seen anyone run like that before." It's more than
just a race, it's style. It's doing something better than anyone else.
It's being creative.
For a detailed account of Steve Prefontaine's life, check out Tom Jordan's book Pre. That is where I got the quotations, and also how I derived the timeline.
My page is a small sample of what there is to know about Steve Prefontaine. We here at mredkj.com also have some information about Movies and Books related to running and Prefontaine. In addition to this, we provide Links to Track Stars, with a large section of Pre links.