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Prefontaine Classic to move to Stanford for 2019

Renovations to the iconic Hayward Field meant the early-season Diamond League event needed to find another home for 2018

The Prefontaine Classic, one of the first track meets of the outdoor season, traditionally held at the University of Oregon’s iconic Hayward Field, will be held at Stanford University in northern California this year while Hayward Field is being rebuilt.

RELATED: 17-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen runs 3:52 mile at Pre Classic

Affectionately known as the “Pre Classic,” the meet, considered one of the best invitationals in the world, has been held every year since 1973. This year’s meet will be held at Stanford’s Cobb Track on Sunday, June 30.

The Pre Classic is a sub-meet of Eugene Diamond League, the only Diamond League event in North America. It is financed by Nike and overseen by the Oregon Track Club.

Historic Hayward Field

At the 2018 event, Norway’s then-17-year-old phenom Jakob Ingebrigtsen ran a 3:52 mile after beating Olympic medalists Paul Chelimo and Matt Centrowitz in the 1,500m at Payton Jordan. And Shelby Houlihan of Oregon dipped under the four-minute mark in the 1,500m herself, for the first time in her career, beating favourites Laura Muir and Jenny Simpson in her first Diamond League win. Both athletes would continue their extraordinary success throughout the remainder of the season.

According to a recent report in The Oregonian, meet director Tom Jordan would have preferred to keep the meet in Oregon, but was not able to find an appropriate facility.

Hayward Field was torn down last summer and is being renovated to bring it up to the standard of the IAAF World Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held in Eugene in 2021. Construction is expected to be completed early next year, and the Pre Classic to return there in 2020.