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

Ingebrigtsen wins mile; Nuguse makes U.S. history
Jakob Ingebrigtsen wins the Bowerman Mile at The Prefontaine Classic after being pressured the entire way by Yared Nuguse, who sets an American record with a time of 3:43.97 to finish second.

Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen all but predicted he would pace Yared Nuguse to an American record in the mile. Nuguse warned that he might be closer than Ingebrigtsen thinks.

Both men delivered.

Ingebrigtsen, the Olympic 1500m gold medalist, ran the third-fastest mile in history — 3 minutes, 43.73 seconds at the season-ending Pre Classic in Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday.

He missed Moroccan legend Hicham El Guerrouj’s world record from 1999 by six tenths of a second.

Nuguse, advised by Ingebrigtsen on Friday to follow the Norwegian’s lead, did just that. Nuguse tailed him for nearly the entire race and crossed the finish just 24 hundredths behind.

Nuguse’s time of 3:43.97 shattered Alan Webb’s American record from 2007 by 2.94 seconds.

“I know I’m as good as [Ingebrigtsen],” said Nuguse, who was fifth in the 1500m in his world championships debut last month. “That’s the thing I really appreciate about Jakob. He kind of elevates all of us and pushes all of us to achieve things that we didn’t think we could achieve.”

Nuguse finished a season of pleasant surprises with one more. He went into the race thinking that 3:45 would be satisfactory.

The 24-year-old’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.

Nuguse withdrew before his Olympic debut in Tokyo due to a quad strain. He was 11th at the 2022 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships, still getting up to speed off an injury.

Then 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. Now he’s the fastest American miler ever.

Full Pre Classic results are here.

The meet, which this year doubles as the Diamond League Final, finishes Sunday from 3-6 p.m. ET on CNBC (3-4), NBC (4-6),, 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.

“I felt good,” Ealey said, “not the best though.”

Ealey, set back early this year with a rib muscle injury, said she has thrown 21 meters “quite a few times” in practice, including in warm-ups for last month’s worlds, which she won with a 20.43-meter throw. A total of 33 women have thrown 21 meters in competition, but none from the Western Hemisphere.

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.

Ealey earns Diamond League title, sets U.S. record
World Champion shot putter Chase Ealey withstood a challenge in the Diamond League Final, but her American Record performance clinched a season-ending victory.