As some of the world’s top track and field athletes descend on Oregon this weekend, all eyes will be on one 17-year-old girl.
But don’t blink or you might miss her.
Mary Cain, a high school running phenom from Bronxville, N.Y., is one of the must-see athletes at the Prefontaine Classic taking place today and Saturday at Hayward Field in Eugene. Cain’s attendance at the Pre Classic gives Oregon track fans another reason for excitement in a meet that also features Olympic gold-medalists Mo Farah and Justin Gatlin.
Cain has been turning heads around the track — and the country — with her record-setting performances. The high school junior’s most recent finish was a 4:04.62 at the USATF Oxy High Performance 1,500-meter race, which shattered the national high school record. Another high-school record could go tumbling on Saturday, with Cain scheduled to run in the 800-meter race on the second day of the Pre Classic. Her personal best of 2:03.34 is just shy of the current 2:00.07 high school record.
If you can’t catch Cain at Hayward Field in Eugene this weekend, you still have another shot. The Pre Classic is the first of a trio of high-profile track meets taking place in Oregon during June; Cain has also committed to run the 5,000-meter race at the Portland Track Festival on June 8. The two-day meet opens June 7 and will be held on Eldon Fix Track at Lewis & Clark College.
But choose your schedule carefully.
While Cain has been drawing much-deserved attention, the NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships will be held June 5-8 in Eugene at Hayward Field. Tracktown USA comes to life for this event, and it will also give fans a look at some of the country’s rising track and field stars.
There’s no lack of track talent in Oregon this month. Just make sure to plan accordingly or you might miss it.