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Prefontaine , Steve R.
Steve R. Prefontaine was born January 25, 1951 in Coos Bay, Oregon and died May 30, 1975 in a single car accident at the age of 24. He attended Marshfield High School from 1965 to 1969 and won 2 high school state cross country championships in (1967 & 1968.) In 1969, he participated in the Spartan Track & Field Meet in Corvallis and won his race while setting the high school 2-mile record in a time of 8:41.5 seconds. After high school he accepted an invitation from Bill Bowerman to run track at the University of Oregon where he went on to become the most celebrated American distance runner ever. During his collegiate career he was a 3-time NCAA Cross Country Champion (1970,71,73), 4-time NCAA 3-mile champion (1970-73), and placed 4th in the 5000 meters at the 1972 Olympics. Before his spectacular career came to an end he held every American from 2000 meters to 10,000 meters (14 American records.) He won the AAU 3-mile in 1971 and 1973 and won the Pan Am Games 5000 in 1971. On May 29, 1975 he ran his last race at Hayward Field in Eugene and set an American record in the 3-mile with a time of 12:51.4 seconds. He died the next day. Since his death, Prefontaine has been honored by induction into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, and the National High School Sports Hall of Fame.