EUGENE, Ore. – Stillwater native and former Gophers athlete Ben Blankenship was the top finishing American at the prestigious and meet-ending Bowerman men's mile on Saturday in the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field.
Blankenship, a two-time All-America for the Gophers, was one of 12 competitors who finished under the 4-minute barrier. The 26-year-old tied for seventh with a time of 3 minutes, 53.83 seconds. His personal best is 3:53.13.
"I was hoping to be more in front," Blankenship said afterward. "Honestly, I thought I could walk in and kind of steal the show a little bit. I felt like I was strong enough. Then I missed a move and in kind of cost me over the last 200, 100."
Asbel Kiprop of Kenya, the world's top miler, won the event in 3:51.54.
In other events, American Justin Gatlin won the men's 100 meters in 9.88 seconds. Jamaica's Asafa Powell was second in 9.94, and American Tyson Gay third in 9.98. Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion in the 100, won at the meet for the sixth time. At 34, he will return to Hayward in early July for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Gatlin joked after his race that he was upstaged by Kendra Harrison after she set the American record in the women's 100 hurdles in 12.24 — the second-fastest time ever.
"She stole my thunder, man, rightfully so," Gatlin said. "American record on a one-ff race, here at Prefontaine. It's an amazing feat, especially with the women's hurdles. It's a grab bag. You don't even know who's gonna win. Watching her do that today? That's amazing."
It was a meet filled with records on the women's side.
Bahrain's Ruth Jebet set Hayward, meet and Asian records in the 3,000 steeplechase in 8:59.97, edging Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng (9:00.01), who broke the African record.
Jebet ran the second-fastest time ever, missing the world record by 1.16 seconds. Emma Coburn set an American record, taking third in 9:10.76.
Kenya's Faith Chepnget Kipyegon won the 1,500 in 3:56.41, the fastest time ever in the United States.
Vashti Cunningham, the 18-year-old daughter of former Vikings quarterback Randall Cunningham, was fifth in the high jump at 6 feet, 3½ inches. That was well off the 6-6 ¼ she cleared to win the world indoor championship, as the youngest woman ever to win at that meet.
Chaunte Lowe won the high jump at 6-4 ¾.
Former University of Oregon athlete English Gardner won the women's 100 in 10.81 on her former home track, just 0.02 off her personal best. Other women's winners included Tori Bowie (200) and Shaunae Miller (400).