Steve Prefontaine

A timeline showing the life of Steve Prefontaine, the greatest distance runner in American history.

Political

Vietnam War

1955 - 1975

John F. Kennedy

1961 - 1963

Lyndon B. Johnson

1963 - 1968

Richard Nixon

1968 - 1974

Gerald Ford

1974 - 1978

Social

Civil Rights Movement

1950 - 1965

Brown v. Board of Education

1954

Supreme Court orders school desegregation

Cultural

TV thrives: Radio Switches to Music

1954 - 2000

Marshfield HS

Marshfield High School

August 1965 - June 1969

Joins XC team

August 1, 1965

Last High School Race

June 14, 1969

Golden West Invitational-1st Place Mile Run

University of Oregon

University of Oregon

June 1969 - December 1973

First International Competition

July 19, 1969

USA vs. USSR - 5th Place 5000m

NCAA Outdoor Track Championships

June 20, 1970

1st Place - 3 Mile Run

NCAA Cross Country Championships

November 23, 1970

1st Place

NCAA Outdoor Track Championships

June 19, 1971

1st Place - 3 Mile Run

NCAA Cross Country Championships

November 22, 1971

1st Place

NCAA Outdoor Track Championships

June 3, 1972

1st Place - 5000m

NCAA Outdoor Track Championships

June 9, 1973

1st Place - 3 Mile Run

NCAA Cross Country Championships

November 19, 1973

Prefontaine, 145, winning the Nov 19, 1973 NCAA Cross Country Championships 6 mile race in a time of 28:14.8, at Hangman Valley, Spokane Washington, with Nick Rose (finished 2nd in background), University of Oregon athletic media services photo.

This was the third of three NCAA XC championships won by Pre. He won in 1970, 1971, and 1973. He remains the all-time highest-finishing NCAA XC championship top-ten winner, with four such finishes--he placed third in 1969. The six-mile distance was run 1965 to 1975. The NCAA XC race has run the 10,000 meter distance 1976 to the present (6.21 miles). Four miles was the distance run 1938 to 1964.

By the time he finished his career at Oregon University Pre had won seven NCAA national titles: Three in cross country, 1970, 1971, (he did not compete in the fall of 1972) and 1973 and four in the three-mile in track, ‘70, ‘71, ‘72, and ‘73. Prefontaine was the first athlete to win four consecutive NCAA track titles in the same event.

Olympics

Munich Massacre

September 5, 1972


Murder of 11 Israeli athletes by the Palestinian terrorist group "Black September". After a 24 hour stoppage, the Olympic games continue.

1972 Olympic Games

September 10, 1972


Pre finishes in 4th place finish in 5000m finals at the 1972 Olympic Games

Oregon Track Club

Oregon Track Club

January 1, 1974 - May 30, 1975

Pre's Last Race

May 29, 1975

1st Place-5000 meters

Life Events

Birth

1/25/1951

Born in Coos Bay, Oregon

Graduation

December 1973

Graduates with a degree in Broadcast Communications

Pre Dies

5/30/1975

Car crash