2022 Prefontaine Classic Women’s Recap: Kipyegon Cruises, Thompson-Herah Wins, & Sha’Carri Richardson Looks Good

By LetsRun.com
May 28, 2022

EUGENE, Ore. – It was a good day for the women’s favorites and stars at the 2022 Prefontaine Classic as quadruple Olympic champ Elaine Thompson-Herah won the women’s 100, double Olympic champ Faith Kipyegon won the women’s 1500, double Olympic champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the women’s 200. Norah Jeruto, the world’s best steeplechaser, won the steeplechase and Keely Hodgkinson won the women’s 800. We recap the entire women’s meet for you below starting with the distances.

You can find our men’s recap here and all of our coverage of the 2022 Prefontaine Classic here.

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Women’s 1500:  Faith Kipyegon dominates, Sinclaire Johnson runs huge pb for 4th

The women’s 1500 quickly became a two-woman race as Olympic champ Faith Kipyegon and World Indoor champ Gudaf Tsegay were the only two to follow the aggressive early pace and by 800 (2:03.9) they were clear of the field and would only lengthen the gap on the way home. Tsegay tried her best to drop Kipyegon on the final lap, but to no avail as Kipyegon blew by her on the back straight and streaked home to break her own meet record of 3:53.23 set last year, running 3:52.59 thanks to a 60.4 last lap. 

Behind Tsegay (3:54.21), there was a big gap back to the chase pack, which was led for a time by Olympic silver medalist Laura Muir. But Muir would totally crater on the way in, running her last lap in 67 seconds to finish 11th in 4:04.45. Instead, it was Canadian record holder Gabriela DeBues-Stafford who took third in 3:58.62.

With many of the top Americans entered, the race served as a de facto preview of USAs. Sinclaire Johnson ran the best race of her life so far to take top American honors in 4th, running a 4+ second pb of 3:58.85 to become the 10th American woman under 4:00. Reigning US champ Elle Purrier St. Pierre also got under 4:00, running 3:59.68 for 6th while Olympian Cory McGee was 9th in 4:00.34. This was the first time two Americans broke 4:00 in the same race since Shelby Houlihan and Jenny Simpson did it in the 2019 World Championship final.

1. Faith KIPYEGON 10 JAN 1994 KEN 3:52.59
2. Gudaf TSEGAY 23 JUN 1997 ETH 3:54.21
3. Gabriela DEBUES-STAFFORD 13 SEP 1995 CAN 3:58.62
4. Sinclaire JOHNSON 14 APR 1998 USA 3:58.85
5. Jessica HULL 22 OCT 1996 AUS 3:59.31
6. Elle ST. PIERRE 20 FEB 1995 USA 3:59.68
7. Freweyni HAILU 12 FEB 2001 ETH 3:59.97
8. Winnie NANYONDO 23 AUG 1993 UGA 4:00.25
9. Cory Ann MCGEE 29 MAY 1992 USA 4:00.34
10. Gaia SABBATINI 10 JUN 1999 ITA 4:01.93
11. Laura MUIR 09 MAY 1993 GBR 4:04.45
12. Aurore FLEURY 04 DEC 1993 FRA 4:05.80
13. Josette NORRIS 15 DEC 1995 USA 4:06.13
14. Tigist KETEMA 15 SEP 1998 ETH 4:06.59
15. Nozomi TANAKA 04 SEP 1999 JPN 4:07.43
Shannon OSIKA 15 JUN 1993 USA DNF

Quick Take: Faith Kipyegon remains the greatest female miler in the world

Kipyegon broke 4:00 for the first time back in 2013, running 3:56.98 as a 19-year-old. Since then, she’s been a fixture atop the sport and now, at 28, is showing no signs of slowing down. Her 3:52.59 today was her second-fastest time of her career. She told us afterwards she’d like to take a crack at Genzebe Dibaba’s 3:50.07 world record.

Quick Take: Sinclaire Johnson was far from surprised about the sub-4 and is thriving under Pete Julian’s training

Women’s 800: Hodgkinson wins second DL in eight days

With Athing Mu withdrawing after recently testing positive for COVID, Olympic silver medalist Keely Hodgkinson was expected to win here and she did so in impressive fashion, pulling away over the final 100 meters to run near-even splits of 58.8-58.9 en route to a world-leading 1:57.72. It was not as dominant a showing as a week ago in Birmingham, however, as World Indoor champ Ajee’ Wilson ran well and was actually closing the gap on Hodgkinson in the final meters. Wilson took second in 1:58.06 – her fastest time since July 2019 – as Olympic bronze medalist Raevyn Rogers was third in 1:58.44.

1. Keely HODGKINSON 03 MAR 2002 GBR 1:57.72
2. Ajee WILSON 08 MAY 1994 USA 1:58.06
3. Raevyn ROGERS 07 SEP 1996 USA 1:58.44
4. Natoya GOULE 30 MAR 1991 JAM 1:59.39
5. Sage HURTA 23 JUN 1998 USA 1:59.59
6. Halimah NAKAAYI 16 OCT 1994 UGA 1:59.94
7. Allie WILSON 31 MAR 1996 USA 2:00.15
8. Jemma REEKIE 06 MAR 1998 GBR 2:00.53
9. Michaela MEYER 04 JUL 1998 USA 2:01.31

Quick Take: Hodgkinson was brilliant again

The 800 can be a tough event for a young athlete to master, but the 20-year-old Hodgkinson has looked totally at ease with DL wins in Birmingham and Eugene in an eight-day span. Of course, it helps when you’re also the fittest woman in the field.

Quick Take: Wilson might have benefitted from running closer to the front in this one

Wilson made her bones as a front-runner earlier in her career, but as she ages she has been more willing to employ different styles as a racer. Today, she went out at the very back as she was in last place at the bell. That can be an effective way to run – there are many ways to win an 800m race – but it was not the best strategy against Hodgkinson, who has terrific 400 speed and is a great closer. 

Wilson admitted afterward she didn’t plan on going out in the back. Coach Derek Thompson told her to be no farther back than 4th at the bell so she’ll work on that for next time. Wilson was only half a second behind Hodgkinson at the bell, but was six places behind her and had to navigate a lot of traffic on the way home.

That said, Wilson has to be pleased with where her fitness is right now. Her last lap of 58.8 was slightly faster than Hodgkinson’s but she just couldn’t overcome the initial deficit she inherited at the bell. Beating Rogers is a nice plus as well.

Quick Take: Raevyn Rogers says her training has been going really well and acted like a 1:55 pb was no big deal (her pb is 1:56.81)

Women’s steeple: Norah Jeruto stays hot as Americans finish well back

American stars Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs both lined up for this one but were dropped before the 1k mark. There was a good reason for that – the first kilometer was run in 2:57.05, or 8:51 pace – but even as the pace slowed up front, the Americans could not make headway. Kazakhstan’s Norah Jeruto, the 2021 Pre and Diamond League champ, earned another win in 8:57.97 – the world’s first sub-9:00 clocking of 2022 – and was followed in by Bahrain’s Winfred Yavi (8:58.71), who became the seventh woman in history to break 9:00.

Coburn and Frerichs came home almost 20 seconds later as the three Americans in the field – Coburn (9:18.19), Frerichs (9:20.96), and Katie Rainsberger (9:32.13) – took the last three places. For Rainsberger, at least, the time wasn’t too far off her 9:30.18 pb.

1. Norah JERUTO 02 OCT 1995 KAZ 8:57.97
2. Winfred Mutile YAVI 31 DEC 1999 BRN 8:58.71
3. Mekides ABEBE 29 JAN 2001 ETH 9:03.26
4. Peruth CHEMUTAI 10 JUL 1999 UGA 9:05.54
5. Workua GETACHEW 07 DEC 1995 ETH 9:07.81
6. Celliphine Chepteek CHESPOL 23 MAR 1999 KEN 9:10.17
7. Jackline CHEPKOECH 03 OCT 2003 KEN 9:15.97
8. Emma COBURN 19 OCT 1990 USA 9:18.19
9. Courtney FRERICHS 18 JAN 1993 USA 9:20.96
10. Katie RAINSBERGER 18 AUG 1998 USA 9:32.13

Quick Take: Coburn and Frerichs have a lot of work to do

Coburn and Frerichs have been among the top steeplers in the world for the last five years, so to see them get trounced in this race – the 2022 steeple opener for both women – was quite surprising. Coburn, especially, usually starts pretty fast. In her eight career steeple openers, Coburn has only run slower than today on two occasions – one was 2014 in Shanghai (a race Coburn won) and the other was 2015 at USAs in the semifinals (Coburn made the final easily). To start off in 9:18 in a race won in 8:57 is quite a surprise.

That said, Coburn and Frerichs both have a strong record when it comes to championship performances and have earned some benefit of the doubt (either one or the other has medalled at each of the last four global champs). But right now there’s a big gap between them and the top women in the world.

Coburn told us she’d give herself a B or B- in this one which she pretty much ran solo from start to finish. Her last kilometer wasn’t as strong as she would have liked, but she was still relatively upbeat about things and told us yesterday her last 20 weeks have been the best training of her career.

As for Frerichs, said she’s been struggling with low iron levels and was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease, which make low iron tough to cope with. Add in the fact that the BTC loves to train at altitude which requires high iron stores and it’s even tricker. She said experts at USATF have really helped her get things under control though through regular testing.

She also noted that 9:20 doesn’t sound fast but it’s pretty close to where she normally opens up.

We looked it up. She is correct. Here is how she has opened up during their careers.

Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs’ steeple openers as professionals

Year Coburn Frerichs
2014 9:19.80 (May 14) N/A
2015 9:36.90 (June 25*) N/A
2016 9:10.76 (May 28) N/A
2017 9:14.53 (May 5) 9:54.91 (May 5)
2018 9:08.13 (May 31) 9:20.84 (June 7)
2019 9:08.42 (June 13) 9:09.75 (June 30)
2021 9:08.22 (May 28) 9:27.70 (May 9)
2022 9:18.19 (May 28) 9:20.96 (May 28)

In 2017, Frerichs opened up at 9:54 in Doha and only ran 9:19 at Pre on May 26, but ended up with WC silver.


Women’s 100: Elaine Thompson-Herah wins comfortably as Sha’Carri Richardson looks good

For the second time in 10 months, the Olympic champ Elaine Thompson-Herah took on American superstar Sha’Carri Richardson at Hayward Field. For the second time in 10 months, Thompson-Herah emerged victorious, but this time Richardson – who finished dead last in their previous encounter – was far more competitive, taking second in 10.92 to Thompson-Herah’s 10.79.

Considering conditions weren’t great for sprinting (cool and overcast in the low-60s, +0.7 wind), 10.92 is a nice time for Richardson, particularly when you consider she beat the reigning Olympic bronze medalist Shericka Jackson (also 10.92) and world silver medalist Dina Asher-Smith (10.98). 

1. Elaine THOMPSON-HERAH 28 JUN 1992 JAM 10.79
2. Sha’Carri RICHARDSON 25 MAR 2000 USA 10.92
3. Shericka JACKSON 16 JUL 1994 JAM 10.92
4. Dina ASHER-SMITH 04 DEC 1995 GBR 10.98
5. Twanisha TERRY 24 JAN 1999 USA 10.98
6. Marie-Josée TA LOU 18 NOV 1988 CIV 11.07
7. Mujinga KAMBUNDJI 17 JUN 1992 SUI 11.11
8. Teahna DANIELS 25 MAR 1997 USA 11.13
9. Briana WILLIAMS 21 MAR 2002 JAM 11.20

Quick Take: This was a big step forward for Richardson

Two weeks ago, Sha’Carri Richardson was a massive question mark. She had withdrawn from three meets in 2022 without any explanation and it was unclear if or when she would race at all. She returned last week running 11.37 and 11.27 in less-than-ideal conditions in Jacksonville, losing to three fellow Americans in the first race.

But today’s run was a reminder of just how talented Richardson is. Challenging Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at Worlds is, frankly, an unfair expectation for Richardson – they’re the two greatest 100-meter runners of all time. But outside of those two, no one in the world right now has more potential than Richardson, and today’s race was a big step toward realizing that potential.

Unfortunately, she didn’t talk to to the media today, walking through the mixed zone saying, “No thank you, no thank you.”

Elaine Thompson-Herah said a shoulder injury is what’s been bothering her and kept her out of Birmingham

Dina Asher-Smith said she was happy with her improved start but needs to work on her finish

Women’s 100 hurdles: Camacho-Quinn wins it

Olympic champ Jasmine Camacho-Quinnb rebounded from a surprise loss at home in Puerto Rico on May 12 to take the win in this non-Diamond League event over Olympic 4th placer Tobi Amusan in 12.45.

1. Jasmine CAMACHO-QUINN 21 AUG 1996 PUR 12.45
2. Tobi AMUSAN 23 APR 1997 NGR 12.58
3. Tonea MARSHALL 17 DEC 1998 USA 12.66
4. Cindy SEMBER 05 AUG 1994 GBR 12.69
5. Danielle WILLIAMS 14 SEP 1992 JAM 12.71
6. Gabriele CUNNINGHAM 22 FEB 1998 USA 12.75
7. Nia ALI 23 OCT 1988 USA 12.77
8. Kendra HARRISON 18 SEP 1992 USA 12.78
9. Anna COCKRELL 28 AUG 1997 USA 12.84

Women’s 200: Fraser-Pryce takes it

Fraser-Pryce wants to work on her speed endurance more in 2022, thus why she was in the non-DL 200 today rather than the 100 against Thompson-Herah and Richardson. Though Oregon favorite Jenna Prandini was in contention after running a great bend, it was all SAFP by the finish as she won comfortably in 22.41. Surprisingly, no one else ran faster than 22.74 despite a friendly +0.8 wind.

1. Shelly-Ann FRASER-PRYCE 27 DEC 1986 JAM 22.41
2. Brittany BROWN 18 APR 1995 USA 22.74
3. Anthonique STRACHAN 22 AUG 1993 BAH 22.76
4. Jenna PRANDINI 20 NOV 1992 USA 22.77
5. Tamara CLARK 09 JAN 1999 USA 22.77
6. Cambrea STURGIS 27 MAR 1999 USA 22.85
7. Mujinga KAMBUNDJI 17 JUN 1992 SUI 22.88
8. Dezerea BRYANT 27 APR 1993 USA 22.91
9. Shawnti JACKSON 02 MAY 2005 USA 23.28

Field Events

Women’s long jump: Sagnia wins first career DL

28-year-old Khaddi Sagnia of Sweden, who was 9th at the Olympics last year, earned her first career Diamond League victory, adding two centimeters to her pb with her second-round jump of 6.95m, a mark that would hold up for the win.

1. Khaddi SAGNIA 20 APR 1994 SWE 6.95 +1.0
2. Ese BRUME 20 JAN 1996 NGR 6.82 +1.9
3. Tara DAVIS 20 MAY 1999 USA 6.73 +1.7
4. Quanesha BURKS 15 MAR 1995 USA 6.70 +2.3
5. Ivana VULETA 10 MAY 1990 SRB 6.40 -0.1
6. Rhesa FOSTER 25 MAY 1998 USA 6.16 +0.5
Lorraine UGEN 22 AUG 1991 GBR NM NWI
Quanesha BURKS 15 MAR 1995 USA 6.66 +0.3

Talk about the meet on our world-famous fan forum / messageboard:

More: Men’s Recap here: 2022 Pre Classic Men’s Recap: Ingebrigtsen Cruises, Aregawi Dominates, & Michael Norman Is Back Berihu Aregawi won the 5k by 16+ seconds while Norman broke the Diamond League record in the 400 (43.60) and high schooler Colin Sahlman ran 3:56.24.

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