Tracy Kribs, Willamalane Special Events and Operations Program Manager volunteered with the relay race, giving racers final instructions before leaving the start/finish line.A student launches a Styrofoam rocket during the Run/Jump/Throw event on Thursday at Les Schwab Sports Park in Springfield. A student prepares to land during the long jump competition. From left, Olympian Sharrieffa Barksdale, Olympian Rose Monday and Robin Beaman of USA track and Field volunteered at the event, checking in student athletes.Kevin Suiter, Willamalane Customer Service and Membership Program Manager, left, and Adam Martell, Willamalane Recreation Supervisor volunteered to support student athletes.

SPRINGFIELD – Many of the participants at the RunJumpThrow event Thursday at Les Schwab Sports Park know all about Steve Prefontaine – especially after winning tickets to the annual Prefontaine Classic over the weekend.

“They know him pretty well but we do get some good questions about Pre, too,” said David Kieffer, Willamalane program manager. “Pre established quite a legacy here, and this is an opportunity to showcase that legacy. It’s a very cool connection that we have here as a state.” 

A pair of RunJumpThrow events on Thursday, May 26 – along with the Pre Classic Youth Meet on Saturday, May 28 – were contested, with each athlete receiving two tickets to the Prefontaine Classic. 

“We had 85 kids here, ages 6-13, and we’re really honored to be hosting this event along with USA Track & Field,” Kieffer said. 

“The track and field events that are happening, they approached us to be able to put on an event for our local youth and we were fortunate to be able to work with them and to have the great facility to host it and great team of people to make it happen.” 

For Kieffer, just being part of this summer’s track & field extravaganza, with teams from around the globe coming to visit, is enough for him.

“Really honored to be a part of all of it,” he said.