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 Steve Roland “Pre” Prefontaine

Steve Roland “Pre” Prefontaine

Coos Bay, Coos County, Oregon, USA
Death 30 May 1975 (aged 24)
Eugene, Lane County, Oregon, USA
Burial Coos Bay, Coos County, Oregon, USA
Memorial ID 5917 · View Source
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Distance Runner, Athlete. Born in Coos Bay, Oregon, he was a champion runner who held the American record in seven different distance track events. He began running when he joined the high school cross country team in 1965. Going on to be a standout track athlete at the University of Oregon, he never lost a collegiate (NCAA) race at 5,000 meters or 10,000 meters. Plus he set the American record in the 5,000 meter race and won 120 of the 153 races he ran. At the 1971 Pan American Games in Cali, he won the gold medal 5,000 meter race and ran for the US team at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. Following his collegiate career at Oregon, he set American records in every race from 2000 to 10,000 meters. After an event while preparing for 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, he died at the age of 24 in an auto accident near Eugene, Oregon. Prefontaine's life story was depicted in the films "Prefontaine" (1997), "Without Limits" (1998) and the documentary “Fire on the Track”. He is also a member of the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame and the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith


Steve R. Prefontaine
Jan. 25, 1951 - May 30, 1975
Our beloved son and brother
who raced through life
now rests in peace


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 20 Jul 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5917
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Steve Roland “Pre” Prefontaine (25 Jan 1951–30 May 1975), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5917, citing Sunset Memorial Park, Coos Bay, Coos County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .