Steve Prefontaine sets a Los Angeles Arena record at the Sunkist Invitational Indoor Track and Field Meet two-mile Race January 20, 1973

Steve Prefontaine sets a meet and Los Angeles Arena record of 8:27.4 at the Sunkist Invitational Indoor Track and Field Meet two-mile race January 20, 1973. His time was 0.2 second short of the US record set by Frank Shorter in 1971. This 1973 race had a stellar cast of entrants.


This was an interesting race in that Lasse Viren was in the field--Viren won the 5000m of the 1972 Munich Olympics the prior summer after a back and forth contest with Pre that led to Pre's 4th place finish as he faded at the end. Viren also won gold in the Munich 10,000 final.


This 2-mile race finishing order:


1. Pre (U of Oregon) 8:27.4

2. Marty Liquori (NYAC) 8:38.8

3. Tracy Smith (unattached, LAPD) 8:38.8 (same time as Liquori)

4. Peter Kaal (Pacific Coast Club, S. Africa) 8:40.2

5. Frank Shorter (FL TC) 8:40.6 - US record holder with 8:26.2

6. Lasse Viren (Finland) 8:49.0 - suffered from dysentary


There were at least two other entrants who ran in this race, but I can find no record of their names. One of them is the runner in blue and red following Pre in the above photo.


Pre competed in the 2-mile event in three Sunkist meets, winning them all:


1973 - Steve Prefontaine ( Oregon ), 8:27.4 Meet Record

1974 - Steve Prefontaine ( Oregon TC), 8:33.0

1975 - Steve Prefontaine ( Oregon TC), 8:24.4, Americsn Record

king coby and majorestes faved this
  • D-WOOD 3y

    Considering this photo was taken in 1973, indoors, with fast action, this photo is amazingly crisp. It's like a high end digital photo of today.
  • D-WOOD 3y

    Does anyone remember in the 80s and 90s at the Sunkist Meet, during the high school relays, they had a guy dressed up in a red spandex devil suit, with horns and a pitch fork? He would run onto the track during the relays and literally snatch the last place runner off the track. So funny!!! There would be so many lawsuits today.
  • The Happy Rower 3y

    Can't say I knew that, but then, my frame of reference ends about 1980!
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