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Steve Roland Prefontaine known in the track world as Pre was born in Coos Bay Oregon January 25 1951 He was the son of Raymond Prefontaine a carpenter and Elfriede Sehnholz a seamstress He had two sisters and was never married Prefontaine grew up speaking German and was teased at school This is what pushed him toward sports At Marshfield High School Prefontaine learned that track was a perfect sport for his small size and frame His sophomore year he joined the track team and by junior year he had begun to win major titles he had found his gift for running fast In 1968 Prefontaine was recognized as state champion in the two-mile and cross-country competitions He did this again during his senior year and set a national record two-mile run at 8415 seven seconds under the previous record The race has now been cut down to 3200 meters securing Prefontaines impression in history In 1969 Prefontaine graduated from highschool and went to University of Oregon He earned his BS in 1973 While at the University he was trained by the legendary coach Bill Bowerman and finished third as a freshman in the National Collegiate Athletic Association cross-country championships He never lost another race while attending the school From 1970-1973 he was the Pacific Eight Conference and NCAA cross-country champion and in 1970 and 1973 he took his school to the team championship In 1972 he set the US and NCAA records for 5000 meters and in 1973 he set US and NCAA records for six miles While at University of Oregon Prefontaine was Pacific Eight Conference three-mile champion all four years and the mile champion in 1971 Prefontaine was better at running long distances fast but did make a few accomplishments in short distance races His best time for running a mile was 3456 During his brief 24-year life span Prefontaine made many accomplishments In 1974 Track and Field News named Prefontaine the
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