Henry Marsh, running his final race at Hayward Field, pulled ahead with 80 meters to go to win the 3,000-meter steeplechase Saturday at the Prefontaine Classic track and field meet, a final tuneup for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Marsh, the 34-year-old American record-holder and eight-time national champion, was back in the pack most of the race.But he pulled into contention on the final backstretch, took the lead from Kregg Einspahr on the final hurdle and won in 8 minutes, 34.74 seconds - more than 22 seconds off his American mark.
Einspahr was second in 8:35.42.
Marsh, a longtime crowd favorite at the University of Oregon track, is retiring at the end of this season.
Mary Slaney breezed to victory in the women's mile and Kory Tarpenning soared 19 feet, 21/4 inches in the pole vault.
Slaney led from the start and was clocked in 4 minutes, 21.25 seconds, just 4.54 seconds off her world record of 4:16.71 set three years ago.
The mile was the first for the 30-year-old Slaney since she set the world mark in Zurich, Switzerland, in August, 1985.
Slaney, who holds every American women's record from 800 to 10,000 meters, is unbeaten in four track races this year, her first season of competition since 1985. She missed the 1986 season because of the birth of her daughter and was out last season with an Achilles tendon injury.
She wanted to break 4:20, but pronounced herself satisfied.
"I feel extremely strong," she said. "I have another two weeks of training (before the Olympic Trials) and this is the first week I've actually done any speed work."
Despite a sore right leg, Tarpenning managed a lifetime best on his final try at 19-2 1/4. The mark, a Hayward Field and meet record, was the second-best by an American this year, just short of Earl Bell's 19-3.
Tarpenning, a former University of Oregon competitor, missed three times at the American-record height of 19-7.
Brazilian Joaquim Cruz, the Olympic gold medalist at 800 meters, won the men's mile in a hand-timed 3:56.9, barely edging Jeff Atkinson, who finished in 3:57.2.
Lynn Nelson had one of the fastest times in the meet, winning the women's 5,000 in a hand-timed 15:12.7. The time was by far the fastest by an American this year and was only 6.17 seconds off Slaney's U.S. record.
Only four American women have run faster at that distance.
Francie Larrieu Smith, the 37-year-old 10-time national champion in three events, was second at 15:15.2.
American record-holder Judi Brown King barely held off NCAA champion Schowanda Williams to win the women's 400-meter hurdles.
King, running her specialty for the first time this year, had the lead on the final turn and was able to barely stay ahead of the fast-finishing Williams, the Louisiana State star.
Both King and Williams were clocked in 55.30 seconds.
Gwen Torrence blazed to a victory in the women's 100 meters in a wind-aided 10.87 seconds. Sheila Echols was second in 11.14.
In the triple jump, Kenny Harrison of Kansas State beat world record-holder Willie Banks for the second week in a row. Harrison, from Brookfield, Wis., won with a jump of 56-2. Banks was second with a wind-aided 55-9.
Last weekend at the Michelob Invitational in San Diego, Harrison won at 56-31/4 and Banks was fourth at 53-33/4.
Dwayne Evans won the men's 200 meters in 21.01 seconds. South Korean Chang Jae Kuen was second in 21.68.
Jill Smith of Oregon won the women's javelin in front of her home crowd with a personal best 183-8.