2023 Prefontaine Classic

Jakob Ingebrigtsen Leans To Win, Grant Fisher Breaks 3000m American Record

Jakob Ingebrigtsen Leans To Win, Grant Fisher Breaks 3000m American Record

Jakob Ingebrigtsen leaned at the tape to earn the Diamond League title while American Grant Fisher surged to break his American record in the men's 3000m.

Sep 17, 2023 by Joe Battaglia
Jakob Ingebrigtsen Leans To Win, Grant Fisher Breaks 3000m American Record

EUGENE -- Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway leaned at the tape to earn his second Diamond League title of the weekend while American Grant Fisher surged behind to break his own American record in the men's 3000m at the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field.

It took every ounce of energy Ingebrigtsen had left to outlean Ethiopia's Yomif Kejelcha at the line for the victory in 7:23.63, a time which broke the Diamond League record, took down Eliud Kipchoge's meet record of 7:35.44 from 2005, and edged the European record of 7:24.00.

“I’m just focusing on myself and trying to run as fast as I can, and if it was a goal to break the records in any events, I would probably do things differently," Ingebrigtsen said. "But I think I’m definitely going to improve in the future if I continue doing what it takes in my training and obviously believing in my work and in myself. I think times will come when I run faster in everything.”

Kejelcha was one-hundredth of a second behind Ingebrigtsen in 7:23.64, a new Ethiopian national record.

The race at the front figured to come down to Ingebrigtsen, who won the Bowerman Mile on Saturday, and Kejelcha, the two-time indoor world champion at this distance, in the end, and it did.

Ingebrigtsen hit the bell in 6:29 with Kejelcha right on his heels. The Ethiopian pulled up on his shoulder with 200m to go but Ingebrigtsen was able to stave off the challenge. As the two continued to battle down the final straight, the Norwegian somewhat wisely tried to force Kejelcha to the outside, keeping him at bay. He glanced over his right shoulder three times in the final 25 meters, which provided Kejelcha a small window of opportunity, but he was unable to capitalize.


After the race, Kejelcha felt like he made a tactical error earlier that might have cost him the title.

“I should have gone out with seven or five laps to go because I was in a very good condition, but I didn’t make that," he said through an interpreter. "That’s a very big mistake.”

Meanwhile, Fisher kicked from fifth place at the bell up into third, crossing in 7:25.47, lowering the national record of 7:28.48 he set at the Diamond League meet in Monaco last summer.

“Usually at this point, you’re kind of tapering down, you’re getting tired," Fisher said. "I was hurt in the middle of the year, not the best timing, but it gave me an opportunity to do something cool, to end on a positive note and feel good. Now it’s time to downcycle and get ready for the big one next year.”

Fisher has had a very atypical season while rehabbing a stress reaction in his femur. The injury required him to take a month off from running completely before building back up again. He missed out on the World Championships, finishing fourth in the 10,000m at the U.S. Championships and failing to make the team. 


But he had a solid performance at the Weltklasse Zurich meeting on August 31, finishing third in the 5000m in 12:54.59. Getting one more opportunity to add to a positive foundation heading into the Olympic year was really all he could have asked for.

“I expected just to get a few races in at the end and try to feel like myself again, but it turned out way better than I expected it," Fisher said. "I wouldn’t say it was a blessing in disguise because I really wish I was better at USAs and could make it to Worlds, but I’m pretty happy with how I rolled with the punches and the team around me helped me get back on my feet.

“A lot of things clicked at the end here. Coming home, back in familiar territory, got some friends and family here, good home crowd, and finish it off with an American record. It doesn’t get much better than that, so I’m happy.”