I can’t remember exactly where I found this picture, but I do remember thinking it was pretty cool to see a picture of Steve Prefontaine running a race in Corvallis during college, and I also thought it was cool that the runner from OSU was actually leading the race! I know this picture is from 1973, and if memory serves, this was the last race Prefontaine ever ran in Corvallis. I originally couldn’t find any info about this picture, such as who the OSU runner was and what the result of the race was. Then I found the picture on Flickr with some history behind it.
The date was May 5, 1973, and Bell Field on OSU’s campus (now where Dixon Rec Center is located) was the place for an Oregon-Oregon State dual meet with over 5,000 spectators in the stands. The event was the 3-mile race, and Pre ended up winning with a time of 13:27, followed by his trailer mate Pat Tyson, and then the OSU runner you see in this picture, Jose Amaya, ended up finishing third… a mere 34 seconds behind Pre! As a side note, some old Beaver faithful’s remember this race for a different reason! “The 3-mile event was marred when Oregon runner Randy James and OSU runner Randy Brown exchanged elbows off the turn. Then James came up behind Brown and pushed him off the track. Brown continued on with race while James walked off amid a chorus of boos from the OSU fans.” Sounds like the Ducks were “classy” back in the day, just as most are now!