Steve's College Running Career consisted of entering the University of Oregon in the fall of 1969 and graduating in the summer of 1974, he won seven NCAA titles (three in cross country (1970, '71, '73), and four in the three-mile in track (1970 (13:22.0), '71 (13:20.2), '72 (14:01.4-5K) and '73 (12:53.4)--the first collegian to accomplish the feat in track and the second ever in cross country). In Pac-8 Conference track competition, he won 3-mile titles in 1970 (13:27.4), '71 (13:18.0), '72 (13:32.2) and '73 (13:10.4) and also the mile title in 1971 (4:01.5). In his first outdoor track race, he won the 2-mile (8:40.40.0) at a triangular against Fresno State and Stanford at Fresno, Calif., on March 21, 1970. Later in that first track season, he clocked 3:57.4 for the mile at the Oregon Twilight (6/5/70), finishing second and setting an Oregon freshman record and a then-personal best. Adding to those victories' drama, Pre's first NCAA 3-mile track title came with a dozen stitches in his foot after a diving board accident days before. The final cross country win came after making up a 100-yard deficit on Western Kentucky's English distance star Nick Rose. At the close of his collegiate career he had set nine collegiate track records. Pre's first-year notoriety earned him. Pre raced at Hayward Field in 38 races between 1970-75, losing only three times, all at one mile. His first loss came as a freshman at the Twilight Meet on 6/5/70, running an Oregon freshman record and then-PR of 3:57.4. As a sophomore, he finished second to teammate Arne Kvalheim at the Twilight Meet (6/6/71) in a time of 3:57.4. He lost his other race in front of Pre's People in one of the greatest mile races ever. In a rare appearance as a rabbit, Prefontaine paced '72 Olympic 800 gold medalist Dave Wottle through an attempt at the American record on June 20, 1973. Pre led until 200 meters remaining and finished second in a PR of 3:54.6. Wottle kicked to the win in what was then the third-fastest American mile and a PR of 3:53.3.
ports Illustrated cover honors (6/15/70), showing him running on a ridge near Bowerman's house. Altogether, he never lost a race more than a mile in length as a Duck.