Someone once asked me who I felt the greatest athlete to come out of state of Oregon was. Now we're not talking someone from California who went to college for four years in Oregon, we're talking the best Oregon raised athlete. To me that answer is simple and it cannot be debated. The greatest athlete ever to come out of the state of Oregon is Steve Prefontaine.
Born and raised in Coos Bay, Oregon Pre was the greatest American distance runner ever. In his college career he won seven NCAA titles, three in Cross Country and four in the three mile becoming the first athlete to win four consecutive titles in one event. In his college career he set nine collegiate records and never lost a race of a distance more than one mile. He raced in thirty eight races at historic Hayward field from 1970-1975 and won thirty five of those, the three that he didn't win were all at the one mile distance. In his only Olympics at the the age of 21 he finished fourth in a field that he was at least two years younger than everyone else. Had he race in 1976 he would have been the favorite to win gold.
In 1975 Pre was killed in a car accident. At the time of his death he held every American record from 2000-10000 meters.
Information from goducks.com was used to complete this post