University of Oregon’s English Gardner ends season on high note
After a long and rigorous indoor and outdoor track season, the Oregon women saw all the months of hard work catch up to them at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships held this weekend at Hayward Field.
Less than a month after finishing as the NCAA runner-ups, the Duck women saw mixed results over the weekend, which included a lackluster showing from All-American Jordan Hasay and a nagging knee injury that kept freshman English Gardner out of the 200-meter dash.
Hasay, who barely qualified for the final spot in the senior women’s 1,500m, went on to finish ninth in the final, capping what was otherwise an outstanding sophomore campaign.
Gardner on the other hand, who was still nursing a knee injury suffered at the NCAAs, narrowly lost a tough race in the junior women’s 100m. After Gardner won her semi-final heat early in the morning, she wasn’t able to hold off Central Florida freshman Aurieyall Scott @@http://ucfathletics.cstv.com/sports/w-track/mtt/scott_aurieyall00.html@@ in the final as the two crossed the line in 11.18 and 11.12, respectively.
“Can’t ask for more,” Gardner said. “I went out there and did everything I was supposed to do. Sometimes you just come up short. It was just one of those days.”
Following her second-place finish and berth to the Pan American Junior Athletics Championships, held July 22-24 in Miramar, Fla., Gardner withdrew from Saturday’s 200m semi-final, and said the 100m marked the conclusion of her freshman season.@@http://www.usatf.org/events/2011/PanAmericanJuniorAthleticsChampionships/index.asp@@
“I’m not where I want to be,” Gardner said. “It’s just one of those things where you’ve got be smart about it, listen to your body, and say ‘OK, I hear you. I’m going to take a break.’”
Elsewhere in the junior meet, Oregon freshman Phyllis Francis also qualified for the Pan American Games by running a personal best in the 400m for the second day in a row. Francis crossed the line in 52.93, which was good enough for second place behind Kansas’ Diamond Dixon in 52.67.@@http://www.kuathletics.com/sports/c-track/mtt/dixon_diamond00.html@@
Francis’ mark was the seventh-fastest women’s 400m time in school history.
“I was starting to get scared when I saw how far behind I was, but I made sure to turn it on the last leg and finish strong,” Francis said. “I am happy with the outcome, seeing as I am more of a 4×400 meter and 800 meter racer. I have some fine-tuning to do before the Pan-Am.”
Former Oregon standout Rachel Yurkovich will be representing Team USA in South Korea in September after she took second in the senior women’s javelin throw with a mark of 180 feet, two inches.@@http://www.goducks.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=500&ATCLID=194571@@
Future Duck Jenna Prandini made some noise in the junior women’s long jump, taking home the individual title with a leap of 20-5 3/4. Prandini also placed fifth in the junior 200m in 23.75, proving she will be able to contribute in both horizontal jumps and short relays for the Ducks next year.@@http://www.ksee24.com/sports/95057589.html@@
Hasay named Academic All-American of the Year
Hasay continued to add to her already overwhelming resume as she was tabbed the national Academic All-American of the Year for Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country, the College Sports Information Directors of America announced on Thursday.
She and teammate Anne Kesselring were chosen for the 2011 Capital One Academic All-America Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country teams, which gave Oregon six Academic All-Americans this year, an all-time high for the University.
The human physiology major carries a 3.96 grade point average in becoming the first sophomore ever to be named the as the nation Capital One Academic All-American of the Year in any NCAA Sport.
Hasay is just the third Duck selected as a national Academic All-American of the year, joining Galen Rupp (men’s track & field/cross country, 2009) and Bill Musgrave (football, 1990).
Named as the USTFCCCA National Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, Hasay won three Pacific-10 Conference championships this year. In addition to the Pac-10 cross country title, she also garnered victories in the 1500m and the 5,000m runs.
“As always, I am extremely honored to represent the University of Oregon,” Hasay said in a press release. “I’m so thankful to my teammates, coaches and staff at the University who always lift me up and inspire me.
“We have had a great season and have really come together as a team. I’m looking forward to being a part of this team for the years to come and hopefully accomplishing even more exciting things.”