Cross CountrySports

The next Pre?

Blair Ryan

How did Oregon freshman Jordan Hasay feel about her first collegiate race — thewomen’s 5,000m run — at Friday’s Bill Dellinger Invitational?

“It was pretty different,” Hasay confessed. “It was a lot tougher than I expected. Not really knowing all the girls in the front pack … in high school, you know the girls who are running in the front pack with you or there’s no one there. It was just different.”

Welcome to the next level.

Considered one of Oregon’s biggest recruiting coups — on the level of Galen Rupp and Steve Prefontaine — the Arroyo Grande, Calif., native needs little introduction. On the track, she’s a four-time California state 3,200m champion who holds the national prep record at 1,500m (4:14.50), set during the 2008 Olympic Trials to screaming — and fawning — crowds at Hayward Field. On the course, she’s a four-time state cross country champion who twice won the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championship, one of just six women ever to accomplish that feat.

Hasay came to Oregon with the greatest of expectations, and her transition to collegiate athletics has been nothing but smooth.

“Camp was awesome,” she said. “I really love the team, the transition has been great, and everything has been going great. It’s been a great experience.”

She certainly has left an impression on her teammates.

“She’s got a good work ethic,” Luke Puskedra said. “She’s the talk of the town, but for good reason.”

The transition to a higher level of athletics isn’t everything for Hasay, though; like many other freshmen, she is adjusting to the pressure of college classes. Hasay is a human physiology major, and she says she is no stranger to academic rigors. She was valedictorian of her Mission College Preparatory High School class, with a 4.51 GPA.

“College classes (have) been a little hectic,” Hasay said, “and we’re going to be missing some classes for traveling, so (I have to) deal with that. But just getting adjusted and, as far as training and getting along with the team, it’s been a great transition.

“I guess I’m surprised that things are going better than I thought they would. I’ve still got that learning curve to go as far as racing, but hopefully that’ll keep coming.”

The racing. Of course. Hasay finished sixth in her first collegiate race, jumping to the front of the lead pack early on, and then — as the pace picked up around the two-mile mark — not letting the leaders out of her sight. She was the second Duck to cross the finish line, after runner-up Alex Kosinski.

“She did a great job,” said head coach Vin Lananna. “She followed the race plan. She handled herself perfectly.”

“It was a good effort,” Hasay said in a moment of self-critiquing. “We’re definitely training really hard and it was a huge (personal record) for me. I’m happy with it, but I definitely want to improve on that.”

On another note, there were a few other Ducks who also made their initial appearances last Friday.

Freshman Taylor Wallace also ran in the Dellinger for her collegiate debut, finishing 24th overall as the Ducks’ fifth and final scorer.

Wallace attended Henley High School in Klamath Falls and won 13 state titles in cross country and track and field, including eight total at 1,500m and 3,000m. She finished 20th at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships last season.

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