Cross CountrySports

Hasay has Ducks in hunt

Blair Ryan

Jordan Hasay has been an inspiration to her teammates. No surprise there.

The freshman from Arroyo Grande, Calif., Oregon track’s most important recruit since Galen Rupp, firmly established herself within the women’s cross country team from day one. On the course, she has joined senior Nicole Blood and junior Alex Kosinski at the front of the Ducks’ top seven runners. Off the course, her sunny disposition has made her a favorite of teammates and coaches alike.

Nevertheless, it’s surprising to hear Kosinski, a two-time cross country All-American and ninth-place finisher at the Pacific-10 Conference Championships, say that Hasay “has helped me be a better runner.”

“She’s really good at paying attention to the little details of running, (like) stretching and icing (down after a run),” Kosinski said.

Need a name for this phenomenon? Call it the Hasay Effect.

As Oregon enters the championship portion of its season, the Hasay Effect has already taken place. Facing the daunting challenge of taking on Washington head-to-head at Pac-10s, where the Huskies swept the top six spots the year before, Hasay worked together with Blood and Kosinski to give Oregon a steady presence at the front over the course of the 6,000m race.

Blood and Washington’s Kendra Schaaf broke from the rest of the runners late in the race, with Blood hanging on to claim Oregon’s first women’s individual cross country title at Pac-10s in 17 years. Hasay followed Schaaf across the line in third place. While the Husky women took the team title with 35 points to Oregon’s 42, the result placed the Washington women — and a national title — firmly within reach for the final two events of the season.

The NCAA West Regional takes place on Saturday at Springfield Country Club, while the NCAA Championships take place on Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind. Hasay and the Ducks see plenty of room to improve in between.

“Our goal each week is to be better than we were the week before,” associate athletic director Vin Lananna said.

A two-time Foot Locker National Cross Country champion in high school, Hasay feels herself getting better with each passing week.

“My training has been going smooth,” she said. “(Lananna) has adjusted my old training program (in high school) to fit with my new one (in college). We’ve been training pretty hard through most of the races.”

But cross-country season has only been a partial focus of Hasay’s training.

“The focus for Jordan all year has been track season,” Lananna said. “It’s been a process laid out since the beginning of the year.”

Hasay holds the national high school record in the 1,500m (4:14.50), and she has every intention of lowering her personal record. Cross-country season, then, has been more of a showcase of her natural talent. Hasay’s first race of the season, a sixth-place finish at the Bill Dellinger Invitational on Oct. 2, has been her worst to date.

“She’s a good competitor,” Lananna said. “She’s made adjustments well, and she’s maintained a good, solid approach. She’s been everything we’d hoped she would be.”

“This team has been really supportive,” Hasay said. “I didn’t have the team to work with in high school. It’s been really great to have that support. It’s such an honor to wear the Oregon uniform.”

Hasay’s progress and quick adjustment to the college level have given the Ducks their best recent shot at bringing home a national title in women’s cross country, the first since 1983.

The Ducks will likely have to go through Washington to get to it.

“I think we gave them a good scare at Pac-10s,” she said. “It’s good for the sport that we can have that rivalry going.”

That’s the Hasay Effect in action.

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