Cross CountrySports

Jordan Hasay leads Oregon women to fifth-place finish at NCAA Cross Country Championships

The Oregon women’s cross country team placed fifth in the nation behind an outstanding performance by junior Jordan Hasay this Monday. Hasay finished in second place individually at the NCAAs, becoming the second Oregon runner to achieve the feat and the first since [email protected]@[email protected]@

“Jordan looked great today,” Oregon associate athletic director Vin Lananna said to “And our two-three-four runners did a wonderful job the whole race. I think (fifth place) is probably as high as the women could have finished today.”@@[email protected]@

Georgetown won the women’s NCAA Championship with a score of 162. Washington was second with 170, while Villanova (third, 181) Florida State (fourth, 189) rounded out the top five with [email protected]@[email protected]@

On the men’s side, senior Luke Puskedra earned his fourth straight All-American award, crossing the line in sixth place [email protected]@[email protected]@ @@[email protected]@

Hasay was part of a down-to-the-wire finish that produced one of the most closely contested races in the history of the meet. Hasay and Villanova senior Sheila Reid went step for step the entire race before Reid outpaced Hasay by six-tenths of a second down the final stretch. Reid finished in 19:41.2, while Hasay covered the course in Terre Haute, Ind., in 19:[email protected]@[email protected]@

After the race, Hasay was proud of the result, but said she just didn’t have enough in the tank near the end of the contest.

“I gave it all I had,” Hasay said to “I told myself the only person I would be OK losing to was Sheila and I almost got her, but she had another gear.”

The finish was predictable, but there were some unanticipated aspects to the race. Silje Fjortoft of SMU led for long stretches early on, before fading into the pack about 4,000 meters into the 6,000-meter [email protected]@[email protected]@

At that point, the Ducks as a team were also standing solid, positioned in fourth behind Washington, Villanova and Florida State. Oregon runners Claire Michel, Bronwyn Crossman and Lanie Thompson ran in a pack to for the Oregon [email protected]@[email protected]@

The fifth-place finish was Oregon’s best showing since placing second in 2008. It was also the Ducks’ 16th top-10 finish all-time in 22 NCAA Championship appearances. Oregon finished 12th at the 2010 NCAA [email protected]@[email protected]@

The four Oregon runners who followed Hasay across the finish line all posted NCAA career bests. Michel finish 72nd in 20:48.8, while Crossman took 76th in 20:50.6. Thompson was 80th with a time of 20:52.9 and junior Becca Friday was 145th in 21:[email protected]@same URL, stats link on [email protected]@

“Positioning was key for us today,” Michel said to “Good teams will do that and it came together for us.”

Crossman said that the team was definitely satisfied with its result at the race.

“It didn’t happen right away, but we found each other and got there in the end,” Crossman said to “I think we’re pretty happy with fifth. We came into the NCAAs ranked 16th.”

The men’s race featured one of the most talented fields in years and the results showed it.

Pac-12 champion Lawi Lalang of Arizona — the pre-meet favorite — took the men’s championship comfortably, going 10,000 meters in 28:44.1. The freshman beat the rest of the field by over 13 [email protected]@[email protected]@

Wisconsin won the men’s championship with 97 points. Oklahoma State (second, 139) and Colorado (third, 144) rounded out the top three.

Chris Derrick of Stanford charged at the end to finish second in 28:57.5, with Leonard Korir of Iona third in 29:02.5. Southern Utah’s Cameron Levins, the 2011 Bill Dellinger Invitational winner, was fourth in 29:04.8. Mohammed Ahmed of Wisconsin finished fifth in 29:06.7 and Puskedra sixth in 29:[email protected]@same URL, stats link on [email protected]@

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