Oregon track start Jordan Hasay – Super Woman? The NCAA Track and Field Championships officially kick off today at Drake Stadium in Des Moines with the first event at 10am. Both the Oregon men and women put on a spectacular show during the Pac-10 Championships, each coming away with a victory. Now they have been preparing for this week’s showdown – and it won’t be an easy one.
I ran track in high school and did well but I remember one particular day when my coach decided to try me in the 1500m run. I was not happy; in fact I worked myself up so much that I ended up mentally sabotaging myself. It was one of the most embarrassing performances of my career. I actually walked off the track halfway through. I wasn’t mentally prepared or physically prepared. The thing was that I had success in other events – that year I broke school records and went onto the state championships in the 800m – but this was brutal. These distance races are just that, tough. When you’re a sprinter you have to build up physically and learn how to come off the blocks (this is no walk in the park either) but then it’s just go. Fast. With distance running there is a mental aspect to it. There’s more of a strategy. It’s tough and Oregon Sophomore Jordan Hasay is attempting a 1500 and 5000 double in the upcoming championships.
At this point Hasay is projected as the only female athlete to score in two individual events. One of these distance events is hard enough to mentally prepare for – two is incredible. Part of her drive seems to be a highly competitive personality and she has shown this in particular with competition against Villanova’s Sheila Reid. Reid out-sprinted her in the finishing stretch of the distance medley during the 2011 Indoor NCAA Championships and Hasay took it to heart. So later in the meet despite the Oregon women already clinching the title, Hasay competed in the punishing 3,000m run in order to compete against Reid. This time she came away with the victory. So this week’s meet should be intense – Hasay will be competing against Reid in both the 1500 and 5000m runs.
Coming into this meet Hasay looks phenomenal; in May she ran the 1500 in 4:10.28 and that is the fastest time for any current college runner by more than a second. She is also coming into the meet with the second fastest 5000m time of 15:37.29. This week Hasay was named the West Regional co-Athlete of the Year by the USTFCCCA and this girl is only a sophomore. So now Hasay is looking at three grueling races over three days. The 1500m prelim is scheduled for Thursday, the 5000m scheduled for Friday and the 1500m final Saturday. The Ducks haven’t won a team outdoor title since 1985 and if Hasay can score double digits between the two events it would be a huge advantage for the team. I personally can’t wait to see how this plays out – GO DUCKS!
Some projections for this week’s meet…