Jordan Hasay had a successful professional debut, and Sharon Day appears poised to win another national title.
Hasay took second in the U.S. Track and Field Championships in her first post-
collegiate race and still has a chance to make the World Championships after a
silver-medal finish in the women’s 10,000 meters on Thursday.
The former Mission Prep star wrapped up her career at Oregon last month failing to advance to the NCAA finals in the 10,000, but she avenged that with a time of 32 minutes, 17.34 seconds at the U.S. meet being held this week at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
By virtue of finishing in the top three, Hasay has a spot on the U.S. team for the World Championships in Moscow if she can run faster than 32:05 sometime in the next month.
She would join Shalane Flanagan, who won the event in 31.43.20, and one other runner, possibly Nike teammate Tara Erdmann, who was third in 32:24.16.
Day, a former Cal Poly standout and a two-time Olympian, leads the hepathlon with 3,908 points after the first four events.
Day, who won a national title in the heptathlon in 2011, cleared 6 feet, 23⁄4 inches in the high jump, her signature event. She won the Mustangs an individual NCAA high jump title in 2005.
Day also had the best shot put of the day at 45-2 and was first in her flight in the 100 hurldes, finishing in 13.54. She leads second-place Bettie Wade by 252 points.
Tyson Gay was barely out of breath after breezing through his 100-meter heat. Moments later, Justin Gatlin was hardly even huffing after he finished.
On the men’s side, Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin scarcely worked up a sweat as they easily cruised through the first round of the 100. Their times were not blistering, but that wasn’t the point on this windy day, only advancing in as little effort as possible.
By moving on, they’re moving toward a showdown in Friday’s final.
“It felt good,” said Gay, who trimmed his hair to be more aerodynamic. “Just get the nerves out.”
This was a game within a game between the two — show just enough, but not too much.
Gay powered down his lane to win his heat in 10.28 seconds. Gatlin easily cruised across the line in 10.37, taking second in his heat. He estimated he ran at maybe 70 percent, conserving his energy for when he really needs it, possibly to hold off Gay.
“Tyson is something of an enigma,” Gatlin said. “When he’s healthy, he’s one of the most dangerous sprinters you can compete against.”
And Gay’s healthy, maybe as healthy as he’s ever been. Asked about his hip, the one that’s given him problems for quite some time, Gay simply said, “Feeling good.”
Gay has the world’s top time this season. But Gatlin has something perhaps even more impressive — a recent win over Usain Bolt, which very few sprinters have done since the Jamaican’s rise to power.
While Gay and Gatlin were the center of attention early on at nationals, Dentarius Locke of Florida State stole some of the spotlight as he turned in the top time of 10.19, just ahead of Jeff Demps.
“I just went out there and ran my race,” Locke nonchalantly said. “I know tomorrow will be a different day. Hopefully everything will fall into place.”