Oregon track and field supporters begged for Jordan Hasay when she first set foot on their track five years ago.
She had won everything there was to win at Mission Prep, even showing well in international events.
After breaking the high school girls record in the women’s 1,500 at the 2008 Olympic Trials at Hayward Field, Hasay accepted Oregon’s invitation and went on to become the most decorated female runner in Ducks program history.
She’s helped the program to four straight national indoor team championships, winning two individual indoor national titles. She’s won four Pac-12 crowns and has been named to 15 All-America teams.
Now, as the senior prepares for her final race in a Ducks uniform — today’s women’s 5,000 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene — it’s natural to wonder if she’s fulfilled expectations.
Would Hasay’s Oregon legacy be complete without one of the few accomplishments that’s eluded her, an outdoor title on the track?
“I think it’s kind of interesting,” Hasay said, “because going into it as a freshman, I would say yes to that, but I’m a little hesitant to say yes at this point because I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot, and it’s certainly not what I would like to, which is
surprising because it’s still more All-Americans than any Oregon female runner.”
The Ducks women captured team titles in both cross country and indoor track and field this year. They would become the first women’s program to capture all three in a single academic year if they had the outdoor title Saturday.
Hasay was preparing all season to specialize in the 10,000 in hopes of making it her signature professional event and making an earnest run at competing in the U.S. Track and Field Championships, which begin June 20 in Des Moines, Iowa, and will serve as the selection event for the national team’s trip to the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.
But Hasay suffered in the Austin, Texas, heat two weeks ago and fell short of qualifying for the national finals in the event.
The finish hasn’t derailed her summer plans. She still anticipates running in Des Moines, perhaps even a little more rested than she would have been otherwise, but she will miss out on an opportunity to gather more points for the Ducks.
Hasay ran the 10K in 32 minutes, 6.64 seconds. It was a Pac-12 record, the fourth fastest time in NCAA history and the second fastest in the country earlier this year. She would have been a favorite to win the event.
An individual title “would be a nice thing,” Hasay said. “I would rather have both in a perfect world, but if I had to choose, I would choose a team title.”
Based on the numbers, Hasay is not as dominant a contender in the 5K.
Her 16:00.84 time in Austin helped her rebound from the disappointing 10K, and it was the fifth-fastest qualifying time in the field.
But that time is only 16th overall on the national rankings list for the season and all 15 of the higher-ranked runners were entered in the national championship race.
Even Hasay’s personal best in the 5K, a 15:37.29 time from 2011, is nearly 40 seconds slower than the season-best time of the frontrunner for today’s race, Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino.
D’Agostino just missed making the U.S. Olympic team after a photo finish in the 5K at the 2012 Trials.
“I’m certainly not the favorite,” Hasay said.
“Hopefully, I run the best 5K of my life. I’ve run 32 minutes in the 10K. I’ve run 4:10 in the 15(00), and I’m not going to say what kind of shape I think I’m in, but it’s a lot better than” 15:37.29.
“I can’t describe how much it’s meant to me these past four years to run as a Duck. It’s exciting that I have my last race at the home turf, and yeah, it’s going to give me a huge advantage.”
School records — 10,000 meters — 32 minutes, 6.64 seconds (fourth in NCAA history); 3,000 meters — 9:03.95 (indoors)
NCAA individual championships — Mile and 3,000 meters (both in 2011 indoors)
NCAA team championships — Cross country (2012); indoor track and field (2010-13)
All-American honors — 15 (7, indoor track and field, 4 outdoor track and field, 4 cross country)