DES MOINES, Iowa — No title, no tears.
Arroyo Grande native Jordan Hasay finished third Saturday in the women’s 1,500-meter run at the NCAA Track and Field Championships. It was the second straight year that Drake Stadium’s blue oval left Hasay, an Oregon junior, wanting, but her post-race demeanor was much different.
Last season a tearful Hasay wondered what went wrong after slumping to eighth in the event. This time, she entered the media room saying “nobody wants to come in here, but I’ll be brave.”
Hasay, exhibiting no anger or sadness, answered question for five minutes about a taut race that came down to the final steps.
“You look back at last year and, yeah, I’m in tears, but it’s just a race. It’s not the end of the world,” Hasay said.
Amanda Winslow of Florida State took an early lead and stayed there until the final 200 meters. Winslow surged with about 300 meters left, but faded into seventh. Washington’s Katie Flood, a Des Moines native who won 11 Iowa high school state championships and six Drake Relays titles at the stadium, took the lead with about 100 meters left.
“At that point, I knew it was time to go,” Flood said.
Georgetown’s Emily Infeld was on Flood’s left, and Hasay, her waist-length blond hair swaying like a pendulum, was on Flood’s right. Flood said the roar of the home crowd was so loud she had no idea how close the competition was.Hasay was sixth entering the final lap and moved outside to try to get around the leaders.
“I think my main mistake was I was running out on Lane 2 the entire back stretch. I was trying to get Katie but she was holding strong,” Hasay said.
A stiff headwind in the final stretch kept Hasay from completing the comeback. She finished in 4:14.03, one-hundredth of a second behind second-place Infeld. Flood’s winning time was 4:13.79.
“Maybe I should have stayed right with Katie, but I was just looking for an opening,” Hasay said. “It sucks that it’s so close but I can’t really be upset because I did really everything I could.”
Hasay beat Flood in the Pac 12 championship at Oregon, and Hasay said she benefitted from the home track advantage then and figured Flood received the same boost Saturday.
“It was a really great meet for her. I’ve enjoyed watching her progress this year,” Hasay said.
Hasay, a two-time indoor national champion, ends her third collegiate season without an outdoor title. She’s confident about next season when she may concentrate on her preferred race — the 5,000.
“This may be my last year in the 15 and then next year we’ll just do the (5,000) but we’ve said that since freshman year so I don’t know,” Hasay said.
Oregon finished second in the women’s team race with 62 points. Louisiana State was first with 76. The Tigers have won 15 outdoor women’s titles; no other school has more than four.
Former Cal Poly runner Kayleigh Tyerman of Florida State was 18th in the women’s 5,000 in a time of 16:55.40.