Former Mission Prep standout Jordan Hasay led the University of Oregon women’s cross country team to a second-place finish Saturday morning at the NCAA West Regional Cross Country Championships, where the Cal Poly men’s team also shined.
Hasay, of Arroyo Grande, in her true freshman season for the fifth-ranked Ducks, finished second as an individual on a fairly muddy 6K course at Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Ore., in 20 minutes, 52.46 seconds.
Oregon’s runner-up finish with 66 points, behind only top-ranked Washington’s 25, earned an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships, which will be held Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind.
“I’m pretty happy with it,” Hasay said in a phone interview of the second-place finish. “I’m just excited to get it out of the way; our goal coming in was just to have a solid race and get to nationals.”
The national championship is “going to be unlike any other race this season,” Hasay said. “It’ll be exciting.”
One of the favorites Hasay mentioned she was looking forward to being able to race against at the national meet is Colorado senior Jenny Barringer, an American record-holder in the women’s 3,000 steeplechase and a collegiate record-holder in the women’s 1,500 meters.
The muddy conditions caused a somewhat slow start, Hasay said.
“We were going out at a pretty slow pace,” she said, “but then it really picked up at the end overall.”
Washington’s Kendra Schaaf won the women’s race in 20:41.7.
Cal Poly’s women, who finished 12th with 328 points, were paced by Brienna Morris, who came in 53rd at 22:17. The Mustangs women were running without star Kayleigh Tyerman, who was ill.
Cal Poly finished tied in fifth in the men’s 10K competition with 155 points, led by Joe Gatel’s 15th-place time of 31:09.25.
“They just really rose to the occasion and ran very aggressively,” Cal Poly coach Mark Conover said. “Joe’s had an outstanding year. Another top-15 performance in the toughest region in the country speaks volumes to Joe’s tenacity and intensity.”
The Mustangs will await a possible at-large bid when those are announced today.
“No matter the outcome (of the at-large announcements), they can hold their heads high,” Conover said. “We were running well at the end of the season and we’ll just have to wait and see if the whole team makes it.”
Stanford won the men’s race with 27 points, as the Cardinal’s Chris Derrick won as an individual, as well, in 30:38.84.
Cal Poly’s Evan Anderson was 25th in 31:22, followed by Andrew Wright (35th, 31:37), Leif Anderson (39th, 31:48) and Carl Dargitz (46th, 31:58).
Hasay arrived at Oregon as one of the most heralded running recruits ever, and said her adjustment has been eased by Oregon’s track-loving community.
“It’s been great,” Hasay said. “I just love it here. The team has been really welcoming and it’s an honor to wear the Oregon uniform. This is definitely the right place for me.
“I’m trying to be consistent and get a little better with every race. My highest finish all year was third, and now it’s second, so it’s nice to keep moving up.”
Bakersfield 62, Cuesta 42
Morro Bay High grad Erika Wilhelm led Cuesta (1-2) with 10 points. Valerie Gee also had 10 for the Cougars, and Raleigh O’Brien had nine. O’Brien led Cuesta with seven rebounds.
Cuesta halved its turnover total from Friday with 14. Cuesta trailed 36-19 at halftime and could not overcome 23 percent shooting from the floor.
UC Davis 3, Cal Poly 2
Megan McConnell led Cal Poly (6-14, 2-5 Big West Conference) with 18 kills and one ace in its 19-25, 27-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-12 loss.
Catie Smith followed McConnell with 17 kills and three blocks. The Mustangs finished the night with a team-total 65 kills over UC Davis’ 59. Anuhea Keanini had 55 assists and eight digs.
Cal Poly 26, Cal State Fullerton 13
Eric Maldonaldo rallied for a win at 149 pounds to set the tone for the Mustangs, who took the final five matchups after the Titans had a 13-7 lead in the Pac-10 dual match.
Cal Poly’s Boris and Filip Novachkov each won at 133 and 141 pounds, respectively, to provide a 14-13 lead.
Mustangs senior star Chase Pami had a 24-7 blowout win at 157.
CAL POLY SIGNINGS
St. Patrick/St. Vincent High of Vallejo’s Taylor Riley and Shelby Ashbury have both signed to compete in their respective sports at Cal Poly, the Vallejo Times Herald newspaper reported.
Riley, a swimmer, was the Times-Herald’s Swimmer of the Year in 2008, earning All-American consideration at the North Coast Section meet. Ashbury, a softball catcher, started on sectional title teams in 2006 and 2008.