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Posted: February 4, 2009  :

(RRW) Athletics: Prep Star Hasay To Sign With University Of Oregon

From David Monti

© 2009 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved RaceResultsWeekly.com

America's top high school middle distance runner Jordan Hasay said yesterday that she will continue her athletics career at the University of Oregon, ending a heated contest amongst leading universities for the 17 year-old athlete from Arroyo Grande, Calif. Without a doubt, she will be the top recruiting prize this year for Oregon's director of track and field and head coach, Vin Lananna.

Speaking via a live video press conference on the Web from Mission College Preparatory Catholic School in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Hasay wore a broad smile as she spoke to reporters wearing a green University of Oregon sweatshirt. "As you can see by the shirt, I intend to sign with the University of Oregon tomorrow," said Hasay. "Basically, I was just looking for a school with solid academics and also a great athletics program. Eugene is going to be a great city for me to train in."

Hasay, a two-time Foot Locker High School Cross Country champion, competed in the USA Olympic Trials in Eugene last Summer, and the Oregon fans repeatedly chanted "come to Oregon" whenever Hasay took to the track. She was one of the unexpected stars of the meet, making it all the way to the finals of the 1500m where she placed tenth at age 16. Hasay also won the U.S. junior title at 1500m last summer, and finished fourth over that distance at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. In 2007, Hasay was the IAAF World Youth Championships silver medalist at 1500m.

"It definitely played, I'd say, a minor role," Hasay said of the impact her Olympic Trials experience had on her decision to choose Oregon. "I talked to coach Lananna and coach Maurica (Powell) there, they just told me what a supportive community Eugene is, Track Town, just basically the track capital of the world, basically." She added: "You can see the passion the community has for track and field."

The University of Oregon has not yet confirmed Hasay's signing. On their official sports website, GoDucks.com, there is no mention yet of Hasay. The athlete told reporters that she took five official recruiting visits to the University of Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford and the University of Washington. It was widely believed that Stanford and Oregon were Hasay's leading choices.

"Ever since my visit to Oregon in November I just kind of fell in love with it," Hasay said. "I considered canceling my other two visits (to Stanford and Washington), but I took them anyways just because I wanted to make sure."

Hasay holds a number of USA youth and high school records. She's the fastest-ever American youth at 1500m (4:28:61) and 3000m (9:35.12), and has the American high school record for 1500m (4:14.50). American high school students don't normally run those metric distances, so when Hasay begins to compete at the university level she has a good chance of breaking the USA junior records for 1500m (4:09.10 by Suzy Hamilton) and 3000m (8:57.27). Born in 1991, she can compete as a junior through 2010.

Hasay said she plans to study human physiology when she begins classes at Oregon next September.


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