Hasay Goes Wire-to-Wire

2008 CIF Cross Country Championships Where: 3.1-mile course at Woodward Park, Fresno

Boys team champions: Dana Hills (Division I), Loyola (D2), Barstow (D3), Big Bear (D4), Woodcrest Christian (D5).

Girls team champions: Dana Hills (D1), Saugus (D2), Corona del Mar (D3), La Reina (D4), Chadwick (D5).

Top 3 boys times: Elias Gedyon (Loyola) 15:01, Garrett Rowe (Mountain View) 15:03, Tyler Valdes (Dana Hills) 15:05.

Top 3 girls times: Jordan Hasay (Mission Prep) 17:18, Alex Dunne (San Clemente) 17:27, Kaylin Mahoney (Saugus) 17:34.

Complete results: Click here.

By Mitch Stephens

MaxPreps.com

FRESNO, Calif. – Jordan Hasay had just made a little history – and by Hasay’s standards, we do mean little.

The Mission Prep (San Luis Obispo) senior won her fourth straight California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) cross-country championship Saturday at Woodward Park, joining only Sara Bei (now Sara Hall) to accomplish such a feat.

Hasay did so in utterly anticlimactic fashion, finishing the Division V (smallest of five divisions) race in 17 minutes, 18 seconds – the fastest girls time of the day by nine seconds – and by a whopping 1:19 over the second-place finisher in her race, teammate Annie Mooney (18:37).

She won by such a large margin, a contingent from the results team asked and then posed with Hasay for a picture in the shoot area, normally a mosh pit of chaos that the modest young starlet had turned into a serene celebration ground for a large throng of fans to honor her.

When Hasay reached the end of the shoot, she was greeted by a half-dozen reporters, a routine she was now accustomed to.

The tanned and tiny blonde, who just turned 17 in September, already owns nine national age track records, the most meaningful she set last summer in the Olympic Trials 1,500 meters semifinals, going 4:14.50, qualifying her for the finals.

A month before that, Hasay ran the second fastest 3,200 ever run by a high school girl, winning her third straight California title in 9:52.13.

Hasay had hoped to beat the state cross-country record of 16:43, set by Santa Rosa’s Julia Stamps in 1996. If not that, then she wanted to better her own Div. V record of 17:05.

She wasn’t close to any, and, in fact, ran the slowest of her four titles. Her previous three winning times were 17:11 (2005), 17:15 (2006) and 17:05 (2007).

“It was kind of sad running down the last stretch,” Hasay said. “I was hoping the time was a little faster but I can’t do anything about that now. … I’m happy to win four in a row and that makes it a good day.”

It was a great day overall for several other runners and teams, highlighted by the greatest girls team performance ever.

Saugus, led by Div. II champion Jaylin Mahoney (17:34), recorded the fastest team time of 90:06, shattering its own record of 90:49 set last year and upholding its top national ranking. The team’s 109-point win over runner-up Mira Costa tied the most lopsided victory in state history.

Other highlights included:

  • The two fastest boys team-times were displayed in the Div. I race as defending champion Dana Hills (70 points, 77:38) edged local team Buchanan (85 points, 77:48).
  • Led by a record-breaking performance by Elias Gedyon, Loyola won a much-anticipated clash with Thousand Oaks and Mountain View to take the Div. II title. Gedyon set a sophomore state record by 11 seconds winning in the day’s best time of 15:01 and Loyola set a divisional time mark of 78:04.
  • Barstow (Div. III) and Woodcrest Christian (Div. V) each won record-tying fourth straight boys titles, with Barstow also claiming a team-time mark.
  • Corona del Mar (Div. III) won its sixth title, tying it with University (San Francisco) for most girls’ championships in history.

With all that going on, many of the 10,000 fans and participants waited for the last race to see one of the state’s and nation’s greatest female distance runner make history.

By the time the 1:30 p.m. race began, the early-morning fog had cleared and the temperature had soared to 65 degrees.

Hasay didn’t blame the heat for her “slow” time, but rather a late sandwich she consumed, and an early fast pace.

“The race was a little later than when we normally start so my eating was a little off,” she said. “I had breakfast like normal, but the sandwich was not something I normally have. It was too much. I think it might have slowed me down.”

Not at first. She went out hard at 5:16, about 14 seconds faster any other girl all day.

“I was just too excited I guess,” she said. “I was really tired the last two miles.”

It didn’t appear that way looking at her breeze to victory, but with no one within a couple football fields, it was hard to tell.

“It’s always hard with no one else around to gage just how you’re doing,” Hasay said. “I’m looking forward to the competition the next two weeks. …I’m definitely ready for the next step.”

Hasay will battle all the best runners from the west in the Footlocker West Regional next week at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut. The top eight boys and girls there will face off for the national championship the following week in San Diego.

Reporters tried their best to get Hasay misty and reflect on her four-year title binge at Woodward Park. The closest they got:

“It’s gone by fast,” she said. “I remember as a freshman saying that I have (three) more years (to break records) and now there’s none more left.”

It was the second straight year one of the sport’s standouts ran the last race of the day, trying to beat a record. Last year, German Fernandez (Riverbank), now a freshman at Arkansas, shattered the boys’ state-meet mark by 20 seconds. See story.

Hasay and Fernandez got together in June and contributed to one of the most memorable CIF state and track field meets ever in Norwalk. See stories.

“I didn’t see (Fernandez here) last year but I heard about it,” Hasay said. “I’ve gotten to know him over the years. He’s a great kid.”

Though she didn’t set the course record, Hasay was just happy to share the career mark with Bei-Bell, who she competed against in the 1,500 Olympic Trials finals in Oregon in July.

In the finals, Hasay actually finished 10th, one spot behind Bei-Bell.

“She’s such a nice person,” Hasay said of her co-record holder. “I was so nervous (at the Olympic Trials) but she helped me stay calm before the race. And she was right there in front of me all the way (during the finals).”

Hasay said she couldn’t remember her first title at Woodward Park, which is understandable. She’s had so many races and highlights over the past three years plus.

“I had just started running cross country that year,” she said. “I didn’t know who Sara Bei was or what any of the records were. I just ran.”

Look for breakdowns of divisional races here in the next couple of days. Click here for all the results. E-mail Mitch Stephens at mstephens@maxpreps.com.