At the start of the 2019 Boston Marathon | By Photo Run
EDITOR'S NOTE: We first saw Jordan Hasay as an 8th grader when she won the national championship in the 3000m at the USATF Junior Olympics and then followed her through high school, the University of Oregon and now her pro career. Earlier this week at the Boston Marathon Jordan ran an incredible race for 3rd place in 2:25.20 after being out for 18 months due to a heel injury.She has her sights set next on the Chicago Marathon and Deena Kastor's record and dreaming of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Jordan was the featured athlete on the cover of Youth Runner Magazine in August of 2008. With her recent success we thought it would be fun to bring back her high school interview for you to read.
For most high school girls it’s a big accomplishment to get your driver’s license. Jordan Hasay’s idea for junior year included the Foot Locker Nationals, winning the USA Junior XC title, winning the CIF title in the 3200m for the third year, squeezing in the Olympic Trials where she busted the American record in the 1500m before jumping over to Poland for the World Junior T&F Championships.
First of all, we have really enjoyed watching your running career over the last few years at Junior Olympics, Footlocker, CIF and now the Olympic Trials. In Eugene, when you were kicking toward the finish line during the 1500m semi, were you even thinking that you could bust the American Record in that race? Or, maybe I should ask at what point in the race did you realize that you could get that record?
I actually wasn't really concerned about the record. I mostly just wanted to finish in the top six and make the final. After 1200m, I did think that if I finished fast enough I was going to get the record. But down the homestretch I was not so much thinking about the record but I was thinking how I was in fifth place and about to make the finals. Then after I finished I was excited to hear my time because I knew it had to have been a PR. I love it at Hayward because you can just look right up at the huge big screen and then there are those tense few seconds where you wait for your name and time. It was a great feeling to see my name come up in fifth place with the AR time right next to it!
Photo by Klotz Images
One of the most exciting races you may ever watch | SLOBoe via Youtube
Photo by Klotz Images
Photo by Klotz Images
You looked pretty happy in front of the score board after that race....how long did it take you to get to sleep that night?
Yes, I was very happy to make the finals and to set the record at the same time. The race was at 8:25pm and then I think I finally got back to the hotel just in time to watch the TV broadcast at midnight! So I stayed up pretty late but at the same time I wanted to get a good rest because the final was coming up.
The American High School Record | Photo by Klotz Images
In Poland, I've read some other interviews where you said that was a tougher race than at the Trials with a lot of bumping and elbows. What else made racing with those girls different?
Well that is the major difference (the aggressiveness) but it is also different because you don't know anyone who you are competing against. Here in the US I basically know most of my competitors at the national competitions either from racing them in the past or reading about them. But when you race internationally you don't really know anything about your competitors except for their times that are listed on the start lists. So I guess it makes it difficult because for example, you don't know if they are front-runners and will take out the pace or if they like to sit and kick.
When you were in the 5th or 6th grade were you keeping track of your miles yet?
When I was that young I didn't run year round. I started running for the jr. high track team when I was in 4th grade, 9yrs old. I just joined because I liked it and I was beating all the boys in PE. So I would just go to practice every day after school for the season. Our season was about two months long I think. We didn't really run that much in practice. I'd say a mile was the maximum distance for the day. We didn't do much interval work. Mostly what I would do would be one or two 400s to practice for the 4x400 relay. Also, once or twice each season I remember coach would have me race our 4x400 relay team (I would run the full mile myself) and I would usually win! But my running during this time wasn't anything special. After the season I didn't run. I did other sports, junior lifeguards, volleyball and basketball. I had never heard of the local running club until the seventh grade, or else I probably would have joined earlier. But looking back I think it was a really good thing that I didn't because I probably would have started training too much for such a young age.
At what age did you start running regularly?
The end of seventh grade so I was 12 almost 13.
How many races did you run each year and what distances?
I think we used to have about 5-7 races each season. I would usually run the mile and the 4x400 relay. I'd also run the 4x100 sometimes if we didn't have enough people show up for the meet.
Photo by Klotz Images
Did you have a favorite race or run that you looked forward to each year?
The highlight race of the season was a meet called the Rotary Relays. I liked it so much because it was an actual 400m dirt track as opposed to the normal 200m tracks that we usually ran on at my school and at our other meets. I was kind of oblivious to the fact that they actually made rubber tracks! But I always looked forward to this meet because it was all the teams in the local area. I also ran my PR for the mile there every year, except for my eighth grade year, when I had started running for my club team.
What was the name of your youth club?
San Luis Distance Club. The youth program I ran in is called the Roo Rats.
What inspired you as a kid runner? Was it just winning or did you even care about winning in the beginning?
No, I don't think I really even cared about winning in the beginning. I just liked to be out there. I just enjoyed using my talents.
What was your worst race ever?
As a youth runner I would always think that if I didn't get a PR when I raced then it was a failure. Of course, now looking back at that I laugh. So I had a few races where I would be really upset because I didn't run my fastest time ever, even if I still won the race. The lesson is that it is impossible (and actually somewhat counter-productive), if you set a PR every single race. You can always find something you did good in the race whether it was your racing strategy, or your finish, or anything. Every race is part of the bigger picture for progress, but you don't have to be setting a PR in every one, especially the first races of your season.
How did you pick yourself up from that moment or any disappointing race and get going again the next day or for the next race?
I tried not to dwell on it. I'd let myself think about it for a couple of hours but after that I would just move on. Now that I am older, I have had more experience dealing with these things. But I always just try to remember that I can never change the past no matter how much I want to, so there is no waste worrying about something that I can't change. I try to focus on what I can do which is improve for the future.
Do you have a race day ritual? How do you get over the starting line jitters or butterflies?
At practice we try to have our hard day warm-up simulate our race day warm-up. It helps my nerves and gives me some some comfort going through a routine that I am familiar with. I try to deal with nervousness by listening to my I-Pod or talking with my family and coach. I used to get so nervous before a race that I would not be able to sleep the night before, but now I have learned to overcome this. The key for me was to try not to think about the race right before bed-read a book, watch a movie, or just do something relaxing that keeps your mind off of running.
Besides the Trials, Footlocker, CIF and all the recent successes, what would you say was your best race in the Junior Olympics or as a kid runner?
As a youth runner I would say my best race was the 3000m at my first Junior Olympics in Eugene, OR. I set the National Youth Record in that race. It was my first ever national record.
Can you think back to a defining moment or a race when the lights went on and you realized that hey...maybe I could be good at running?
When I first started taking running seriously and I joined the San Luis Distance Club, we didn't really know if I was any good or not. I was good for the area but then once I started going to regional and national races we really didn't know how I was going to do. So when I made it to the Junior Olympics for the first time my parents were just saying well, these are the best in the nation now so I probably won't win or anything but just getting there was fine. Then when I won both the 1500m and the 3000m and set the National records in both we all started to really believe that my talent was good enough to compete on that high of a level.
Foot Locker West Regionals | Photo by Smotherman Images
Now for some really serious questions....what do you like to do away from running for fun?
I like to swim, surf, read, and hang out with friends.
Ever try snowboarding?
No, unfortunately I've never tried because I'm afraid of injury. However, my brother goes to Mammoth every winter and I get very jealous!
How about high school life, do you go to football games, the prom, and the rest or has running kept you away from some of that?
I try to be as involved in school activites as I can. I go to dances and do things with my friends.
A page from the feature in YR Magazine
Fuzzy Video - Jordan's Foot Locker win senior year | dsanders4-Youtube
What do you think your life will be after running? What will you study in college?
I'm still undecided on what I would like to study in college. Academics are very important to me and I really enjoy math and science. So I'll probably study something in that area.
What advice do you have for other youth runners out there who are just giving it a try and for those who are out there giving it all they've got?
My advice would be to first of all and most importantly HAVE FUN! If you don't like running and are not having fun with it, you won't run well. I would encourage those who are just starting out to stick with it and give it a good shot. For those who are out there giving it all they've got I would encourage the same thing- have fun, dream big, believe in yourself, and you will reach your goals.
More about Jordan