Hasay wins another one, takes Junior 1,500 in 4:18

By Jack Pfeifer

photos by Kim Spir and Tim Fulton
(Cover photo by Vic Sailor, PhotoRun.net)

EUGENE, Ore. – Jordan Hasay showed she’s still No. 1, repeating as U.S. Juniors champion in the women’s 1,500 meters on Sunday afternoon at Hayward Field.

Facing a young woman who had made the NCAA finals two weeks ago, Morgane Gay of the University of Virginia, Hasay led all the way and won in a solid 4:18.98. Gay, who ran 4:15.56 at the NCAA meet, was 2nd in 4:20.81.

“It was really windy on the backstretch, so I was a little worried about that,” said Hasay (Mission Prep, San Luis Obispo, Calif). “The plan was to lay low on the first 200, and then I decided to take the lead and go for it.

“My coach told me once I got the lead to run 68s and 69s, and that’s what I tried to do.”

Hasay was running on the track that will become her home soon, as she enters the University of Oregon in the fall.

That was also the outcome in the men’s 1,500, won by another future Duck, Mac Fleet (University City, San Diego). Fleet, with a big final lap, won in 3:47.44, and he made the “O” sign with his hands at the finish line and pumped his fist, indicating he was already at home at Hayward Field. Fleet is the son of Dale Fleet, a former California high school star who later ran for Washington State University.

“I kind-of opened up and looked up at the crowd and really enjoyed it,” Fleet said. “This is just my second race here, and it was awesome.”

The women’s steeplechase was a fine two-woman race between Natalie Busby, a freshman at Syracuse from New Paltz, N.Y., and Alyssa Allison, from Festus (Mo.) H.S. Busby fought off Allison down the final straight for a narrow victory, 10:55.25-10:55-51.

Although the time for Allison is well off Mel Lawrence’s national high school record of 10:15, it makes her one of the few preps to run under 11:00 for the full 3k distance.

Sean Soderman, a freshman at Appalachian State, pulled away on the final lap to win the men’s steeple in 9:05.82, and Joseph Whelan, a senior at Hamburg (N.Y.) H.S., passed Patrick Dupont of Syracuse in the final run-in to get 2nd place. His time of 9:09.97 is the U.S.-leading mark for the season for preps. Whelan will be attending Syracuse in the fall, so he will be a teammate of Dupont’s. Dupont, from Fairport, N.Y., was himself the national prep leader in the steeplechase in 2008, when he ran 9:07.

Zachary Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas), headed to the University of Michigan, was 4th in 9:17.29, moving him to 3rd on the 2009 U.S. high school list. Michael Kiley (Chaminade, N.Y.), the prior list leader, finished 10th, at 9:36.48.

The girls’ heptathlon was won by UCLA freshman Ryann Krais, who scored 5,344. Her performances were 13.97 100 hurdles, 5-6 ½ high jump, 30-9 ¼ shot put, 25.25 200, 18-11 1/4w long jump, 108-0 javelin and 2:17.75 800 meters.

The men’s triple jump was won by Will Claye, the Oklahoma freshman who won the NCAA meet two weeks ago but elected to skip the Seniors meet here in favor of the Juniors. Claye, who started the school year at Mountain Pointe H.S. in Phoenix but graduated midyear in order to enroll at OU, jumped 56-2 ¾ wind-aided and broke the 21-year-old meet record with a legal jump of 55-2 ¾.

In the 400 hurdles, Reggie Wyatt (La Sierra, Riverside, Calif) had spoken of chasing the national high school record, but he whacked the eighth hurdle and nearly went down. Nevertheless, he held on for the win a fine 50.02, defeating collegian William Wynne, 50.56.

“Coming to the turn, I felt pretty good,” said Wyatt, a USC recruit. “I kind-of started chopping my steps and hit the hurdle, and it slowed me down tremendously, but I held on for the win.”

Dalilah Muhammad, USC freshman, won the girls’ IH in 57.32, passing Turquoise Thompson (Serra, Gardena, Calif) over the final hurdle. Thompson, who will be enrolling at USC’s rival, UCLA, in the fall, ran 57.93.

The 800s were won by Chanelle Price (Tennessee), who defeated North Dakota prep Laura Roesler, 2:06.79-2:07.41, and Washington State frosh Joe Abbott, who passed Minnesota prep Zach Mellon just before the finish. Local star Elijah Greer, another future U. Oregon athlete and the defending champion, finished 4th.