2012 NCAA Cross Country: Jordan Hasay Leads Oregon Ducks to Team Title as Betsy Saina Gets Individual Crown

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by: Mike Knapp for LetsRun.com
November 17, 2012

LOUISVILLE — About the only thing missing in the resume of Jordan Hasay’s collegiate career is an NCAA cross country national championship.

After finishing third in 2010 and second last year, the Oregon senior entered Saturday’s race at HP “Tom” Sawyer Park as one of the favorites to win the individual championship. And while she fell just short of the individual title, finishing third behind Iowa State’s Betsy Saina and Dartmouth junior Abbey D’Agostino in an outstanding sprint finish, Hasay will share a team championship with her fellow Ducks as Oregon captured its first title since 1987.

“I couldn’t be more excited, this couldn’t be a better ending to our season,” an emotional Hasay said. “It’s so bittersweet to me, this was my last chance. I have a passion for this sport and I wanted to do something special, but I just couldn’t pull it off today.”

Along with All-American honors, Hasay takes back the team title hardware back to Eugene. With senior Alexi Pappas adding an eighth-place finish for the Ducks, Oregon totaled 114 points to get past Providence (183 points), Stanford (198), previously #1 ranked Florida State (202) and Michigan (247).

Hasay was the only Duck who had competed previously at the national meet, but the inexperience didn’t show as Oregon had three All-Americans, with senior Kate Conlon completing the triumvrate with a 39th-place finish.

“We identified back in September that this was a team that could do something at the NCAAs,” said Oregon coach Maurica Powell. “Our depth made a huge difference. We told these guys all week the meet won’t shake down the way we planned it no matter how we planned it. We had kids over-preform and they stepped up in ways they hadn’t before.”

Betsy Saina Wins The 2012 Women's NCAA XC Title

Betsy Saina, Jordan Hasay, and Abbey D’Agostino Down the Final Stretch
(Photo by John Nepolitan)

The Battle for the Individual Crown
The race shook out as almost a repeat performance of a year ago, when eight runners came down the stretch with a chance to win. This time the list of players was a bit smaller, but the result was still the same.

With Saina, D’Aogstino, Hasay, Aliphin Tuliamuk-Bolton of Wichita State, Risper Kimaiyo of Texas Tech, and Cal-Poly freshman Laura Hollander breaking out to the lead, the group ran in a tight pack throughout the 6K race. Hollander dropped off in the final mile and finished 10th, as did Kimaiyo who would finish fifth, but coming down to the last 200 meters, the remaining four runners fanned out four wide and kicked to the finish.

With less than 100 meters to go, Saina stepped out to about a two-meter lead over Hasay and D’Agostino. Saina held on to win in a  course-record 19:27.9. Hasay lost a little ground to D’Agostino right at the line and D’Agostino and Hasay showed the same time of 19:28.6 with D’Agostino getting second, and Hasay third.  Tuliamuk-Bolton was fourth in 19:33.7. Risper Kimaiyo of Texas-El Paso rounded out the top five in 19:41.0.

Saina admitted to not sleeping well Friday night, but she shook off the nerves to win her first NCAA title.

“Everyone here is just really good,” Saina said. “I just wanted to try my best and go really hard the last 400. That’s what I did and I felt good. It’s so exciting, and a great feeling.”

This was Saina’s second NCAA title, first in cross country. She won the indoor 5000m title last year and followed that up outdoors with a 31:15 10,000m. She is coached by former Foot Locker national champion Corey Ihmels.

Top Results Below. Full Results here. NCAA Cross Country Photo Gallery here

LRC Quick Takes: An Oregon woman has never won the NCAA XC crown.

QT #2: Second year in a row with a tremendous finish on the women’s side. Hasay leaves without an NCAA individual crown but you can’t come closer either year.

QT #3: NCAA titles don’t come easily. In the two years before Hasay went to Oregon, the Ducks were runners-up at NCAAs. Throw her into the mix and the Ducks dominate right? Not that easy. Oregon was 9th, 12th, and 5th in the first three years with Hasay at Oregon.

QT #4: Oregon’s title doesn’t happen without Dartmouth graduate Alexi Pappas joining the Ducks for grad school this year. Pappas, the NCAA steeple runner-up as a teammate with Abbey D’Agostino at Dartmouth (coached by US Olympic marathoner Mark Coogan), was 8th overall and third in the team standings (individual runners don’t count in the team standings).

Dewey Beats Tream: The NCAA screwed up big time on the results. Oregon was the initial winner on the results and with a comfortable margin. But then the results were changed and Providence was the winner. More on the snafu here.

PL Pts Name Bib YR Team Time 1k Pace Mile Pace Splits
1 1 Betsy Saina 221 SR Iowa State 19:27.9 3:15 5:14 2k: 6:24; 3022m: 9:45; 4035m: 13:06
2 Abbey D’Agostino 162 JR Dartmouth 19:28.6 3:15 5:14 2k: 6:24; 3022m: 9:45; 4035m: 13:06
3 2 Jordan Hasay 292 SR Oregon 19:28.6 3:15 5:14 2k: 6:24; 3022m: 9:46; 4035m: 13:06
4 Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton 381 SR Wichita State 19:33.6 3:16 5:15 2k: 6:27; 3022m: 9:45; 4035m: 13:05
5 Risper Kimaiyo 346 SR UTEP 19:41.0 3:17 5:17 2k: 6:24; 3022m: 9:45; 4035m: 13:06
6 Cally Macumber 224 JR Kentucky 19:42.2 3:17 5:17 2k: 6:25; 3022m: 9:47; 4035m: 19:02
7 Mareike Schrulle 213 SR Iowa 19:43.3 3:18 5:18 2k: 6:27; 3022m: 9:49; 4035m: 19:01
8 3 Alexi Pappas 296 SR Oregon 19:43.9 3:18 5:18 2k: 6:28; 3022m: 9:54; 4035m: 19:02
9 Laura Hollander 136 FR Cal Poly 19:45.2 3:18 5:18 2k: 6:24; 3022m: 9:45; 4035m: 13:05
10 4 Sarah Collins 308 FR Providence 19:50.7 3:19 5:20 2k: 6:30; 3022m: 9:52; 4035m: 19:05
PL Team Runners Points
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 Oregon 2 3 28 32 49 77 126 114
2 Providence 4 8 26 44 101 130 180 183
3 Stanford 14 17 21 31 115 125 151 198
4 FL State 5 6 10 61 120 148 194 202
5 Michigan 38 42 45 55 67 88 132 247
6 Arizona 12 22 56 76 97 177 207 263
7 Duke 13 20 60 83 124 168 188 300
8 Connecticut 30 47 53 81 93 205 211 304
9 Washington 34 54 64 65 117 149 165 334
10 New Mexico 23 37 48 102 131 138 192 341

Full Results here

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