Hasay leads No. 3 Oregon to first West Region title in 17 years
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Jordan Hasay won her third consecutive NCAA West Regional crown to lead third-ranked Oregon to its first West Region title since 1995. With the win, the Ducks automatically qualified for the NCAA Championship.
"As a result of all the hard work put in by our women and coach Maurica Powell, we are in a good position headed to the NCAA Championships and we'll get home, go gear up and get ready for that," head coach Robert Johnson said.
Hasay broke away from Cal Poly's Laura Hollander and Stanford's Kathy Kroeger with 600 meters remaining to earn her first victory of 2012, winning in 19:16. Hollander was next in 19:22 with Kroeger, the Pac-12 champion, third in 19:27 over the 6,000 meter course.
Hasay became the first Duck to win three regional crowns in a row. She was one of three Oregon runners to finish in the top 10, and one of six in the top 26 as the Ducks held off challenges from No. 4 Arizona, No. 5 Stanford and No. 7 Washington.
"Jordan ran an excellent race as usual, and winning three straight regional titles speaks volumes about her career at Oregon, but what really impressed me is having only one minute between our first runner and our sixth runner," said Johnson. "That is pack running and working as a team to near perfection."
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The Ducks won with 64 points. The Cardinal and Wildcats tied for second with 85 points, while the Huskies took fifth with 96 points. No. 26 San Francisco made a strong bid for an at-large selection for the NCAA Championship by finishing fifth with 151 points.
UC Davis was sixth with 177, followed by No. 29 UCLA (217), Portland (230), California (305) and Boise State (308) to round out the top 10.
Freshman Allie Woodward backed Hasay's win with a seventh-place finish in 19:52, followed by senior Alexi Pappas' 10th-place showing in 19:54. Oregon's next group consisted of senior Sarah Penney finishing 22nd in 20:13, freshman Annie Leblanc at 24th in 20:15, senior Katie Conlon at 26th in 20:17 and freshman Abbey Leonardi at 34th in 20:36.
The Ducks led from the outset of the race. After 2,000 meters, the Ducks were 17 points up on Washington and 34 ahead of Arizona. At the midway point, Oregon opened up a 23-point margin on Washington and led Arizona by 25. Stanford made a big move with 1,000 meters remaining to pull ahead of Arizona and Washington, but Oregon maintained a comfortable 24-point edge on the Cardinal and a 25-point lead against the Wildcats. The margin never slipped below 20 over the final 1,000 meters.
It was the women's 13th NCAA West Regional victory, which now only trails Stanford's total by one, but was the Ducks' first in 17 years.