Tribune staff reports
Jordan Hasay finally got her trip to Harvard.
The nationally renowned Mission Prep distance runner had the prestigious Ivy League school among her list of favorites back when she was picking colleges a couple months ago.
The high school senior canceled her recruiting visit, however, and fell in love with her eventual choice: Oregon.
Hasay and her dad Joe took an informal tour of the Harvard campus Sunday night after Jordan finished first in the girls 2-mile run during the Nike Indoor Nationals at the Reggie Lewis Sports and Athletic Center in Boston, Mass.
“It was all right,” Hasay said. “The campus is really historic. It was pretty neat. I actually almost took a visit there, but then I decided at the last minute that I didn’t want to go so far.”
That feeling was sort of similar to her thoughts on running in her first indoor track and field meet, complete with the shorter 200-meter track and banked curves.
It was historic, pretty neat but not exactly where she wants to spend her next four years. Hoping to challenge the national high school record, Hasay finished about 15 seconds off that pace, winning the race in 10 minutes, 10.89 seconds and setting a meet record instead.
She used the meet to get some experience running indoors before she begins her college career. Once a Duck, Hasay figures on competing in a couple indoor events per season and didn’t want to go into her first collegiate indoor meet next year as a complete rookie.
Still her emphasis remains on the outdoor season, which begins for her in two weeks at the San Luis Obispo County meet.
In the outdoor meets, not only are all parts of the running surface flat, the track is twice as long and much more of a runner’s time is spent on the straightaways.
Hasay said she wasn’t bothered by the banked turns, but said it was somewhat disorienting adjusting to the constant turns.
Her 2-mile race took 16 laps. Outdoors, it would have been eight.
“The first couple laps, I was like this is kind of cool, and then after the first 8, I was like, ‘Oh man, I still have 12 laps to go or, I don’t even know, I lost track of the laps.’ “Physically, it was just weird always turning and not having that straightaway.”
By most standards, Hasay’s performance was top-notch, especially considering it was her first indoor meet. The national high school record of 9:55.92 was set by Melody Fairchild of Boulder, Colo., in 1991.
Hasay did not break that, but she shattered the former meet record, which was set by Canadian Carol Henry in 2000 at 10:23.63. Hasay’s time was also faster than the freshman, sophomore and junior national records.
“I guess I’m happy about it,” Hasay said. “I was a little bummed that I didn’t get the senior record … I’m just pleased that I can run this fast early on and hopefully that will bring a better time in the outdoor season.”