Hasay named Youth Athlete of the Year


Vicky Oddi
Communications Coordinator
USA Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS - National 1,500 meter high school record holder Jordan Hasay, of Arroyo Grande, Calif., has been named the 2008 Youth Athlete of the Year by USA Track & Field. Hasay will be honored on Saturday, December 6, at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The event will be held at the Silver Legacy Resort in Reno, Nevada, in conjunction with USA Track & Field's 2008 Annual Meeting.

As the youngest competitor in the women's 1,500m at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field, Hasay broke the national high school record by running 4 minutes 14.50 seconds to place fifth in the semifinal and qualify for the final. Her performance broke the previous record of 4:16.42, held for just under three weeks by Christine Babcock, by nearly two seconds. Slated to leave almost immediately for the World Junior Championships in Poland, Hasay delayed her trip to run in the final, where she finished 10th in 4:17.36.

"I am honored to be recognized by USA Track & Field with this award," said Hasay. "I am thankful for everything that USATF does for the sport of running in our country and inspired by its outstanding dedication to its members. I'd also like to thank my family, coach, and community who always provide continued support to me. "

Hasay began her year by winning the USA Junior Cross Country Championships on February 16, in San Diego, Calif. She covered the 6 km course in 20:32 and was 13 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.

At the 2008 USA Junior Track & Field Championships, Hasay repeated her performance from last year and won the women's 1,500m, outkicking Oregon's Alex Kosinksi (Eugene, Ore.) down the final stretch to win in 4:18.44. It was that performance that qualified her for the 2008 IAAF World Junior Championships.

On Friday, July 11, just one week removed from her national record-setting performance, Hasay competed in the first round of the women's 1,500m at the World Junior Championships. Taking fourth place in heat three of the prelims in 4:20.82, she qualified for the final on time. In the final, Hasay placed fourth, crossing the line in 4:19.02. It was the best ever finish for an American woman in the 1,500m at World Juniors.

Hasay dominated on the high school level as well. At the CIF Finals, she held off Davis Senior High School senior Laurynne Chetelat down the home stretch to win the 3,200m state title in a meet record 9:52.13, the second fastest 3,200m time ever run by a high school girl. On October 23, Track & Field News named Hasay the 2008 Girls High School Athlete of the Year.

"Jordan is a shining star for Team USA and for the USATF youth program," said USATF Youth Athletics Committee Chair Lionel Leach, noting that Hasay has long been a fixture at USATF's Youth and Junior Olympic events. "We are proud that she got her start in the USATF youth programs and will eagerly be watching her progress as she moves on to the collegiate and professional levels."

For more information on the USATF Annual Meeting, visit www.usatf.org