Note that in this picture, Jordan Hasay is running with the second pack in the FootLocker XC Champs, held in San Diego on December 13, 2008. She went on to win the race, her second victory and become only the second girl to win two FootLocker titles....how did she do it?
Jordan Hasay won the Foot Locker XC in her freshman year, and again, in her senior year of high school. The High school record holder at 1,500 meters, in 4:14.53, set during last summer's Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, Hasay is developing into a world class middle distance runner, with her own"bag of tricks".
I am truly fascinated by the psyche of elite athletes. I come back to a conversation that Steve Ovett had three decades ago during an interview in Track & Field News, where he claimed to not have a race plan before he got into a race. Part of it might have been bravado, but much was that Ovett was confident of his tools: he could run from the front, from the back, kick long or kick short-he had developed his racing tools.
Jordan Hasay showed a wisdom beyond her years, with her fine tactical racing at the FootLocker nationals. Hasay stayed back, and made her charge when she knew it would make the most impression.
This takes me back to Brooks Johnson, in an article in RW in 1975-77, where he talked about American distance runners and their inability to race, especially at the end of races.
Hasay is learning her lessons. Key, obviously, as with many young women distance runners is that if she a) wants to continue, b) keeping her health and injuries in control and c) luck.
On her side is her coach, Armando Siqueros, who, as I have mentioned in past blogs, is one of those coaches who prepares their athletes for the future. He puts challenges in front of her, and lets it fall where it may. I call it coaching by the Socratic method,
which is experience, experience, discussion, lessons learnt. For Jordan, she seems to want to race, and want to excel, and she, like any teen ager, must have some misgivings, but she can focus over five thousand meters in Balboa Park, and nearly four full laps on the track in Eugene, Oregon.
Lets watch and see how she does this coming Outdoor season...but for how, she should be able to relax like other teen agers and rest on a few nice races, like the Foot Locker Regional and Nationals!
To watch Jordan's race, check out:
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Happy Holidays from http://www.american-trackandfield.com