All eyes were on Oregon’s Jordan Hasay in the semifinals of the 1500. Hasay tucked herself in position to advance to the final in the early stages of the race, running in third early on behind Katherine Mackey and Alice Schmidt. Hasay would fall back to fifth at the end of the first lap, but would move back up towards the front of the pack soon after. However, as the pace picked up, Hasay, who qualified for the 1500 finals back in 2008 as a high schooler, could not answer the move made by Shannon Rowbury.
Over the course of the final 400 meters, Hasay was passed by nearly the entire field, finishing 11th in 4:15.52, the second slowest time from both heats. Needless to say, Hasay was not happy with her performance.
“It sucks,” said Hasay. “I hate misrepresenting Oregon at Hayward. It’s embarrassing for lack of a better word.”
On the men’s side, Andrew Wheating and Russell Brown of OTC Elite ran two very different races in the first heat of the 1500 meter semifinals. Wheating ran a signature race by starting at the back and moving to the front with 600 meters to go. The former Oregon star had some ground to cover with 100 meters to go, but Wheating was able to out-kick most of the field, finishing second in 3:51.40 to advance to the finals. Brown was not as lucky however. The 27-year old New Hampshire native fell off the pace, finishing in 3:58.85, the slowest time of the day by over four seconds.
“Everyone swooped past me in the last half lap, and then I was like ‘I need to make moves,’” said Wheating.
In the second heat, former Duck Matthew Centrowitz ran a gutsy race, sprinting to a 3:41.90 win, edging out Leonel Manzano by less than a hundredth of a second. Jordan McNamara barely edged his way into the final, finishing seventh with a time of 3:42.77, sneaking in as the final time qualifier by just .08 seconds. Centrowitz and McNamara will join Wheating in the 1500 final on Sunday. If the trio are able to complete the Oregon sweep, Oregon track & field head coach Vin Lananna has agreed to shave his signature beard, which he has had as long as the trio has known him.
“It was good,” said Centrowitz. “The competition was good. I just came to qualify and give myself a good position.”
The women’s 200 semifinal featured a story that seemed too good to be true. Although in different heats, Jenena Tarmoh and Allyson Felix finished within one-thousandth of a second of each other. You will recall that Tarmoh and Felix finished in a dead heat during the 100 meter final. Both runners crossed the line in 22.30 seconds.
The day also featured the women’s 3,000 meter steeplechase final. Right from the gun, Emma Coburn of Colorado jumped to the lead which she never let go of. Coburn turned in a dominating performance in a race she essentially ran by herself, winning in 9:32.78 seconds.
“I’ve had this goal since last year,” said Coburn. “This was a goal that I was hungry to receive.”
Bridget Franek of OTC Elite took second in the race in 9:35.62, while Coburn’s teammate Shalayla Kipp snagged the final spot on the team, finishing right behind Franek in 9:35.73. Kipp needed the A standard of 9:43.00 to make the team, which she achieved with ease.
“When I saw Emma cross at 9:32 I think it was, I thought I am going to get it,” said Kipp.
Saturday’s finals will include the triple jump, high jump, as well as the men’s 110 meter hurdles and women’s 200 meter race. Competition wraps up Sunday with a busy afternoon of finals.