Ducks News: Duck Pack Brings NCAA Title Back to TrackTown!
Courtesy: GoDucks.com: 11/17/2013
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Led by a courageous effort by seniors Jordan Hasay, Alexi Pappas and Katie Conlon, the Women of Oregon captured their first NCAA cross country national title since 1987 Saturday at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park.
"In one way or another every runner for Oregon stepped up and ran in a way they hadn't before," said head coach Robert Johnson. "I am so proud of our women's team and the job done by assistant coach Maurica Powell.
"We are absolutely thrilled to be able to bring this national title back home to the State of Oregon."
Hasay led an impressive pack of Ducks who were in the race's top 50 nearly the entire 6,000 meter distance. Oregon ended up winning easily with 114 points, followed by Providence with 183, Stanford with 198 and Florida State with 202.
Hasay looked strong in the lead pack throughout, only falling to Iowa State's Betsy Saina and Abbey D'Agostino of Dartmouth at the tape. After a sprint to the finish, Saina was the 2012 individual champion in 19:27.9, followed by D'Agostino and Hasay both in 19:28.6.
"I wanted to win, but I wanted to the team to win more, so I'm pretty happy about that," said Hasay. "We've been trying to win this meet ever since my freshman year, so it's great to be able to do it with these girls who have been supporting each other for so long."
Hasay, from Arroyo Gande, Calif., willed her teammates around the course in impressive fashion. Pappas, a transfer from Dartmouth, ran just a step off the lead pack the entire race, and finished eighth in 19:43.9.
"It was a fast race," said Pappas, from Alameda, Calif. "I just kept pushing and tried to the do the best I could for the team."
Conlon was the surprise of the day for the Ducks. The transfer from NAIA Jamestown College in North Dakota had been the Ducks' fifth or sixth runner during the regular season, but put on a strong kick over the final third of the race, passing a couple dozen runners to place 39th in 20:15.0.