SEATTLE, Wash. – Jordan Hasay won the women’s 5,000 meters to lead a day of high level performances by the Oregon track and field teams Friday in Seattle and Fayetteville, Ark.
Hasay cruised to victory at the Husky Classic in her first 5,000 meters of the 2013 indoor season, crossing the finish line in 15:46.30, easily ahead of Duke’s Juliet Bottoroff, who ran 15:52.38.
Oregon’s Katie Conlon was third in 15:53.73, followed by teammate Alexi Pappas in 15:54.64. The times by the Ducks were the third, fifth and sixth fastest 5,000s in the nation this season, respectively. Seniors Conlon and Pappas also moved into fourth and fifth, respectively, on the UO career indoor list, while Hasay, a senior from Arroyo Grande, Calif., was less than a second off her indoor personal best of 15:45.54.
In the men’s 5,000 meters in Seattle, Jeramy Elkaim ran his second PR of the season, finishing fifth in 13:39.35 in a race that produced 10 of the nation’s top 11 5,000 times of 2013. Elkaim, a sophomore from Livingston, N.J., moved to No. 5 on Oregon’s indoor list.
“It’s extremely exciting to have those three women run under 16:00 at this point in the season,” said head coach Robert Johnson. “That’s a big time performance by our seniors.
“And Jeramy Elkaim continues to round into his own. It’s rewarding for the coaching staff to see him put up fast times two weeks in a row as a young runner and his potential is really big right now.”
Not to be outdone by the Duck runners, Jillian Weir had a big breakthrough in the women’s weight throw. She was the top collegian and finished second overall with an impressive heave of 66-3.75/20.21m. The sophomore from Sunnyvale, Calif., became just the second Duck to top 20 meters in the weight throw as Friday’s mark ranked second all-time at Oregon.
Weir now trails only Britney Henry’s 2007 school record of 68-4.5/20.84m. Coincidentally, it was Henry, now competing for ASTF, who won the weight throw on Friday with a mark of 68-6/20.88m.
“Jillian Weir has really turned some heads this year, and we’re seeing it now in the hard work she put in with coach Erik Whitsitt all fall,” said Johnson. “He has been raving about her development and to see it come to fruition in a meet is very rewarding. It’s encouraging to see the direction Jillian and all our throwers are headed in.”
Meanwhile at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Mike Berry won the top section of the men’s 400 meters in 46.48. That was the second fastest time overall and moved the junior from Seattle, Wash., to No. 6 in the nation this season.
Elijah Greer followed with a third-place run in the men’s 800 meters in 1:48.42. The junior from Lake Oswego, Ore., clocked the eighth fastest time overall in 2013.
Jenna Prandini ran one of the top women’s 60 meter times in school history in the semifinals Friday. She finished second in her heat in 7.33, which was tied for the third fastest ever at Oregon. She went on to place sixth in the finals in 7.44. The freshman from Clovis, Calif., advanced to the semifinals by winning her preliminary heat earlier in the day in 7.43, a PR at the time.
“Jenna was a pleasant surprise,” said Johnson. “She really put some things together in the semis and came away with a nice PR.
“Elijah got out there and got into the mix in a good race for his first 800 of the season. He’s trending pretty well right now with the potential to do some good things later on.”
Junior Phyllis Francis opened up in the invitational section of the women’s 400 meters with a time of 53.40 that left her fourth overall. The mark was just off her 2012 indoor PR of 53.01.
In the women’s collegiate 400 meters, junior Chizoba Okodogbe set an indoor PR in a time of 54.37. That was the fourth fastest time overall in the lower sections and ranked fourth on the UO career list.
“The Tyson meet is our one chance a year to see all the talented runners from the South and East Coast and see where we are with our training,” said Johnson. “Running on a banked track in the shorter races, the fastest runner doesn’t always win. It’s just as important to learn about controlling the race.
“We had some moments there today where Mike and Phyllis got caught up in traffic, and so even though they ran fairly well, we also know there is more in the tank.”
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