A world of difference
Northern California prep phenom Jordan Hasay had as much of a fight to make the final of the World Junior Championships in the 1,500 meters earlier today as she did to make the final in that event at the recent U.S. Olympic Trials.
That could have something to do with her late arrival at the world meet in Poland. Hasay didn't arrive until Tuesday because she had run the trials' final -- she finished 10th -- on Sunday in Eugene, Ore.
Hasay, 16, undoubtedly was weary from three high-intensity races at the Olympic trials. And she is competing with the formidable young women of Ethiopia and Kenya at the worlds.
Running in the fastest of the three Friday heats, which was won by Ethiopia's Asmerawork Bekele, 16, in 4 minutes, 17.05 seconds, Hasay was outkicked for fourth by Kenya's Stacy Ndiwa, 15.
The high school senior from San Luis Obispo advanced to Sunday's final as a time qualifier in 4:20.82. That's more than three seconds slower than any of her three races at the Olympic trials, where she set a national prep record of 4:14.50.
Friday's pace still was a surprise to Hasay.
"I didn't expect it to be this fast,'' she said after the race. "I just wanted to go out and do my best. I felt horrible, though. Maybe I'm still a little jet-lagged.''
Hasay, 5 feet, 2 inches and barely 100 pounds (including her waist-length hair), also didn't expect the race to be as rough as it was.
"It was a really aggressive race,'' she said. "There were some girls giving some good elbows.''
It's a rough, old world out there, kid.
Alexandra Kosinski, the University of Oregon's rising 19-year-old sophomore, won her heat in a personal best 4:19.14. "From high school to college was a big adjustment for me,'' Kosinksi said. "I was having trouble running in groups, and the year of college really helped me adjust.''
Kosinski, who is from El Dorado, did not compete at the trials, which gave her more time to adjust to the time difference and enjoy being in a country where her father's family has roots.
-- Philip Hersh
Photo: Jordan Hasay poses next to a time clock with her high school record-setting time in the 1500-meter final at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on July 4. Credit: David J. Phillip / Associated Press