NCAA Track & Field Championships: Jordan Hasay vs. Sheila Reid Is One Hot Ticket

Red Shannon@@rojosportsFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2011

(Dave Einsel/
(Dave Einsel/

One of the most intriguing track stories this year has been the strong rivalry developing between Oregon sophomore Jordan Hasay and Villanova junior Sheila Reid.

The two fiercely competitive mid-distance runners always seem to find themselves shoulder-to-shoulder near the finish line of college's biggest races.

In the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships last November, Hasay boldly veered out of traffic with 500 meters to go to take the lead from Reid. Without the protective cover of the pack, she plowed through the bitter Indiana wind hoping to hold her position to the end.

But Reid, along with Georgetown's Emily Infield dug deep to re-take the lead on the final straight, as Hasay's spent legs refused to answer the challenge.

Reid won in 20:07. Hasay finished third, six seconds behind. Villanova won the team title.

The drama only intensified from there.

At the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, Hasay and Reid would tangle again. In the distance medley relay, it came down to Hasay and Reid on the 1600-meter final leg. The Oregon sophomore had received the baton with a slight lead, but after eight laps of give-and-take, she was nipped at the line by Reid.

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Despite having run a one-mile qualifier prior to the relay, Hasay blamed herself for the Ducks' second-place finish.

Motivated to erase the episode, she went on to win the mile final the next day, sealing the team championship for Oregon.

But there was more suspense to come.

Both Reid and Hasay had qualified for the 3000-meter run. With the team trophy already wrapped up, and three grueling races already under her belt, no one would have faulted Hasay for sitting out the 3k.

But the diminutive blond from Arroyo Grande, California, knew Reid was running and had some unfinished business.

In one of the classic finishes in college track, Hasay displayed a nice kick to hold off Reid and Stony Brook's Lucy Van Dalen for her second individual national title.

And now, as the NCAA Outdoor Championships begin at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, we can expect Hasay and Reid to rub elbows again. Both qualified for the 1500m semifinals (both are in the same heat) on Thursday and in Friday's 5000m final. The 1500m final is on Saturday. Oregon is considered a contender for the women's team title.

And just as the cream rises to the top of the milk, these two will surely find themselves in the mix on those final strides to victory in Des Moines.

If things go according to pattern, we should expect nothing less than a duel (or two) to remember.

Update - June 11, 2011: For those expecting a duel between the two rivals, the final results were rather anti-climactic. Sheila Reid pulled off an incredible double, winning both the 5k on Friday (15:37.57) and the 1500m on Saturday (4:14.57). Jordan Hasay, who valiantly tried to break away on the final laps in both races, was overtaken by the superior closing reserves of Reid. Hasay finished fourth in the 5k (15:41.0) and eighth in the 1500m (4:17.67).

Oregon was second in the overall women's team standings. Texas A&M repeated as champions.

Rojofact - Both Reid and Hasay are honor students and candidates for the coveted Bowerman Award. It is college track and field's equivalent to football's Heisman Trophy.

Coverage - Friday, June 10, from 4:30 - 6:30pm Pacific on CBS Sports Network (live)

                  Saturday, June 11, from 10am - noon Pacific on CBS (live)

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