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The Future of High School: Hasay

5/19/2009

Jordan Hasay, a senior at Mission College Prep (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), is the nation's best distance runner. She's won multiple national titles in both cross country and track during her prep career. She also holds the high school record in the 1,500 (4:14.50).

ESPN RISE: What would be the dream scenario for your future?

Hasay: The dream scenario would be to continue to run well in college, improve my times and hopefully help the team win some national titles. Then I'd like to run professionally and obviously the Olympics is the major goal. That's the way I'd see it progressing.

ESPN RISE: Realistically, where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?

Hasay: Realistically, [next year] will be my freshman year in college and that will determine a lot. Hopefully I have a realistic shot at being a contender for the Olympic Trials in 2012. It's hard to tell how everything will go, but I think it's realistic that I'll have a shot of making the (Olympic) team.

ESPN RISE: If for some reason your sport doesn't pan out, what do you want to do with your future?

Hasay: I'm going to major in human physiology, possibly pre-med. Running will take up a lot of time, but I need something after that. I'd like to get involved in either physical therapy or athletic training. I like that it gives me the ability to stay involved in the sport, helping other people and making an impact on other people's lives. I visited Oregon's program and it's really good. They get to test athletes a lot and have a human performance lab. It's really interesting to me to see the science of running.

ESPN RISE: Put yourself in charge of the high school sports world. What do you think needs to change the most?

Hasay: I'd like to see more overall coverage of high school running. It's starting to get better. Running gets a lot of coverage on the Internet, but it's really nice to have it in written form, in magazines and newspapers. It doesn't get as much coverage because it's just high school, but that can be really exciting. We're all just in it for fun — not for the money — and I think that's really cool.

ESPN RISE: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing high school sports?

Hasay: The biggest challenge for runners is staying with it. I know for me it's a lot of pressure to stay with it. Sometimes those who run really well in high school don't do as well in college or professionally, and it's a challenge to overcome that.

ESPN RISE: How do you think high school sports will be different for the next generation of stars?

Hasay: With the Internet, there's going to be a lot more coverage, which is kind of cool. And I think it will make the overall level of competition better. You can read about competitors online and that makes you want to do better. Overall, the competition will go up and people will start rising to a new level.

ESPN RISE: In what ways do you think these tough economic times will impact the future of high school sports?

Hasay: It's definitely possible, but it's hard to say. In running, there's really no equipment, so that won't affect us. And I can't really speak for other sports. It could impact travel for us, but I'm not really sure.

ESPN RISE: What is one change you'd like to see made to recruiting?

Hasay: I just think there are a lot of rules everyone has to follow. I guess they're good rules, but they can get a little confusing. It would be helpful if you could have more contact with the coaches. I couldn't always see the coaches face to face. You want to make sure to get as much time as possible with them because that's where you're going to spend the next four years.

I understand it's so coaches don't bug you, but I think it's a little strict. In one instance, a coach couldn't watch one of my races because they'd reached their limit of contacts. And they couldn't come to another big race because it was in a dead period.

ESPN RISE: How will technology impact high school sports and recruiting?

Hasay: Facebook and things like that are a way for athletes to put themselves out there. I know there are recruiting websites where athletes can post videos of themselves. I think that's a positive for athletes to put their talent out there when they're not as well-known.

ESPN RISE: What's going to become the biggest trend in high school sports during the next decade?

Hasay: I think people are starting to get more serious about it at a younger age as far as being more committed in high school to be recruited and do well in college. I think that's something that's going to continue to increase.

ESPN RISE: Is there any lesson you learned during high school that will help you in your future?

Hasay: I've learned so many lessons from my coach, but the main one is patience. He's really taught me that. Being patient with my progress and workouts and knowing that one workout isn't going to make or break you. You can't run a world record every day.