June 26, 2014
For immediate release

SRA standout roars down stretch to beat Hasay in 10,000 meters

Kim Conley stayed positive as Jordan Hasay passed her heading into the final turn of the women’s 10,000 meters at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships Thursday night at Hornet Stadium.

“I just kept saying one word over and over, and that’s courage,” Conley said after chasing down Hasay in the final straightaway to win her first national title.

“It’s a dangerous place to be, in front. If I could still be there with 120 (meters) to go, I would use my heart.

“When I was still in contact with 100 to go, I knew I could do it. When I really need to do it, an emotional moment for me, very important, I can pull it out.”

Conley, a Sacramento Running Association standout who lives in West Sacramento, fed off the crowd down the stretch to win a dramatic duel with Hasay. The former UC Davis standout finished in 32 minutes and 2.07 seconds, with Hasay crossing the line in 32:03.28.

The 28-year-old Conley surged to the front with 6 ½ laps to go. Hasay stayed with her, waiting for the right moment to strike.

When Hasay passed Conley with less than 200 meters to go, Conley fed off the crowd and set off a celebration.

“I knew I needed a little something extra,” Conley said. “I also planned to rely on the crowd to carry me in that final turn.

“I have so many family and friends (here), I had to finish it … I just wanted to do it so bad in Sacramento.”

She did, then celebrated with plenty of hugs, hand slaps and high fives.

Conley used a training grant from the Sacramento Running Association to step back from her coaching duties at UC Davis and focus on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. The result was an electrifying third-place finish in the women’s 5,000 meters and a trip to the Olympic Games in London.

“It completely changed my life,” Conley said.

Hasay, a former standout at the University of Oregon, said she left nothing on the track.

“I felt really, really good,” she said. “I went and she fought back.”

Conley, 28, opted to focus on the 10,000 meters instead of the 5,000 this year to keep her options open for 2016. She ran a personal best of 31:48.71 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in early May before delivering personal bests in the 5,000 (15:08.61) and 3,000 (8:44.11) earlier this month.

So what’s next?

“I really like the idea of having options,” she said. “I would really love to get in a good 5k and make an assault on the 15-minute barrier.”

Conley’s effort was preceded by the Billy Mills 10k, a community run put on by the Sacramento Running Association and the Sacramento Sports Commission to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mills’ gold-medal effort in the 10,000 meters at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Rocklin’s Charlie Brenneman, who runs for the Sacramento Running Association, bested a field of close to 300 runners to win in 31:58.

Dominique Jackson, Conley’s Sacramento Running Association teammate, finished sixth in the first round of the women’s 800 meters and did not advance.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.