Lake Region High School track phenom Kate Hall entered two events at Feb. 27’s New England Indoor Track and Field Championships, held at Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston – and she won them both.
That means, not only is Hall a 12-time state champ, she’s now a two-time New England champ. She ran the 55-meter trials in 7.06 seconds – merely average, for her – then destroyed the finals in 6.95, not just a new PR, but also a new New England record. The previous record, 6.96, had stood since 1999.
Her initial long jump – of 18 feet, 1 inch – qualified her for the finals, where she, again, smashed the existing New England record. Hall leapt 20 feet, 2 inches: more than a foot farther than a record that had stood since 2006.
“I tried to go into the events with the mindset that it was just another 55-meter and long jump, in order to stay focused and relaxed,” Hall said. “But of course it doesn’t work like that once you get there and see the competition and atmosphere.”
Hall experienced substantially more anxiety than she’s accustomed to. “I actually think the nerves were the reason for my bad start, but once I had run, and set the New England record, I was much more relaxed for the long jump.”
Hall’s next stop is Nationals, at the Armory in New York City on the weekend of March 13-15.
“Going into Nationals I’m ranked first in the long jump,” Hall said. “This puts a pressure on me that I have never experienced before and it’s definitely going to be interesting to see how I deal with that in the heat of the moment.”
“Along with that, I am beyond excited. Going to Nationals is an experience that most people don’t get to go through, and the fact that I even get to go is such an honor and an amazing opportunity. Finally, even though I am nervous, I am confident in my training.”