COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS and ATHENS, GEORGIA—Maine track legend Kate Hall, a Casco native, just keeps getting more legendary. Hall picked up her second college national title on March 9 in the NCAA Division I Championships, winning the Long Jump with a leap of 22-01.00. Hall also scored in the 60 Dash, helping to propel her University of Georgia Bulldogs to the team crown.
“I’m very happy with how the season went,” Hall said, possibly understanding her feelings a smidge. “Practices went really well leading up to the indoor season so I’m happy it translated over into competitions as well.”
Hall’s 22-01.00 was an indoor personal best, and also the first time she’s cleared 22 feet indoors. She led the event from the very get-go – a good headspace to be in.
“I was ahead from the start of the long jump competition,” she said, “which really helped me relax and work on executing some better jumps. My mark on the board was really good at NCAAs which made a difference on my first three jumps.”
Hall’s teammates Keturah Orji and Tara Davis took second and third in the LJ, with leaps of 21-04.75 and 21-04.00, respectively. Hall’s first-place take earned 10 points for Lady Bulldogs, while Orji’s second-place take earned eight and Davis’s third-place take earned six.
The 60 Dash didn’t go quite as well for Hall – which is not to say it went badly. It didn’t, not in the least: She finished second in her prelims race and sixth in the finals, in the latter case picking up three crucial points for the Lady Bulldogs. Hall ran a 7.17 in the prelims (Jonielle Smith of Auburn won the heat in 7.15) and a 7.24 in the finals. Aleia Hobbs of LSU emerged victorious in the event, hitting 7.07.
“I had my best 60-meter time in the prelim on Friday night,” Hall said. “That was exciting, since that was my first time running under 7.2 and I automatically qualified for the final. In the final, I ran 7.24, which I am happy with considering my body wasn’t fresh from jumping and running the previous day.”
Hall is already looking forward to outdoor season.
“I like outdoor better than indoor,” she said, “so I can’t wait to start jumping again, especially at some home meets. I’m definitely already thinking about defending my title at outdoor NCAAs.”
For anyone keeping track (and who isn’t?), Hall now has 26 State titles to her name, six New England titles, two (high school) national titles, one Southeastern Conference title (she won the Long Jump at that meet on Feb. 24), and two NCAA titles (she won the outdoor Long Jump title last year).
As a junior, Hall still as another year ahead of her as well. But, of course, her aspirations don’t end with her college career. Rather, she has her eyes set on the Olympics – hopefully the 2020 Tokyo games.
“The Olympics,” she said, “are always on my mind, and that is my ultimate goal.”
Adam Birt can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @CurrentSportsME.
Kate Hall poses with the latest addition to her trophy case.