The long jumper from Maine wraps up her indoor season and hopes to build toward the world championships.
CLICK HERE to read original article, written by Portland Press Herald Staff Writer Glenn Jordan
The list of Mainers with national titles in track and field is a short one.
It includes Joan Benoit Samuelson and Bruce Bickford in distance running and Anna Willard in middle distance.
Kate Hall finished her first indoor season as a professional with a national title. The Casco native won the long jump at the USATF Indoor Championships on Saturday. Photo by Kevin Morris
On Saturday, 22-year-old Kate Hall joined the club.
Hall wrapped up her first indoor track and field season as a pro last weekend by winning a national title in the long jump and finishing second in the 60-meter dash at the Toyota USATF Indoor Championships in New York – totaling $10,000 in winnings ($6,000 for first).
A native of Casco who turned pro after completing her junior year at the University of Georgia, Hall leaped 21 feet, 4 1/4 inches Saturday and clocked at 7.23 seconds in Sunday's 60-meter final behind winner Shania Collins, formerly of the University of Tennessee.
As an undergraduate, Hall won a pair of NCAA national titles in long jump, one outdoors and one indoors, and also earned All-America honors in the 60 meters to help Georgia win its first national title.
As a home-schooled high school student, she also won a pair of national titles, including a record-breaking performance of 22 feet, 5 inches in the long jump at the 2015 New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina.
"My goal for indoors was to get a couple of good marks and win the national championship (in long jump)," Hall said by phone Monday. "In the 60 I was just hoping to get a good time. I knew there would be good competition, so I was extremely happy with the outcome."
The meet was the fourth of Hall's professional career and came on the heels of her first international event. She traveled to France two weeks earlier and placed third in the long jump at Paris.
"I wanted to get used to competing internationally," she said. "It was definitely stressful competing there but I learned a lot from it and I'm glad I got the first one out of the way."
Chris Pribish, Hall's coach and trainer out of the Momentum Performance & Wellness Center in South Portland, said this winter was important for Hall to get back into form after overtraining in college had put her on what Pribish described as a downslope last spring. A type 1 diabetic, Hall also had hamstring and quadriceps issues last year.
"For this time of year, we're happy for how she's progressing and how her body's feeling," Pribish said. "We've been focused on getting her healthy after her school year. We had to work her out of overtraining and build her back."
Pribish said Hall had several jumps this winter that were over 22 feet but did not count because her toe was just over the line on takeoff.
Hall now lives in Gray and works as an assistant coach of cross country and track and field at Saint Joseph's College in Standish. She is gearing up for a long outdoor season that she hopes will conclude at the world championships in Qatar in October. The U.S. will send three female long jumpers, to be determined by their performance this summer. The qualifying standard is 22-1.
In preparation, she plans to compete in the United States and Europe. Her agency, Total Sports, has a presence in Leuven, Belgium, that Hall is likely to use as an operating base for Diamond League meets.
"Those have the best competition," Hall said. "They're the highest paying with the best atmosphere and the best experience. That's my goal, so hopefully we can figure that out."