Juniors Kate Hall of Casco and Isaiah Harris of Lewiston both continued their rapid ascent up the collegiate track rankings over the weekend at the NCAA Division I indoor championships at Texas A&M University.
Hall won the women’s long jump with a personal indoor best of 22 feet, 1 inch, and added a sixth-place finish in the 60 meters to help the University of Georgia win the team championship with 61 points, 12 better than the runner-up Arkansas.
Harris finished second in the men’s 800 meters for Penn State in a personal-best indoor time of 1 minute, 46.08 seconds.
Hall led a 1-2-3 finish by Georgia in the long jump, with senior Keturah Orji (21-4 3/4) and freshman Tara Davis (21-4) finishing second and third, respectively.
“That was our goal all season,” Hall told runnerspace.com after concluding her work at nationals. “Just from the beginning our goal was to go 1-2-3 at nationals and hopefully contribute big points to the team and we were able to accomplish that so it’s really awesome.”
Hall, who won the 2017 NCAA Division I outdoor long jump championship at 22-1, matched that effort indoors on her third attempt.
“My goal was just to get a really good first jump, making the final is always the first goal,” said Hall, a graduate of Lake Region High School in Naples. “From there I was able to relax and work on my speed and my takeoff and it ended up working out pretty well. I set an indoor PR so I’m super happy and super proud of my teammates as well.”
Hall capped off her weekend on Saturday with a time of 7.24 seconds in the 60 final, just off her qualifying time of 7.17 seconds a day earlier.
“My main goal was just to make the final so I was super happy with my time (Friday) and I’m really happy with my time (Saturday),” said Hall, who wasn’t seeded to score in the event. “I was a little bit sore from long jump so I’m happy I was that I was able to come back and still run a fast time.”
Harris, a former Lewiston High School track and basketball standout, had placed second in the 800 at last year’s NCAA outdoor championships.
He trailed only sophomore Michael Saruni of Kenya and the University of Texas-El Paso, who won the event in 1:45.15 — a new NCAA championship record and the second-fastest mark in indoor collegiate history,
“It was quick, an indoor PR for me,” Harris told letsrun.com. “It’s a good feeling. I knew it was going to be a good race. Saruni’s just a talented runner, there’s no hiding that, everyone knows that now. He went, I tried to go with him but he just had a little bit more.
Saruni made his move on the field after the first 400 meters, and Harris followed but was unable to close the gap.
“Third lap is where you’ve got to go in this type of race so I thought before the race that if anyone goes I’ve got to cover it,” said Harris, whose previous best indoors was 1:46.24. “I did what my coach wanted me to do but (Saruni) just had a little bit more at the end.
“Last year I finished fourth in another really good field and this year I moved up to second,” he added. “If the pattern continues hopefully the only other spot I can get is first next year or first outdoors.”