NCAA Women’s Heptathlon — Do-It-All Hall

Anna Hall’s busy Saturday included her farthest javelin mark ever in a heptathlon. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

“IMPOSSIBLE” was the way some described Anna Hall’s decision to compete in the 400H with the final scheduled just 16 (yes, sixteen) minutes before the heptathlon 800.
However, Hall made it look relatively easy, winning the 7-eventer with 6385 points. That included a runner-up finish in the hurdles, which turned out to be some 24 minutes before the closing 2-lapper.

Hall was in the lead from the second event on in achieving the No. 7 score in collegiate history while winning by 446 points. Here’s how her eight events played out:

100H: The third section had the three fastest as Alexus Pyles of Ohio State (13.07), Duke’s Erin Marsh (13.14) and Hall (13.15) all set PRs.

High Jump: Before a foot injury last summer, Hall had a best of 6-2¾ (1.89). She was tops here with her highest jump since that injury at 5-11¼ (1.81). With 2093 she held a 100-point lead over Pyles, with Marsh another 11 back. Hall was 72 points up on her 6458 PR score at this point.

Shot: Kansas State’s Urtė Bačianskaitė (45-8/13.92) and Cornell’s Beatričė Juškevičiūtė (44-8/13.61), had the best throws, but Hall followed with a PR of 44-5¼ (13.54) to increase her lead to 176 points on Marsh. Hall was now 140 points up her PR.

200: Hall had sped a heptathlon CR 23.14 in her 6458. Here she lowered that to 23.13. That gained her one more point on her PR score. Teammate Sterling Lester was next at 23.29 as the first 5 all set PRs.

With a Day 1 score of 3922, Hall had a 248-point lead over her nearest pursuer, Marsh, who was on PR pace with 3674.

Long Jump: Day 2 found rain off and on, but nothing could douse Hall, who led all with a leap of 20-7 (6.27) as she increased her lead to 379. Washington’s Ida Eikeng was next at 4477, followed by Marsh at 4445. Texas’s Kristine Blaževiča — the only other 6000-point scorer this year besides Hall — fouled three times.

Javelin: Rain came down lightly for the first flight. That included Hall, who sailed her first attempt out to 140-7 (42.87), her best-ever in a heptathlon. Her lead shrank to 311 as Eikeng had the farthest attempt at 46.36m (152-1) and remained in 2nd.

The big question remained. How would Hall respond after running the hurdle final? That race went off at 3:58 and Hall finished second in 54.76, her second-fastest ever.

800: About 24 minutes after that hurdles, Hall lined up for this closing contest. Throughout the spring she had proved unbeatable with fresh legs, including a 2:03.11 mark in the USATF Championships in early May that was the best ever by a collegian and American in a heptathlon.

But how much had the long-hurdles race taken out of her? Normally, a sub-60 runner on her first lap, Hall went out in 65.89 as a half-dozen others scrambled ahead. Hall would have to finish behind Eikeng by some 25 seconds to lose the overall title.

That potential finish never came close to happening, as Hall continued to cruise and dug in deep for the final homestretch to finish in 2:21.23 for a score of 6385, fourth-best in meet history. Eikeng’s 2:31.65 closed out her PR score of 5939 to better Marsh (5929) for 2nd.

Said Hall, “The plan was to run smart; my coaches told me, ‘You probably have the win in the bag if you run under 2:45,’ and I was like, ‘OK, I can do that!’ It was hard to come back that quickly after the 400m hurdles, but I felt like I managed it well.”


WOMEN’S HEPTATHLON RESULTS

(June 10–11)

1. **Anna Hall (Fl) 6385 (x, 7 C; x, 4 AmC; 4, 4 NCAA)

(13.15, 5-11¼/1.81, 44-5¼/13.54, 23.13 HCR [3922], 20-7/6.27, 140-7/42.87, 2:21.23 [2463]);

2. *Ida Eikeng’ (Wa-Nor) 5939 PR

(13.54, 5-7¾/1.72, 42-2¼/12.86, 23.81 [3640], 19-6¾/5.96, 152-1/46.36, 2:31.65 [2299]);

3. Erin Marsh (Duke) 5929

(13.14, 5-7¾/1.72, 41-2½/12.56, 23.86 [3674], 18-10/5.74, 117-3/35.75, 2:14.64 [2255]);

4. *Allie Jones (Stan) 5823

(13.38, 5-5¼/1.66, 40-4/12.29, 23.95 [3540], 19-1¼/5.82, 123-11/37.76, 2:17.08 [2283]);

5. *Sterling Lester (Fl) 5751 PR

(13.43, 5-6½/1.69, 37-8¾/11.50, 23.29 [3580], 18-7/5.66, 102-0/31.11, 2:12.63 [2171]);

6. *Lexie Keller (CoSt) 5722

(13.92, 5-6½/1.69, 42-2/12.85, 25.43 [3397], 19-5½/5.93, 124-0/37.80, 2:16.50 [2325]);

7. Beatričė Juškevičiūtė’ (Corn-Lit) 5721 PR

(13.98, 5-4¼/1.63, 44-8/13.61, 25.29 [3380], 18-2½/5.55, 148-4/45.21, 2:17.45 [2341]);

8. Halley Folsom (BYU) 5692

(13.97, 5-6½/1.69, 38-8¾/11.80, 24.99 [3361], 17-8¾/5.40, 132-7/40.41, 2:08.59 [2331]);

9. Nicola Ader’ (Nv-Ger) 5647; 10. *Safiya John’ (ArPB-Tri) 5626 PR; 11. Kaitlin Smith (HousB) 5617; 12. **Avery McMullen (Co) 5600; 13. Alexus Pyles (OhSt) 5491; 14. Callie Jones (TxT) 5436; 15. **Bailey Golden (OkSt) 5415; 16. Brittany Floyd (UCF) 5410; 17. **Elise Ulseth’ (ND-Nor) 5362; 18. *Anna Bush’ (WF-Aus) 5361; 19. Jade Bontke (UTA) 5300; 20. ***Olivija Vaitaitytė’ (OkSt-Lit) 5287; 21. **Kristine Blaževiča’ (Tx-Lat) 4756; 22. **Urtė Bačianskaitė’ (KsSt-Lit) 4608;… dnf—*Timara Chapman (NCSt), *Issy Wakefield’ (Duke-GB).

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