USATF Pentathlon — Anna Hall Just Misses WR

If Hall had run the climactic 800 only 0.60 faster the event wouldn’t have concluded on such an agonizing note. (KEVIN MORRIS)

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, February 16 — With her sights set on a breakthrough multi, Anna Hall came to USATF primed to do business.

The owner of a PR of 4618 (good for No. 8 in U.S. history), the ex-Florida star had visions of smashing that in a big way. Her day of days found her smashing not only that lifetime best, but also the American Record, not to mention giving the World Record a good scare. Her 5-event day:

60 Hurdles
A perfect start to the proceedings came when the 21-year-old Colorado native destroyed her best-ever mark of 8.17 with an 8.04, not far off from the pentathlon AR of 7.98. Erin Marsh had the No. 2 time at 8.11; that gave Hall a 16-point margin on the field with her 1120 points.

High Jump
The high jump, an event she has concentrated on in the last year, came through as she cleared 6-3¼ (1.91) on her second attempt, topping her old best of 6-2¼ (1.89). She took 9 jumps total, stopping after her PR. That gave her 1119 more points, for 2239, now 207 ahead of Marsh. Suddenly projections were for an AR 4836, well above the mark of 4805 set by Sharon Day-Monroe in ’14 in the same building.

Not quite a PR, but on her second throw Hall hit 45-3½ (13.80), just 4cm short of her all-time best. Again, that led the field, giving her 781 points for a total of 3020. Chari Hawkins moved into 2nd, 256 back.

Long Jump
Hall opened at 20-9 (6.32), fouled, and then improved to 20-9¾ (6.34) for 956 points and a 3976 total with one event left. Marsh spanned 20-1¾ (6.14) to move back into 2nd, 337 points behind. Though Hall had fallen short of her PR 21-5¼ (6.53) set earlier this year, she drew ever closer to threatening the WR of 5013 set by Ukraine’s Nataliya Dobrynska in ’12.

The math of Hall’s mission was simple. She would need 2:19.55 or faster to break the AR, and 2:05.10 in Albuquerque’s thin air would break the WR. Her lifetime bests of 2:05.33 (indoor) and 2:03.11 (out) put her into the mix for the WR chase. At the gun, she went to the lead immediately, covering the first lap in 30.11, the second in 30.24 (60.35). Her third circuit of 31.80 raised hopes as she passed the bell in 1:32.14. Could she hold on? An agonizing last lap of 33.56 brought her to the line in 2:05.70, good for 1028 points.

Her 5004 total demolished the AR by 199 points and missed the global standard by just 9. It was the No. 2 performance in history and makes her only the third-ever over 5000.

Hope Bender used a 2:13.25 closer to surge into 2nd with a PR 4445, with Marsh 3rd at a PR 4432.

Said Hall, “Just based on my marks this indoor season, we knew that if I put together a solid multi, I should end up with [the AR]. Now, getting the World Record, we were like, ‘It must be a perfect day.’ We kind of were expecting, I guess, to be somewhere in between.

“In the back of my mind of course, I’m always shooting for a perfect day and I knew a perfect day would be the World Record. Obviously, that’s going to be the goal every time… Honestly, right now, I’m just a little upset with myself for not being No. 1. That’s always my goal is to win the day. But at this point in my career, my first multi as a professional, I think this is more than I could have asked for.”

Note that Hall is not done for the weekend. She still plans to run the 400, with heats the day after her multi performance.


1. Anna Hall (adidas) 5004 AR (old AR 4805A Sharon Day-Monroe [Asics] ’14) (WL) (2, 2 W) (8.04, 6-3¼/1.91, 45-3½/13.80, 20-9¾/6.34, 2:05.70);

2. Hope Bender (unat) 4445 PR (8.44, 5-9¼/1.76, 41-7¾/12.69, 19-9¾/6.04, 2:13.25);

3. Erin Marsh (unat) 4432 PR (8.11, 5-9¼/1.76, 42-0/12.80, 20-1¾/6.14, 2:22.29);

4. Shaina Burns (unat) 4380 PR (8.68, 5-9¼/1.76, 44-8/13.61, 19-8¾/6.01, 2:17.86);

5. Chari Hawkins (unat) 4312 (8.17, 5-9¼/1.76, 43-6½/13.27, 19-2½/5.85, 2:25.98);

6. Kaitlin Smith (unat) 4191 (8.44, 5-7/1.70, 39-5¼/12.02, 18-11¼/5.77, 2:17.04);

7. Cheyenne Williamson (unat) 4185; 8. Avery McMullen (Co) 4112; 9. Caroline Lewis (NDm) 3985; 10. Katie Eidem (ESFA) 3975; 11. Jada Green (Co) 3890 PR; 12. Jordyn Bruce (unat) 3618.