Follow Lake Region HS sprint/jump star Kate Hall as she blogs about her senior indoor season & the quest to be the best. Hall is one of the top ranked returner long jumper in the US this winter.
Well my last indoor season of high school is officially over! And it couldn't have ended in a better way! This past weekend at NBN I competed in the long jump and the 60m. I drove down to New York on Friday with my family, and my grandparents and cousins met us there as well. The day before Nationals is always a special day for me. Not only do I get to spend some amazing time with my whole family at the hotel, but I have that anxious/excited feeling of knowing I'll be competing the next day. When we drove into New York and saw that sign by the armory saying, “Amazing things are happening here," I just got that feeling of gratefulness that I was able to be part of such an unbelievable opportunity.
I know for a fact I got exactly one hour of sleep the night before my events. There were several times that I was laying in bed beginning to fall asleep, but then I would suddenly get nervous and instantly wake up. I fell asleep at 5am and woke up at 6am to run. I was so worried I was going to be too exhausted to function, but I told myself I wasn't going to allow that to happen no matter what.
At 9am I ran the preliminary round of the 60m and set a PR of 7.46. Of course I was very happy, and my dad told me what happened after that didn't matter because I accomplished one of my goals. That was true, but I wasn't there only to set a PR. I wanted to win the long jump.
Later that day after having a short nap, I went back to the track to compete in long jump. I don't think I had ever been so nervous about competing before, but it was a good nervous. I wasn't a nervous that made me shake and feel dizzy like I had experienced in past meets. I hated sitting through the first two flights because it only made my anxiety and anticipation grow. The more my anticipation grew, the more I thought, and the more I thought, the more I knew I wanted to win this more than I've ever wanted anything.
Finally, the last flight was up and I was ready to jump. Being the last jumper, I tried keeping track of everyone's jumps before mine, but I wasn't absolutely sure how far their jumps were in meters. It was probably a good thing for me not to know at first though. My first jump was 19-8, but I was way behind the board. I was fine with that because I knew I could get a much further jump if I moved my mark up slightly. My second mark I hit the board perfectly and when I landed, I heard an eruption of whoops and yells coming from the stands. I figured it must have been good then. When they measured it I couldn't believe I jumped 20-11.25. It was a weird feeling for me, actually. Usually when I jump a PR I'm confident I won and having nothing to worry about, so I can act as happy as I want. However this time, I knew I had some good competition so even though I was overjoyed, I tried not to get my hopes too high just in case. After I jumped 20-11, I was much more relaxed for my other jumps. Finally, I had one more jump left. Courtney Corrin had just jumped 20-7, which officially made me a national champion! I heard my family celebrating in the crowd as I prepared for my final jump. My final jump was 20-10, although I was just barely on the board. If I had the whole board I would have been over 21. Of course, that wasn't my main concern though. I was a national champion and a national meet record holder. Nothing else mattered to me. I was in tears as I excitedly hugged my family after and I had never been happier.
The following day I ran the 60m and came in 6th in the finals. I was just off my PR that I had set the previous day. I wasn't expecting to have the best time of my life considering my knee had been bothering me since long jump. In the end, I was beyond thankful for how everything turned out and I couldn't ask for a better way to end the indoor season.
Lastly, I just want to thank everyone for their endless kindness and support. These past four years have been better than I could have ever imagined and a huge reason of that is due to how friendly the track community here in Maine truly is. I will never be thankful enough for everything you guys have done to shape me into the athlete and person I am today.