Hall Hoping to Leave Mark at NCAA Track & Field Championships

By JOEL CARLSON for GoGriz.com

Montana senior Lindsey Hall has done just about everything an athlete can do at the school and conference level in her five-year Griz track and field career. Records, championships, multiple trips to regionals, more records.

The one thing her plump resume is lacking: A who-is-that-and-where-did-she-come-from performance on the national stage.

Hall will get that opportunity this week at the NCAA outdoor track and field championships at Eugene, Ore. Hall will compete Thursday and Friday in the heptathlon along with 23 other multi-event athletes.

Lindsey Hall (2)

Montana senior, Lindsey Hall

She is the only Montana athlete to make nationals this year.

Hall, who also competed at nationals in the multi-events in 2011 at Des Moines, Iowa, is tied for 13th on the list of championship entries with her score of 5,550 from the Mt. SAC Relays in mid-April.

That point total is the Montana record and the fifth-best total in Big Sky Conference history.

The heptathlon will open Thursday at 2 p.m. (MT) with the 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200 meters. The multi-events conclude Friday with the long jump, javelin and 800 meters. Those events begin at 1:30 p.m. (MT).

“Last week was Lindsey’s best week of practice all year, so I think her mindset and confidence are where they need to be,” said UM coach Brian Schweyen. “This is her last collegiate meet and last hurrah, so it’s a final chance for Lindsey to show people what she can do.

“If she pays attention to only herself and what she is capable of, she is 100 percent capable of being as good as anybody out there.”

The championships’ top heptathlete is Georgia freshman Kendell Williams, whose season-best score of 6,018 is more than 200 points better than anyone else competing this week. Williams won the pentathlon at the NCAA indoor championships in March.

That type of score is mostly unreachable for Hall, but everyone else entered this week should consider themselves in Hall’s crosshairs.

Three of the athletes competing this week have scored this season in the 5,700s, five in the 5,600s and nine in the 5,500s. Putting a nice heptathlon together for Hall on paper gives her close to 5,800 points. And if Williams stumbles, who knows?

“I truly believe that anything could happen at this meet for Lindsey,” Schweyen said. “She could be first. She could be top three. She could be top five.

“I just hope she comes out of the meet with a big smile on her face knowing she did everything she was capable of doing to compete at her highest level. When it’s over, if that’s the case, it doesn’t matter what the score is.”

Lindsey Hall UM Track and Field Missoula Montana

For those keeping track, the top heptathlon score in Big Sky Conference history is 5,766, set by Northern Arizona’s Sabine Krieger in 1999.

Hall competed at Oregon’s Hayward Field in the high jump in 2011 when the Ducks hosted NCAA regionals. That came two weeks before nationals at Des Moines.

At her first NCAA championships, Hall entered the meet ranked 20th with a season-best heptathlon score of 5,360. She placed 22nd in 2011 with a point total of 4,999.

Three years later she has better marks in all seven events, and she is hitting them consistently. She has scored more than 5,400 points at all three heptathlons in which she’s competed in 2014.

“Lindsey was scared in 2011, but she’s grown up a lot since then,” Schweyen said. “Back then she was just happy to be at nationals. Now being there isn’t enough. She wants to go there and be better than she’s ever been.”

ESPN3.com will be broadcasting the championships, but its live coverage does not begin until 4:55 p.m. (MT) on Thursday and 5:30 p.m. (MT) on Friday, time slots that miss most of the heptathlon’s events.

Live stats of the championships are available here.

Montana Sports Information