- a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.
In 2018 Anna Hall proved to be the best athlete in the country. That's not really up for debate. The Valor Christian senior shattered the Heptathlon Record last June as a junior.
And for those of you who don't know what events the heptathlon (known in track circles as the Hep), that's the 100, the high jump, the shot put, the 200, the long jump, and the javelin, and the 800.
So, when you win the Hep, you're the best all-around athlete. Not only can you jump, or throw, or leap, or sprint, but you can endure the burning coals of the 800.
And Hall didn't just win the Hep last year (she did win titles at the USATF Junior Championships, and Great Southwest, among the few), but she shattered the previous national record.
Win? Sure. National Record? Ok, now we're talking about the Best of the Best... Because winning says you're the best on that day, but setting a national record says your the best in history.
And her list of accomplishments didn't end there. Hall's big year went well into July, and across the globe, as she competed in the Hep at the IAAF U20 Championships, where finished ninth in the world.
Excerpt from Anna Hall Claims The Heptathlon National Record
"All Anna Hall needed heading into the 800 of the Heptathlon was a 2:34, and the national record would be hers. For the Valor Christian junior, 2:34 is practically lunch money - she held a 2:19 personal best heading into the event. She had quite a cushion, but she made sure to cap the final event of the Heptathlon at the Great Southwest Classic with a massive, very bold exclamation point.
Before today, Kendall Williams held the national record with 5,578 points, which she set in 2012, but as the saying goes, records are meant to be broken.
Hall ran 2:17 to shatter the previous national record, tallying 5,798 points, and run a PR, which was the trend for her, as she tallied a slew of PRs across other events, including a 19-10.75 long jump, and a 5-feet-11.5 inch high jump.
Winning a national title, as great as it may be, had to come second to capturing a national record. Hall spoke with MileSplit following her record-breaking performance.
"I woke up this morning and I didn't really feel that good," Hall explained of heading into the second and final day of competition.
Despite not feeling well, Hall willed herself on.
"I was trying not to think about it (breaking the record)" Hall said of the 800. "I didn't want to tell myself 2:34, because if I run that I'll be so disappointed."
Disappointed, likely, because she knew she had more in her. And she proved that with her 2:17, which won the event in the final strides.
Hall capped her weekend the most ideal way possible - capturing a national title, and a national record by crossing the finish line first in the final event.
"It felt really good to put it all together," Hall explained of putting together a full meet of events.
With a national record in her back pocket, and another year of high school ahead of her, she's like to threaten her own record next year.
Watch her break the record here: Anna Hall"
What does it take to be the best all-around athlete in the country?
A handful of national-caliber performances across several events.
Hall tallied three top-10 national performances in 2018. Her 40.76 300 hurdle personal best was No. 3 in the country - and No. 2 all-time in Colorado, her 6-0 high jump was No. 5 in the country - and one-inch below the Colorado state record, and her 19-10.5 long jump was No. 10 in the country.
And a side note: the 300 hurdles aren't even a Hep event.
I could cite Hall's three state titles from last year's Colorado State Championships, or her 4A state meet record in the 300 hurdles as further proof of how good she is, but that pales in comparison to her accomplishments in the Hep. She's not just a national-caliber athlete in one event, she's a national caliber athlete in many.
Winning state, or setting Colorado records are a feat within themselves, but Anna Hall has skyrocketed to a whole new level of greatness.
When you've rewritten the national record books, won the U20 National title, and gone on to finish ninth in the world - all as a junior, that's more than worthy of the No. 1 Story of 2018.
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