Anna Hall graduated from Valor Christian in 2019.
At Valor she won eight state titles, won the heptathlon at the Pan American Games in a national record, and set the pentathlon national record.
After high school she took her success onwards into college, culminating with national titles at the NCAA outdoor heptathlon and NCAA indoor championships.
More recently, (last summer) Hall took the bronze medal at the World Outdoor Championships. She now competes professionally for Adidas.
Lauren Cawley recently caught up with Hall.
LC) How were you initially introduced to track & field?
AH) My dad was an assistant coach at Zoom Track Club in Highlands Ranch, CO., and my older sisters were on the team.. But I was too young to do any sports at all during that time.
However, they always brought me to practice during that time since my dad was coaching and my sisters were there and I would typically just sit and watch...and I found myself constantly asking to try different things even though I was too young, but eventually they just let me in.
That's how I got involved from the start. I did my first track meet around the age of 7, but I started actually competing around the age of 9 or 10.
LC) Tell me about one of your most memorable accomplishments from your time at Valor.
AH) My favorite thing from my time at Valor would have to be when we won state as a team. It was so cool to just see everyone on the team grow together.
I mean, in high school everyone is so young but everyone was making such big improvements... Which I feel like we definitely took for granted at the time, but it was just so cool to see everyone improving day in and day out.
For all of us to come together and perform so well at the state meet was just so great.
LC) What would you say was your most memorable accomplishment as a college athlete?
AH) It would have to be us winning the NCAA team title in both indoor and outdoor last year for sure.
It was such a special moment, especially with track kind of being all about you and more of an individual sport sometimes, it's just those rare moments that you get to really step outside of yourself and realize that you're competing for your team, not just to get a PR or because I want to win myself.
Everyone was so emotional when we won, especially since we knew all year that that was what we wanted to do and we all just believed that we were gonna do it.
When it actually happened, everyone was crying, and I mean my teammates are my best friends, so getting to do that with them was just such a great feeling.
LC) Was it a difficult decision to turn professional while still having college eligibility? Was this always a dream for you?
AH) The transition has been really smooth, however, I think that the decision was definitely the most difficult part.
Again, I just loved the team aspect of college so much...NCAA track & field is such a powerhouse, I think that the NCAA meet and the SEC meet are just two of the best meets in the world... Just to know that I'm going to miss out on those the next two years was pretty sad, so it was definitely bittersweet knowing that I wouldn't get another chance to compete with my team.
I also didn't really know that it was going to be my last time competing with them, so that part was really sad, however, things really just fell into place where I felt like it was time to do this (go Pro), I almost felt like I would really be missing out if I didn't make the change.
I'm really happy with my decision, though, and my coaches were so supportive through it all, so that's been really awesome.
This was definitely always a dream for me since I was a little kid. I remember one of my coaches at Zoom, Coach Connie Williams, had us write on these little note cards with our goals for the season and just overall, and I always just found my one goal being to make it to the Olympics, even from such a young age.
I always just had the mentality that I was just going to do it... I never doubted myself, I just told myself, "that's happening." However, it's definitely a slow build and things don't always happen as fast as you would like them to, but I guess I just always had this feeling like this was what I was meant to be doing.
LC) What steps have you taken to improve since graduating high school?
AH) I think that college training is so much different and so much more intense than high school, so that was definitely a big adjustment for me in the fall freshman year.
One of the big things was that I wasn't lifting nearly as heavy or doing the same types of exercises as in college and just not as often... And I just remember being so insanely sore those first few weeks walking to class and just thinking, "what did I get myself into?"
So, yeah, it was definitely a tough transition and just adjusting my mind and body to that kind of training... But I think just trusting myself and my coaches was important because you usually pick a college having faith in a coach, so I knew if I just listened to them and did everything that they told me to do, I would improve.
LC) What is your favorite event?
AH) I think that my favorite individual event would have to be the 400 hurdles, however, I don't like it more than the multi.
In the multi currently, my favorite is probably long jump, but I'll be honest, it changes all of the time. I'd say it honestly depends on whatever I'm improving in at the time.
LC) Is there any advice that you would give yourself or current high-school athletes?
AH) I would say it's really important to be patient with yourself. In high school, I was constantly just fixated on what's next: the next mark, the next goal, the next win, really just everything... I was never really just happy and content with where I was currently at.
When I look back in high school, I now realize that although high school track was important, it wasn't the end of the world. So I would definitely just say to have more fun and really just be patient...because nothing will ever be the same or as fun and light-hearted as high school track. So I would say to just enjoy that.