Diabetes doesn't slow Maine track star Kate Hall from becoming record setter

Diabetes doesn't slow Maine track star Kate Hall from becoming record setter

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Diabetes doesn't slow Maine track star Kate Hall from becoming record setter

Kate Hall is the Maine recordholder in the 100, 200 and long jump (Photo: Erick Sandoval)

Kate Hall is the Maine recordholder in the 100, 200 and long jump (Photo: Greg Van Vliet)

When Maine track star Kate Hall entered the New Balance Indoor Track Competition last month in the long jump, she didn’t want to get too excited. Her “biggest competitor,” Courtney Corrin from California, was competing in this meet.

“She had won as a freshman before, and she’s amazing,” said Hall,18, the state record holder in Maine in the 100 and 200 meters and long jump.  Her nerves hit, a different type of nervousness than usual, which made her dizzy.

“I was pretty scared going into that meet….I had been ranked first all year, but I had never been ranked in previous years. So that put a different kind of pressure on me, mostly from myself.”

Whether it was the pressure, anxiety, rigorous practice, advice from her physical therapist who serves as her trainer, or her family cheering her on, Hall jumped 20 feet 11.25 inches on her second jump — and broke the national meet record.

And she did it all while wearing tubeless pump 24/7 to give her insulin to combat her diabetes.

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“Courtney is getting ready to do her last jump, and I could tell, she wanted it so badly. She was getting ready and I was like, ‘uh-oh, this is probably going to be her best jump,’” said Hall, a two-time Gatorade state athlete of the year in track at Lake Region High in Naples, Maine.

Corrin jumped 20 feet, 7 inches, meaning Hall won the top prize. But it took a few moments for Hall to realize she had won — they put the distance up in meters, which she still had to convert in her head.

“When I realized my second jump was further than that, it was the best feeling I won, I couldn’t believe it. I had the biggest smile on my face on the runway getting ready to jump my last jump. My family was going crazy.”

Announced over the loudspeaker she had won that event, she said her dad was “screaming, yelling, like he always does. My mom and my grandparents and my cousins were there too, clapping, they were really happy.” Her moment on the podium was complete with a medal, flowers, interviews and a ring arriving in the mail.

Hall, who started track at 10 but also played soccer and basketball before focusing on track after freshman year, credits her trainer Chris Bribish for helping her set her goals and plan her daily schedule.

She credits the pump taped to her hip, the OmniPod, for helping with diabetes and being much easier for her to manage. She changes the pump, which measures roughly 1 1/2 inches by 2 inches — every three days. According to a spokesman for the brand, it is safe for contact sports.

Hall, who goes to the doctor every three months, says being active helps her control her diabetes.

“It’s important for other diabetics to know — because I think they might think that ‘well, I have diabetes, I can’t play sports’ —  they may think it’s stopping them, but it helps to be active when you have diabetes,” she said. “You don’t have to let it stand in your way. It’s not a bad thing, you can control and manage it. It doesn’t have to stop you whatsoever.”  
 
Hall, whose goal is to make the Olympics, is a homeschooled student who has committed to Iowa State after talking to “about 40 colleges” on the phone and visiting four. “I really liked the coach there, he’s very individualized and helps each athlete…..and also I really liked the team. I hung out with the kids on the team, and they were all just really welcoming, and really accepting.”

Competing with the Lake Region Lakers through the spring, Hall will also be competing at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., on June 19-21.

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