As a freshman, Hall’s 13.18 time at the Great Southwest Classic was the third-fastest in prep history – and the best is yet to come from Hall, now a junior.
Scary and impressive, no doubt, but what else would one expect from the daughter of Yolanda Johnson, the first Gatorade National Girls Track & Field winner elected in 1985-86.Hall, too, was recognized with the prestigious honor when she was named the Gatorade Colorado Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year as a freshman.
Last summer, Hall competed in the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona (she lost her shot at a medal after she tripped and fell in the final three hurdles).
Recharged this season, Hall recently won the 5A state title when she clocked 13.67 seconds for the 100-meter hurdles. And don’t think she’ll ever stop, at least not until after she competes in the Rio 2016 Olympics – her ultimate goal.
Good lucking catching her if you can. We fortunately did, but only for a spell. Check out what went down.
You’re in a unique situation given that your mom was a former standout hurdler in high school and college. What has she taught you that has been most valuable?
It would take me days to explain how much she’s taught me. She’s been a huge support. I move my arms from side to side – she tells me to tighten them and to look more professional, ’cause I’ll get criticized when I go to college. She tells me to pull my trail leg; we’re trying to take the Sally Pearson look – she has amazing form.
Why is running satisfying to you?
Running is my life. It defines who I am. It’s made me a better person. It shows me values. It shows how much I want something. It brings out the drive in me. Without running, I wouldn’t have my confidence. It brings out the best in me.
If track wasn’t part of your life, what do you imagine you’d be like?
My life would be boring. I wouldn’t be as independent. I’d be lost. Also, I’d most definitely be fat (laughs). I eat a lot.
What are your favorite foods?
Everything, except sprouts, asparagus and tofu – those are disgusting. I like spaghetti, steak, ribs and pot roast.
What’s your favorite track outfit?
A sports bra with spandex and long socks. I wear all Nike. Sometimes I’ll wear different colors; other times I’ll wear neutrals.
Who do you consider the most stylish athlete?
Flo Jo. She had a full bodysuit with one sleeve. The way she dressed and the colors she wore were really cool.
When you travel for a meet, what’s one thing you always pack?
My teddy bear, “Little Bear”. I’ve had him since I was four. It was a gift from my parents. It’s a good luck charm.
What’s your favorite sport to watch outside of track?
Football. It’s really competitive and a lot of people in my family play football. If I didn’t run track and was able to play football, I’d do it.
What’s most challenging about being a hurdler?
Trying to maintain technique and have a consistent rhythm.
Who is your greatest inspiration?
Sally Pearson. I admire everything – her form, how she runs to the hurdle. She’s so on top of everything. She looks perfect. Nobody knew her until she became really fast. She built her way to the top.