Thursday was day number two at the NCAA track and field championships in Eugene, Oregon, but it was day number one of action for University of Montana senior Lindsay Hall in the heptathlon.
The Missoula native had a great start to competition in the 100 meter hurdles, which might be her strongest event. Hall clocked in at 13.61 seconds, just a hair slower than her career best mark of 13.51 which she set two weeks ago at the NCAA Regional meet in Arkansas. Thursday's time was good enough for third place in her heat and fourth place overall out of all 24 competitors.
Hall continued to excel on the national stage in her next two events; she tied for sixth in the high jump with a season-best leap of 5-7 3/4, and her 39-7 1/4 mark in the shot put ranked eighth.
At that point Hall was sitting third overall in the heptathlon standings. The former Big Sky Eagle trailed only Georgia freshman Kendell Williams, the heavy favorite to win the heptathlon title, and Kansas junior Lindsay Vollmer, the 2013 NCAA heptathlon champion.
However Hall ran into trouble in the 200 meter dash, the final event of Thursday’s action. She finished in 26.69 seconds, which placed just 22nd in the event, and dropped Hall all the way down to 10th in the overall standings after the conclusion of day No. 1.
Still it was an impressive showing by the Griz athlete against the best of the best track athletes from across the country.
"I'm happy with my performance so far in the events,” said Hall. “I've done a good job of just focusing on one event at a time and not getting caught up in what other people are doing."
Despite slipping down after the final event, Hall is still on pace to break her own UM school record of 5,550 points which she set during the Mt. SAC Relays in April. At that meet Hall scored 3,230 points on the first day of competition; Thursday in Eugene she was already up to 3,317 points.
“Compared to my previous PR (personal record) this season in the heptathlon down in Mount Sac, I'm above where I was in that for the most part in three of the four events. So I'm happy and I think I can continue to build on that, I just need to come out a little more fired up and a little more competitive tomorrow."
The heptathlon will conclude Friday with the javelin, long jump and 800 meter run. This is Hall’s second appearance at outdoor nationals for the heptathlon; she took 22nd place at the prestigious meet when it was held in Des Moines, Iowa back in 2011.